The UK Bible Students Website
Scripture citations are to the NIV-UK (1984)
A. In common usage it means to buy back or re-purchase something which had been sold or forfeited. As applied to the biblical doctrine of Salvation, the definition is entirely appropriate.
God ‘gave his one and only Son’ (John 3:16), that He might redeem the one who sinned, that He might give as a ransom-price His own perfect human life to buy back the perfect human life forfeited by Adam (equivalency). 1 Cor. 15:21,22 the Apostle Paul elaborates:
At Jesus’ First Advent and throughout the following centuries a comparatively small number of godly men and women came to understand His mission, and joined themselves to His cause, laying down their lives in His service. These are referred to in the Scriptures under various descriptive terms: the bride of Christ, members of His body, or simply the elect (2 Cor. 11:2; 12:27; 1 Peter 1:1).
Because of their utter faith in the efficacy of Jesus’ ransom-sacrifice, and by their dedication to the will of God, they were counted as though they were righteous (justified) and as having passed from death to life. Theirs was a heavenly inheritance, to be with their Lord (1 Peter 1:3,4). The unbelieving world remained subject to sin and death, their own rescue deferred to a special period of time which will begin after the promised Second Advent of Christ, in what the Bible calls the times of restoration (Acts 3:21).
Adam’s fallen race will then be given (1) the light, the knowledge of the Truth (John 1:9) and (2) the benefit of Christ’s payment of the ransom by his death on their behalf (1 Tim. 2:3-6). Everyone will then have a full opportunity to prove themselves worthy of eternal life on earth, God’s original purpose for the human family. This will be the world’s ‘judgement day’ not principally a period of gloomy foreboding but a time of opportunity and rejoicing.