Calvary Road Baptist Church

“SAY SO!”

Psalm 107.2

 

May I encourage you to open your Bible to Psalm 107.2, where we find a most remarkable phrase? Psalm 107.2 begins, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.”

When I prayerfully settled on this passage from God’s Word, I was a bit surprised to discover that I had never preached from so obviously uplifting a text before. This is one of the many statements in the Bible that requires little by way of explanation before you can receive benefit from it. This phrase immediately encourages any believer who reads it.

The problem, however, is that it is also a morsel that is expropriated by the unconverted for self-congratulations and self-deception, so a bit of investigation and expansion is needed to improve the usefulness of our text.

 

First, WHAT IS REDEMPTION?

 

One of the very fine resources helpful to the devotional life of any Christian is Charles Spurgeon’s multi-volume work on the Psalms, titled The Treasury of David. I would commend that set to everyone who wants to enrich his benefit from reading and studying the Psalms. In his comments for Psalm 107.2, Spurgeon inserted a very helpful article:

 

Moses has given us in the law a clear and full idea of what we are to understand by the word gal, here rendered “redeemed.” If any person was either sold for a slave or carried away for a captive, then his kinsman, who was nearest to him in blood, had the right and equity of redemption. But no other person was suffered to redeem. And such a kinsman was called “the redeemer”, when he paid down the price for which his relation was sold to be a slave, or paid the ransom for which he was led captive. And there is another remarkable instance in the law, wherein it was provided, that in any case any person was found murdered, then the nearest to him in blood was to prosecute the murderer, and to bring him to justice, and this nearest relation thus avenging the murder is called by the same name, a redeemer. And how beautifully is the office of our great Redeemer represented under these three instances; he was to us such a Redeemer in spirituals, as these were in temporals: for sin had brought all mankind into slavery and captivity, and had murdered us ... This most high God, who was also man, united in one Christ, came into the world to redeem us, and the same person being both God and man, must merit for us as God in what he did for us as man. Accordingly, by the merits of his obedience and sufferings, he paid the price [for] our redemption, and we were no longer the servants of sin; and by his most precious blood shed upon the cross, by his death and resurrection, he overcame both death, and him who had the power of death, and by delivering us in this manner from slavery and captivity, he fulfilled the third part of the Redeemer’s office: for Satan was the murderer from the beginning, who had given both body and soul a mortal wound of sin, which was certain death and eternal misery, and the Redeemer came to avenge the murder. He took our cause in hand, as being our nearest kinsman, and it cost him his own life to avenge ours. -- William Romaine[1]

 

Redemption, then, is the activity of purchasing the freedom of someone locked in helpless bondage, when looked at from one perspective. From another perspective, redemption involves exacting revenge for the death of another. In either case, it is an activity carried out on behalf of and in the place of someone who is a near relation. The redeemed and the redeemer must be close relatives. What is the result of redemption? There are two results: First, the captive is set free, with liberty being restored to one formerly in bondage. Second, vengeance has been achieved for the wrong that has been done.

Of course, under the Mosaic Law, redemption had to do with enslaving a man’s body or avenging his physical death. The greater truth this Old Testament type speaks of is setting the soul free from bondage to sin, and avenging the murder of the soul by sin.

 

Next, WHO ARE THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD?

 

The inspired psalmist calls upon the redeemed of the LORD to say so. Let us recognize that verses 8, 15, 21, and 31 of this psalm call upon all men to praise God: “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” We see it four times in this psalm. However, it is one thing for a man to praise the LORD for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men, which anyone can do and which everyone should do. After all, we all benefit from the sunshine and the rain, and from the bounty of the earth, as well as from His providential care over all men. It is quite another thing for the redeemed of the Lord to say so.

Who are the redeemed of the Lord? There are those who have been redeemed as a people, and there are those who have been redeemed as individuals. Israel, for example, has been redeemed as a nation from centuries of Egyptian bondage, setting them free at the time of the Exodus and exacting revenge against the Egyptians by slaying their firstborn on the night of the Passover. Second Samuel 4.9 shows David testifying about “the LORD . . . who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity.” In Psalm 31.5, David again refers to redemption, when he writes, “. . . thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.” Is the redemption referred to in the Psalms only that which applies to physical rescue? To be sure, the phrase “redeemed us from our enemies” is found in the Psalms.[2] However, we also find such phrases as Psalm 71.23: “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.”

Thus, we find that not only the Jewish nation, but also individuals are redeemed, and redemption not being restricted to freeing the physically enslaved, but also setting at liberty those enslaved by sin. In Galatians 3.13, the Apostle Paul writes, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.” The Apostle Peter writes, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things,” First Peter 1.18. Then, in Revelation 5.9, the Apostle John records the chorus that will be sung to Jesus in heaven: “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”

The question is who are these people? Not everyone is redeemed, just as not every nation has been redeemed, only Israel. Who are those individuals who can accurately be described as the redeemed of the LORD? Certainly not everyone who claims to be a Christian, who fabricates enthusiasm and dances as they do in saloons. We speak not of professors, but of possessors. Join me back in Galatians 3.13-14:

 

13     Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14     That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

 

The redeemed, then, is that one who has come to faith in Christ. As well, turn with me to First Peter 1.18-21:

 

18     Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19     But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20     Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21     Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

 

Again, the redeemed are only those who “by him believe in God.”

