Understanding Redemption Vs Salvation: Exploring Spiritual Liberation

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Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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According to the Old Testament, offerings were necessary to pay for the punishment of sin. In the early times, this partial redemption entailed presenting bread, grain, and animal offerings in the Tabernacle in place of the individual’s sin.

However, the Jewish people awaited the coming Messiah, who would offer a great final blood sacrifice to atone for everybody’s sins. The use of animals as sacrifices masked sins for a while, but Jesus Christ completely eliminated it.

Jesus was born to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Through His crucifixion and resurrection, He actively created a way for us to purify our sins through redemption, which enables us to live eternally with Him.

We are all freed from the punishment of sin since Jesus Christ suffered the price[1]. Indeed, through Christ, our salvation and redemption are made possible.

What Is Redemption?

In the past, it was thought that redemption transpired just once, during the time of the Exodus from Egypt. God Himself, not a heavenly being or a messenger sent by Him, carried out the work of redemption in that situation. In this regard, God has a more important role to fulfill in redemption than salvation.

Meanwhile, according to biblical scholars, the term redemption is employed when referring to mankind. To demonstrate, they argue that when Christ died and gave his entire being to save all of humanity from the price of punishment, that event was recognized as redemption. The truth explains that Jesus actively redeemed the entire human race.

What Is Salvation?

The arrival of a messenger or prophet grants salvation to believers or active Christians. A messenger is believed to bear the task of bringing salvation. Jesus was a divine messenger. God provides the holy messenger (Jesus) with the authority to bring salvation to all His people.

As declared in Matthew 1:21, “… And you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

Therefore, the messenger is expected to use the power the Creator has bestowed upon him to save individuals in danger. Furthermore, salvation is thought to have occurred several times throughout the past. It simply shows that God has sent multiple messengers to provide salvation.

Moreover, the term “salvation” is sometimes replaced with other words like wonders and miracles. The premise of salvation opens the discussion for the idea that miracles occur as part of God’s blessings and grace.

In ancient Christianity, there was a custom of praising God first, then addressing the messenger who came for the works of redemption as well as salvation.

The Difference Between Redemption And Salvation

Despite the fact that both come from a single origin (in God), salvation and redemption are very different from one another. In salvation, the Lord is a Savior. Salvation is empowering for those in need.

But, in redemption, God isn’t just a rescuer. The redeemer goes through something painful, awful, and deep. In redemption, He enables us to embrace and endure this misery with Him.

Redemption delves more thoroughly into the human issue, addressing aspects of the world’s misery and sorrow that salvation cannot. Humanity’s misery is a bottomless depth, a dark place where light cannot reach.

In this depth, there is an evil base, an evil sanctuary, and an evil “rooting.” This is what Jesus must deal with and encounter, what He must go through, and the price He must pay for us.

Salvation seeks to reach and cover the complete human being, as well as the entire population, not just Israel, but “to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).

This process of salvation is a bloodless one. It is a present from God, not a sacrifice. This is a “gift” from oneself, not a “giving away” of oneself. While redemptive sacrifice gives away one’s own blood, salvation offers one’s own riches.

Indeed, salvation is simpler than redemption. The word “redemption” refers to a more powerful medicine for the root of the human condition, its source, instead of the repercussions.

Salvation delivers us from sin, the result of a deeply rooted concern, yet it is insufficient and cannot address, let alone conquer, the problem’s root cause. Only redemption confronts the issue at its source, where it has its root, in the correct way and with a strength capable of fully uprooting the problem.

illustration of jesus on the cross surrounded by followers

The Biblical Perspective On Redemption Vs Salvation

When the Jews had fallen away from Abraham’s faith during their long exile in Egypt, God had to raise what had been buried behind so much foreign but damaging political, social, and theological overlay.

In Exodus 6:2–6, God restores the very first Covenant and reiterates its assurance to the Jews:

“God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name, the Lord, I did not make myself known to them.

I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners… Say therefore to the people of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm…”

God’s Renewal Of His Commitment

Salvation and redemption are included in God’s renewal of the commitment because both are intrinsic to the covenantal connection. However, for the first time, salvation appears briefly, while redemption is specifically addressed. This foreshadows what is to come.

Salvation is defined as “bringing you out from under the burdens of,” whereas redemption is defined as “delivering you out from slavery.” Redemption alone can transform the heart’s profound affection for evil into flint, igniting the flame of great love for the Lord.

Moses liberated the Jews from foreign customs, paving their way to God’s Promised Land, the Blessed Land of Milk and Honey.

