This doctrine is taken directly from Lesson #139 of the Genesis/Basic Exegesis Series (which is a verse-by-verse study of the Book of Genesis arranged in 3–5 page lessons).
Throughout the book of Genesis, we find the seed for nearly every major doctrine and theme which will be developed later in God’s Word. This makes the book of Genesis one of the most fascinating books in the entire Bible.
1. The verb to redeem means to purchase, to buy.
2. There are several Hebrew verbs related to this concept of purchasing:
1) In this verse, we have the verb qânâh (קָנָה) [pronounced kaw-NAWH], which means to get, acquire, obtain; [of God] to redeem [His people]; [of Eve] to acquire; to acquire [knowledge, wisdom]; to buy [purchase, redeem]. Strong’s #7069 BDB #888. The emphasis is more upon owning or possessing something because you purchased it.
2) In Gen. 48:16, we will be introduced to the verb gâʾal (גָּאַל) [pronounced gaw-AHL], which means to redeem, to purchase. Strong's #1350 BDB #145. The Mosaic Law will use this verb many times in Lev. 25 and 27 as well as Num. 35; and this verb will play a prominent role in the book of Ruth.
3. Redemption in the New Testament refers to Jesus dying for our sins and purchasing our souls with His blood (i.e., His spiritual death on the cross). When He took upon Himself our sins and paid the penalty for our sins, that is redemption. That is what He paid for us. For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life which you inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish (1Peter 1:18–19). He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed (1Peter 2:24). In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7). See also Col. 1:14 Gal. 3:13
4. Jesus Christ paid for us; therefore, we belong to Him. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1Cor. 6:19–20). See also 1Cor. 7:23
5. Jesus Christ is qualified to purchase us. In the next lesson, we will study the Slave Market of Sin, and Jesus could not be a slave Himself and purchase other slaves.
1) Jesus Christ is born without a sin nature. This is based upon the virgin birth, something which was telegraphed to us as far back as Gen. 3. Isa. 7:14 Matt. 1:23 1Tim. 3:16 Heb. 1:3
2) Jesus Christ did not commit any personal sin during His life. Isa. 53:9 John 8:46 19:4 2Cor. 5:21 Heb. 4:15 7:26–28
3) Since Jesus is born without imputed sin, without a sin nature and since He lived without personal sin in His life, He is qualified to redeem us.
6. Redemption puts all men potentially in the Book of Life. Because Jesus has paid the price for us, our names are written in the Book of Life, unless we die without having believed in Jesus Christ. It is like a city registry. There is a registry of all citizens of a city until they die; and then their names are removed. When a person dies an unbeliever, his name is blotted out of the Book of Life. This understanding, by the way, indicates that Jesus provided unlimited atonement (He died for the sins of all mankind; not just for the sins of the elect). Philip. 4:3 Rev. 3:5
7. God the Holy Spirit, as the divine Author of the Old Testament, portrays this act of redemption in the Old Testament as a shadow of what was to come.
1) In the context of our passage, Melchizedek refers to God as Possessor [by means of purchase, by means of redemption] of Heaven and Earth. In other words, in this verb is more than the idea, God made the world so it belongs to Him. This is related to the concept of redeeming, purchasing.
2) Jacob, when seeing Joseph again after many years, will speak of God as the Angel Who has redeemed him from all evil (Gen. 48:16).
3) The high priest offering up animal sacrifices was a portrait of Jesus offering Himself on the cross for our redemption. Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then...He entered once for all into the holy places [into the Presence of God the Father after the crucifixion], not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption (Heb. 9:11a, 12).
4) The blood of the animal sacrifices themselves represent the actual coin of the realm; the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Gen. 22:8 Ex. 12:21 Job 19:25–16 John 1:25 Heb. 9:22 1Peter 1:19
5) In the Law of Moses, there is a provision for the purchase of a relative who has fallen into slavery. One who is related to him may purchase him out of slavery. Although this is a real law which was actually used from time to time, its purpose was to look forward in time when we would be purchased from slavery to sin by our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, our Relative who can purchase us out of slavery. Like many things in the Old Testament, this is a real thing (in this case, a law); and yet, it is also representative of God’s plan. Lev. 25:48–49
6) The thrust of the Book of Ruth is the purchase of Ruth by a Kinsman-Redeemer, one who loves her and wants to take care of her, despite the fact that she has been married (this would be equivalent to being sullied by the sin nature and being purchased by God, Who loves us). Ruth 3:9–13 4:1–13 John 3:16
7) Job, in all of his suffering, when his friends comfort him little, finally gives his plaintive cry, “I know my Redeemer lives!” (Job 19:25). The God of Job has purchased him and he knew this.
