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Revelation 5:9 by Robert Dean
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:52 mins 39 secs

Redeemed by Blood; Rev. 5:9


Revelation 5:9 NASB "And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood {men} from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.'"


Four points of introduction on the significance of redemption

1)  Redemption is the underlying image of salvation. From the Old Testament to the New Testament the underlying image of what takes place on the cross is redemption. Justification, regeneration, forgiveness are terms that affect the application of Christ's redemptive work to the individual believer.

2)  The importance of redemption is that a price has been paid. That is what redeemed means. It is that which makes everything else possible because a price has been paid. Because that price/penalty is paid on the cross the Father's justice is propitiated.

3)  The redemption price is paid in full. We see this in John 19here the last thing Jesus says before He dies is TETELESTAI [tetelestai], "If is finished," a perfect tense verb indicating a transaction that has already been completed, already finished, and it has results that go on. It was something that in the Greek word would be written on the bottom of a bill, that it was paid, nothing else could be done or added to it.

4)  The redemption price was paid by a perfect human being who alone could die as our substitute.


Results of Redemption


1)  The judgment of the law is that no one can keep the law. From Galatians 3:13 and 4:4-6 Paul relates redemption to deliverance from the curse of the law.

2)  Redemption is the foundation for the forgiveness of sins, Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14. Forgiveness is the application whereas redemption is the payment of a price. Forgiveness is distinct from redemption but redemption is the basis for forgiveness.

3)  Redemption is the basis for our justification, Romans 3:24. In redemption Christ paid the penalty for all sin, but justification is an application. When we put our faith alone in Christ alone the first thing that happens after that is that God imputes, reckons to us the righteousness of Christ. Then He declares us to be just because you possess the perfect righteousness of Christ. But that is application. Before that can happen the sins have to be paid for.

4)  Redemption, then, is the basis for our sanctification. Ephesians 5:25-27. This is the application of all of this to spiritual growth. We are positionally sanctified by being placed in Christ, but there is still the matter of spiritual growth and spiritual growth takes place as a result of learning the Word of God. 

5)  Redemption is the basis for the eternal inheritance of believers. We see this in the study of Revelation because we are redeemed the redeemed have a future role with Jesus Christ in the future kingdom. But there will be those believers who will have no inheritance in the kingdom because they never grow.

6)  Redemption is the basis for the strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the angelic conflict. What Jesus Christ did on the cross not only relates to what happens in the salvation of the human race but also deals with the consequences of sin in all of the universe that came out of Satan's original sin, Because of Jesus Christ's redemptive work on the cross He is able to come back at the second coming, able to establish His kingdom, able to roll back the curse in the Millennial kingdom and then eventually destroy the present heavens and earth which is scarred by sin, create a new heavens and earth which will go on into eternity.

7)  Redemption of the soul in salvation results eventually in redemption of the body in resurrection, and also redemption of the planet. Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:23; Ephesians 4:30.

8)  Redemption views salvation from the standpoint of the complete payment of our sins, the option of believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

9)  Since the believer has been bought by Christ we now belong to Christ, He is our master. This is, as it were, the application. Redemption is very important because it is the foundation of everything in application to our salvation. But for the believer it goes a step further, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:20 NASB "For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." This drives it home to the believer after salvation. It is the imagery of slavery. We were in the slave market of sin; Jesus Christ came and purchased us. We did not become free agents, we just shifted masters. We went from being under the dominion of the sin nature and in the dominion of Satan to being in the kingdom of God's beloved Son. So we are now His; we belong to Christ. That is the application. It affects how we look at life, it affects our priorities, it affects our decisions, it affects everything.


As we look at our passage in Revelation chapter five, verse 9, we see that there is another phrase that is frequently associated with redemption. The song that the twenty-four elders were singing says, "[You have] purchased for God with Your blood {men}." That is the payment price that is given again and again in Scripture.


E.W Bullinger, in his book "Figures of Speech in the Bible," writes: "In the New testament the expression 'the blood of Christ' is the figure metalepsis, because for t the blood is put by synectity for blood-shedding, i.e. the death of Christ as distinct from his life. Then His [physical] death is put for spiritual death perfect satisfaction made by it for all the merits of the atonement affected by it, i.e. it means not merely the actual blood corpuscles, neither does it means His death as an act, but the merit of the atonement affected by it and associated with it."


Scholars who are students of language and how language works clearly understand how this phrase, "blood of Christ," is nothing more than a figure of speech that stands for what took place on the cross between twelve noon and 3pm, when darkness covered the face of the earth and God the Farther imputed to the Son the sins of humanity. And it was only after that was done when He is separated from the Father and cries out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" that it is finished—only at the conclusion of that. John tells us twice that it was finished. The double use of TETELESTAI there in two verses emphasizes the fact that before Jesus died physically, before the Roman soldier put the spear into His side and the blood and the water flowed out took place, sins were paid for on the cross and the work of redemption was over. Crucifixion is not a bloody death, it is a death by asphyxiation, and it was designed in many cases to last for two or three days. In the case of Christ it only lasted a few hours, because once His work was accomplished He willingly, voluntarily, gave up His spirit and died physically. But the physical death was not what was related to the atoning work on the cross. What took place on the cross was spiritual; it was a spiritual atonement.


The term "blood of Christ" is used again and again in Scripture, it is a legitimate way to talk about what Christ did no the cross.


Acts 20:28 NASB "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."


Romans 5:9 NASB "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath {of God} through Him."


Romans 3:25 NASB "whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. 


Ephesians 1:7 NASB "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace."


Ephesians 2:13 NASB "But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."


Colossians 1:20 NASB "and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, {I say,} whether things on earth or things in heaven."


Hebrews 9:14 NASB "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"


Hebrews 9:22 NASB "And according to the Law, {one may} almost {say,} all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."


Hebrews 10:4 NASB "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." He takes away our sins.


Hebrews 13:12 NASB "Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate."

1 Peter 1:18, 19 NASB "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, {the blood} of Christ."

But this imagery goes back to the Old Testament.

1)  The phrase "blood of Christ" or "His blood" or "the blood of the Lamb" is a common biblical phrase describing the death of Christ. Five times it is used in the book of Revelation, ten times in the book of Hebrews.

2)  Unfortunately this is often a misunderstood phrase and people who ought to know better take it as a literal description. We must understand that under the principles of literal interpretation, which means that we understand the Bible in terms of the plain, normal use of language, we clearly recognize the use of figures of speech. This includes metaphors and similes, personification, hyperbole, and other figures of speech. There are clearly understood idioms in the Bible and that is why we have to interpret the Bible by the time in which it was written.

3)  Following the basic rules of word study we see that throughout the Old Testament the phrase "shedding of blood" takes its meaning from the original murder of Abel by Cain. He sheds his blood. In that case there was a literal shedding of blood because he used a sacrificial knife in order to kill his brother Abel. But there is an extension of this to all kinds of wrongful death. Genesis 9:4 sows an extension of this where blood is related to life: NASB "Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, {that is,} its blood." Blood therefore stand for life. The shedding of blood is an idiom, then, that means the loss of life. Genesis 9:6 NASB "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man." This is the foundational verse for capital punishment, and it has never been rescinded. It is part of the Naohic covenant which not only promised that God would not destroy the earth by water but that whoever shed man's blood, by man would his blood be shed. The shedding of blood is talking about violent murder, not that it has to literally be bloodshed.

4)  This is clearly recognized in the standard, scholarly Greek lexicons. The blood of Christ stands for the life of Christ that He gave for our atonement. This is a term picturing the violent loss of life, but the loss of physical life stands for His spiritual substitutionary death.