From start to finish, there is no connection between the name Moses and Mashiach, the Messiah, the one who is the King and Redeemer of Israel and all of humanity. Salvation is the starting point of redemption, while redemption is the shining medal of salvation.

Redemption is the true triumph of the long walk and tough battle. All of creation, including humans and animals, “groans within” for the completeness of redemption (Romans 8:23).

The Lamb Of God

1 John 5:6 said, “This is the one who came by water and blood. He did not come by water only but by water and blood.” The Scripture meant here that Jesus Christ arrived by “water and blood.” The water represents salvation, and the blood represents redemption.

Moreover, in God’s Word, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake,” declares 1 Peter 1:18–20.

At their first encounter, John the Baptist recognizes the Lamb of God (Jesus), “who was before me” (John 1:29–30).

Lord Jesus Christ has no sin since He is perfect in the process of salvation because He is not personally cast down in mankind’s tragedy. Still, His human nature, His heart, is so great that He will give up his innocence just to be condemned for our sins and crimes, and the dirt and blood of our misery will be flung at Him, which means He will be greatly hurt and attacked.

To redeem people in the dirt, the Lord Christ Jesus (with the Holy Spirit) becomes filthy, surrendering the purity of salvation.

The Impact Of Redemption And Salvation On Christian Life

At times, it appears that the Christian life is primarily about becoming saved and leading others to get saved. However, as we delve more deeply, we learn that being “saved and redeemed” indicates that we have been saved not just “from something,” which is our sins, but “for something,” too.

We have been redeemed and saved in order to fulfill the purpose for which God has placed us in the world: to communicate the gospel of God’s grace as well as to be active disciples of Jesus in this world, demonstrating the love of God through our deeds.

Gaining redemption and salvation through the sacrifice and gift of Jesus Christ is not the end of salvation. It is the start of a lifelong journey of growing and turning into the individuals God desires us to be. This involves becoming more like Christ, which we do in gratitude for our salvation. God uses us to impart Christ’s life, goodness, and love to the world.

Activities You Can Teach About Redemption And Salvation

Engaging in activities about redemption and salvation can help reinforce specific lessons and essential points concerning our sinful nature. They can teach others about the path to salvation through Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross and redeeming work in people’s hearts as they receive and embrace his free gift of salvation.

An Activity To Teach About Redemption

For redemption, make paper money. then give your children tasks, e.g., help with cleaning, solving a puzzle, or answering a math problem. Once they complete the task, give them the paper money.

It’s important here not to obligate them to do the task. Then, in the end, let them trade their paper money for things such as chocolate, chips, lollipops, and candies (that you prepared beforehand) as their price or reward.

While doing the activity, you should talk about how God paid for our sins (redeemed us), not with trading paper money but with His blood (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–19), and that we belong to Jesus.

Eternal life represents the chocolate, chips, lollipops, and candies, and the paper money is Jesus’ death on the cross (that covers the sins of humanity), which is both free. Teach them that, through God’s grace, redemption is made possible.

An Activity To Teach About Salvation

Choose one individual to play the role of “it” as a virus that spreads wickedness and sins, seeking to attack everyone. Choose someone else to act out as Jesus, the sole safe haven from the virus.

Once the virus tags you, you freeze. Before the play takes place, teach them that the virus that infects us with sin and wickedness is the devil. When the devil tags you (infecting us with sins), we freeze and stop (since sins weaken us, affecting our strength or ability).

But once the acting Jesus goes to you (by calling out to Him, “Please help me, Jesus”) and taps you on the shoulder, you are saved. You can freely move again. However, you are still susceptible to the virus. You can also link to Jesus by holding hands so that the virus cannot infect you and you can be safe.

When the activity is complete, talk about the free gift of salvation that God gave us. Teach them that, although everyone is infected with wickedness and sin, God is always there. We are all able to stand before God despite our sins because of his act of grace through Christ.

illustration of jesus lighting a candle surrounded by people


Life as God’s children doesn’t conclude at redemption; it unfolds into the ongoing journey of salvation. This transformative process begins after being redeemed from the curse of sin and reuniting with God.

According to the Council of Trent, salvation kicks in when God’s grace enters a sinner’s heart, inviting them to repent and start anew.

Christ suffered on the cross in order to redeem us, allowing us to spend eternity with Him. Christ’s redemption is a call to salvation. Thus, salvation is an ongoing process. It means continually embracing a righteous way of life and adhering to the principles of the Church rather than simply receiving God’s grace.

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