Author: Mr. Kenneth Frank | Faculty in Theology, Living Education
Estimated reading time: 7 min., 22 sec.
Did you know that God’s redemption is described in Scripture as plenteous?
Bible readers discover through diligent study that God has set in motion a plan to redeem those willing to confess their sins, repent of them, and seek God’s forgiveness. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Redeemer. One may wonder if there are limits to His redemption. We will encounter in this study a fitting psalm that is often recited at funerals because of the comfort it affords. This Digging Deeper introduces our topic with an inspirational verse that will encourage and strengthen God’s people through His commitment to save them.
Our focus verse is: (Psalm 130:7 KJV) “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.” Psalm 130 is the sixth of seven traditionally-named Penitential Psalms that include Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143. They are expressive of sorrow for sin, repentance, and change of behavior. The Book of Psalms was Israel’s hymnbook of praises to the Almighty. Believers have found solace time and again from its abundant instruction and assurances.
The Dake Annotated Reference Bible under its note for Psalm 130:1 calls this “A Backslider’s Psalm” and outlines the psalm in this manner:
1. “His state or condition (Psa 130:1)
2. His prayer (Psa 130:1-4)
3. His questioning (Psa 130:3)
4. His promise (Psa 130:4; 130:7-8)
5. His sincerity and longing (Psa 130:5-6)
6. His hope (Psa 130:5; 130:7)
7. His faith and assurance (Psa 130:4; 130:7-8)” (Bible Analyzer 184.108.40.206)
A price paid for deliverance
The word redeem means “to deliver by paying a price.” Redemption is a major New Testament doctrine. The CARM Theological Dictionary defines this noun more fully: “Redemption means to free someone from bondage. It often involves the paying of a ransom, a price that makes redemption possible. The Israelites were redeemed from Egypt. We were redeemed from the power of sin and the curse [penalty] of the Law (Galatians 3:13) through Jesus (Romans 3:24; Colossians 1:14). We were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23)” (e-Sword 13.0). Sinners were held captive by the archenemy of humankind, the Devil. Christ the Liberator sets them free when they trust in Him through the ransom He paid by His sacrificial death.
There is more than one nuance to the word redemption. The Bridgeway Bible Dictionary elaborates redemption further: “In Bible days a slave could be set free from bondage by the payment of a price, often called the ransom. The whole affair was known as the redemption of the slave (Leviticus 25:47-48). (The words ‘redeem’ and ‘ransom’ are related to the same root in the original languages.) The Bible speaks of redemption both literally (concerning everyday affairs) and pictorially (concerning what God has done for his people) (Psalm 77:15; Titus 2:14)” (e-Sword 13.0). Our God has come to our rescue, remitting the full price for our liberation from Satan’s kingdom.
Sinners must be redeemed from the penalty for violating God’s law. Concerning God’s transaction through redemption from sin, Webster’s 1828 Dictionary offers this summary definition: “In theology, the purchase of God’s favor by the death and sufferings of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God’s violated law by the atonement of Christ” (e-Sword 13.0). This older dictionary so well defines this doctrine since it drew many of its definitions from the Bible unlike many modern dictionaries.
The Scofield Reference Bible in its note for Exodus 14:30 elaborates on this major biblical doctrine: “Exodus is the book of redemption and teaches:
(1) redemption is wholly of God Exodus 3:7; 3:8; John 3:16.
(2) redemption is through a person. (See Scofield “Exodus 2:2“). John 3:16-17
(3) redemption is by blood Exodus 12:13, 23, 27; 1 Peter 1:18.
(4) redemption is by power Exodus 6:6; 13:14; Romans 8:2.” (e-Sword 13.0).
Perfect and plenteous atonement
There are other doctrines related to redemption. B.J. Carroll’s An Interpretation of the English Bible elaborates: “When applied to the sacred work of the Lord Jesus Christ, it generally means ‘deliverance through atonement.’ Thus understood, it means both atonement and deliverance” (e-Sword 13.0). Christ is the great Deliverer whose blood atonement sets us free from our sins. This source further adds: “Man has always been endeavoring to find some atonement for his sin, and has always failed, but we have received a perfect atonement in Him; it is plenteous. (1) Plenteous to cover the sins of the whole world. (2) Plenteous to cover all the sins of each one” (Ibid.). God’s grace is truly all-sufficient! This is what our focus verse means by using the word plenteous.
Let us explore this theme even further. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible provides this additional note: “It is ample; it is full; it abounds. It is not limited; it is not exhausted; it cannot be exhausted. So we may always feel when we come before God, that his mercy is ample for all the needs of all the sinful and the suffering; that the provisions of his grace are unexhausted and inexhaustible” (e-Sword 13.0).
The following quotation from The Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary, edited by Joseph S. Exell, should leave us awestruck: “’And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities’ (Psalm 130:8). It is no temporary, or indistinct, blessing that is so anxiously sought; it is nothing less than a complete deliverance from all iniquity. Redemption from sin includes redemption from all other evils: it is the greatest and most perfect work of God, and bestows the most exalted blessings on man” (e-Sword 13.0). Does this not remove any lingering doubts? This source continues: “LESSONS: —1. Redemption is a Divine work. 2. The most degraded soul is not beyond the hope of recovery. 3. Redemption must be eagerly and prayerfully sought” (Ibid.). Only God can accomplish this consequential redemption.
In this light, look at this supporting scripture: (Hebrews 7:25 KJV) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost [most extensive degree] that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Christ delivers believers not only from the consequences of sin but even from sin itself. Sinners who imagine themselves beyond redemption will find it if they turn to the Savior in sincere repentance, confession, and contrition. It must be accepted on God’s terms, not as we would imagine it. This is true for returning sinners as well (1 John 1:8-2:2).
Not willing that any should perish…
We have multiple examples of God’s enduring mercy. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges illustrates one notable example for us: “Observe how the thought that God’s manifold mercy and patience have not been exhausted by Israel’s persistent rebellion runs through the confession in Nehemiah 9; Nehemiah 9:17; 9:19; 9:27-28; 9:30-31; 9:35. Cp. Isaiah 43:25; 55:7” (e-Sword 13.0). Bible readers are awed by God’s abiding patience and desire for Israel to turn back to Him since He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
The Dake Annotated Reference Bible for its note on Psalm 130:7 offers “Five Reasons Israel Should Hope in God:
1. God does not mark iniquities for punishment without extending mercy (Psa 130:3).
2. There is forgiveness with Him (Psa 130:4).
3. There is mercy with Him (Psa 130:7).
4. There is abundant redemption (Psa 130:7).
5. He shall redeem from all sin (Psa 130:8).” (Ibid.)
This is not a purely individualistic endeavor. It is essential to realize that this process is a family experience. Bob Utley’s You Can Understand the Bible explains: “Remember biblical faith is corporate. It is a family! Be careful of the modern western over-emphasis on the individual. Salvation has a corporate focus! We are saved to serve. The goal of individual salvation is the health and growth of the body of believers” (e-Sword 13.0)! God’s church is to be filled with consecrated and spiritually clean sons and daughters of God who have received and continue to receive His plenteous redemption.
Kenneth Frank was born and raised in New Jersey, USA and attended Ambassador College, graduating in 1973. He served in the Canadian ministry from 1973-1999, after which he returned to the USA to pastor churches in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina for 15 years. Having earned a BA degree from Ambassador College he later earned a MA degree from Grand Canyon University before being assigned to the Charlotte office to teach at Living University, now Living Education. Currently, he teaches the Survey of the Bible course to the on-campus students and writes the Digging Deeper column for our online Bible study program. He is married, has four children, and seven grandchildren.