8) Palmists call out to God to either redeem them or His people Israel. Psalm 69:18 77:15
9) The prophets speak of God as having redeemed Israel. Isa. 43:1 49:7 51:11 Jer. 31:11 Hosea 13:14
10) God’s redemption is related to the blotting out of our sins in Isa. 44:22, which reads: “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
11) God’s people Israel would not be forsaken, they would be redeemed. Isa. 62:12.
12) Jehovah Elohim is called the Redeemer or the Redeemer of Israel throughout the Old Testament. Psalm 19:14 78:35 Isa. 43:14 44:6.
8. The Book of Ruth (Ruth 3:9-13 4:1-11) is particularly important in illustrating Who our Redeemer is:
1) The redeemer must be a near kinsman. To fulfill this Christ took on human form.
2) The redeemer must be able to redeem. The price of man's redemption was the blood of Christ. Acts 20:28 1 Pet. 1:18–19
3) The redeemer must be willing to redeem (Heb. 10:4–10). Christ was willing to be our Redeemer.
4) The redeemer must be free from that which caused the need for redemption; that is, the redeemer cannot redeem himself. This was true of Christ, because He needed no redemption.
9. When it comes to Old Testament and New Testament verses on redemption, this doctrine only scratches the surface.
10. Redemption yields the following results:
1) Redemption purchases the forgiveness of our sins. Isa. 44:22 Eph. 1:7 Col. 1:14 Heb. 9:15
2) Because we have been redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God also justifies us. Rom. 3:24 5:9
3) Since we have been redeemed by the blood of our Lord, we are therefore sanctified. Heb. 10:10, 14, 29 13:12
(1) There are 3 stages of sanctification. We are sanctified in Him through faith in Him and His death on the cross. This is positional sanctification. Acts 20:32 26:18 1Cor. 1:2 Heb. 10:10
(2) We grow spiritually in time, by means of grace and the knowledge of God’s Word. John 17:17 1Thess. 4:3–7
(3) We received ultimate sanctification when we are raised with Him in a resurrection body. Eph. 1:14 5:26–27 1Thess. 5:23
(4) All 3 stages of sanctification find their basis in redemption.
4) Because we have been redeemed, we will receive an eternal inheritance. Heb. 9:15 1Peter 1:2–4
5) The purchase of us by Jesus’ death on the cross (redemption) is the basis for the strategical victory of Jesus Christ in the Angelic Conflict. Acts 2:32–35 Col. 2:13–15 Heb. 2:14–15 1Peter 3:18, 22
11. Summary points on the doctrine of redemption:
1) Being born men, we find ourselves born into the slave market of sin. We were slaves to sin, unable to purchase ourselves from the slave market of sin (no more than a slave can purchase himself). I am of the flesh, sold [as a slave] under sin (Rom. 7:14b). See also John 8:34, where we are told, it we commit sin, then we are slaves to sin.
2) Our Redeemer is Jesus Christ, Who purchased us (redeemed us) with His blood on the cross. Luke 1:68 2Cor. 5:21 Gal. 3:13 Titus 2:14 1Peter 1:18–19 2:24 Rev. 5:9.
3) Under the Law, we were cursed. Jesus purchased us from being under the Law. Gal. 4:4–5
4) As believers, we have been purchased (redeemed) with a price; therefore, we are not our own. 1Cor. 6:20 7:23 1Peter 1:18–19
12. Paul, in Colossians, speaks of God cancelling out the debt that we owe: And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross (Col. 2:13–14). Although the word redeem is not found here, the concept is summed up quite well in these verses: we are dead in our trespasses and sins, having a considerable debt to God. Jesus Christ, takes this debt and nails it to the cross, so that it has been paid off on our behalf.
Like many of the most fundamental doctrines in the Word of God, we find their origin in Genesis. Gen 14:19 And he [Melchizedek] blessed him [Abram] and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the Possessor [or, Redeemer, Purchaser] of heaven and earth;... 4000 years ago, Abram recorded those words, and today, we fully understand what they mean.
The points on the Kinsman-Redeemer were taken from the following website:
Additional places to study this doctrine:
There are 2 booklets at rbthieme.org: The Barrier and The Slave Market of Sin (these books are free; there is no cost to order them; in The Slave Market of Sin, there is the Doctrine of Redemption in the appendix)
11 pages on reconciliation: http://pvccia.org/downloads/written/prep/basic/redemp.pdf