Key precept: Freedom isn’t free.
God’s forgiveness and humanity’s atonement allows us to re-establish a relationship with God. But what about that relationship established with Sin when our ancestors sold themselves and their offspring into slavery, and their property into his domain? Human freedom, ownership and dominion has to be bought back, or redeemed, from the one to whom it was sold.
“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars.” (Isaiah 44:23-24)
Redemption and restoration must follow forgiveness and atonement in order to achieve restoration of a completely whole relationship.
As with all truisms in the Bible, we can understand the spiritualized concept through humanity’s social relationships with each other. Redemption from indebtedness to is fundamental to a right-eous society, providing for personal freedom, recovery from hardship, and social equity for all subjects of God’s kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven. This is the essence of the new covenant.