Are you redeemed? If you are redeemed, when were you redeemed? Not everyone is redeemed, and no one has always been redeemed. Redemption occurs. It is an event. Did your redemption occur? When did your redemption occur? By what means did your redemption occur? These are important questions that need answering, since only the redeemed are charged with the responsibility of saying so.

 

Third, WHY SHOULD THEY SAY SO?

 

Why should the redeemed of the LORD say so? Since redemption occurs through faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, it is clearly evident that the redeemed saying so is witnessing, testifying, proclaiming in some fashion the fact of their redemption and glorifying their Redeemer. The question is why? May I suggest some reasons why the redeemed of the Lord should say so?

First, the redeemed of the Lord should say so because it is commanded: “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.” Would any sophisticated reader deny that this is a command, that it is a directive, that it is prescribed conduct? My friends, this is an Old Testament form of the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ, and suggests to us the emphasis of our evangelistic thrust, which is to tell the lost how we have been saved from our sins.

Next, the redeemed of the Lord should say so because of their gratitude. Knowing that salvation is by grace through faith, we understand that Jesus did not have to save anyone, did not have to redeem any sinners from the marketplace of sin, and did not have to seek vengeance on our behalf. Since He did just that, those whose sins are forgiven are profoundly grateful, and it is our gratitude that moves the redeemed of the Lord to say so. After all, there are few things worse than ingratitude.

Third, I am my brother’s keeper. How can I whose canteen is full refuse water to some poor fellow dying of thirst in the desert? How can I not do as the Good Samaritan did when he tended to the poor injured man by the way? The redeemed of the Lord say so because those in darkness need the Light of the world, therefore we do not hide our lights under a bushel, but hold them up for all to see.

Fourth, closely akin but stated a different way by the Apostle Paul was the fact that he was a debtor, Romans 1.14. He had, and we have, a high and holy obligation to inconvenience ourselves so that others might hear the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and be redeemed by His blood through faith in His name. It is a debt Christians, real Christians, spend their lives discharging.

Fifth, the redeemed of the Lord should say so because they want to. I think there is something wrong with people who come across great news of benefit to others but keep it to themselves. Don’t you? That is just selfishness. So, the redeemed of the Lord should say so because when your sins are forgiven, when your load is lifted, when your eternal destiny is forever altered, how can you not want to tell others?

Sixth, is there no love for your fellow man in your bosom? Do you have no interest in the welfare of others, especially their eternal welfare? How can a Christian hold back from even his worst enemy the message that may well transform him into his brother in Christ? The redeemed of the Lord say so because of his God-given love for his fellow man. “For the love of Christ constraineth us.”

Finally, the redeemed of the Lord should say so for the excitement of being involved in God’s dealings with the souls of men. What dimness does the man who exhibits no interest in being involved where God is at work show? People will look at a lightning strike, a tornado funnel, a car wreck, and other scenes of natural catastrophe and destruction, but will pass on the supernatural intervention of God in a man’s life? The only person who passes on that is the person who has not experienced that in his own life. The things associated with the redemption of others, because we recognize the issues and know what is at stake, which is one more reason the redeemed of the Lord say so, excite the redeemed.

 

Finally, HOW SHOULD THEY SAY SO?

 

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.” The question at this point is how you go about saying so. The redeemed of the Lord say so with their lips. This is the most obvious understanding of the text before us. The redeemed cannot say so without talking. I understand that many will insist that they are redeemed and cannot talk, but this is a cop out. Not able to talk well, perhaps, but everyone can talk. Recognize that some of the sweetest sounds ever heard are words formed by the inarticulate Christian telling, as best he can with even stumbling and fumbling speech, his love for Jesus and what Jesus has done for him.

Second, the redeemed of the Lord say so with their lives. Have we not had enough of those whose actions speak so loudly that no one listens to their so-called Christian words? I have. The redeemed live lives others cannot live, lives others do not understand, lives others oftentimes come to grudgingly admire. What good does it do for someone to tell of his love for Jesus and His transforming power, while sitting on a bar stool, or with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth, or when talking to a neighbor who notices that when everyone else at his church shows up for evangelism his car is in the driveway at home? Life must agree with lips. Amen?

Third, the redeemed of the Lord say so with their loves. The redeemed love the Lord. First John 4.19 declares, “We love him, because he first loved us.” Accompanying that great truth is John 14.15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” and Second John 6: “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.” Thus, the redeemed return God’s great love for them with returned love, which is shown by obedience. The redeemed say so by their obvious and demonstrated love for God, not just with words spoken but also with obedient actions displayed. The redeemed also love their neighbors as they love themselves. However, love for your neighbor is an instructed love. You do not show love for your neighbor by missing church to attend his birthday party. Quite the contrary, you show him you love him by missing his birthday party to attend church, thereby showing him there is One whose importance exceeds his, despite your obvious affection for your neighbor, or coworker, or even family member. To be sure, the redeemed of the Lord should be men and women who greatly love. However, there is a priority to our loves, with our love for God always being first and foremost, and our love for both others and ourselves taking a back seat to our love for our Redeemer.

Finally, the redeemed of the Lord say so with their livelihoods. Our livelihoods are profoundly important as the redeemed of the Lord, since our livelihoods are not only God’s means of providing for our loved ones and ourselves, but also the primary means of financing our ministries as Christians, and extending our reach to the lost around us. What do you do for a living? In all labor there is profit, but not every line of work is appropriate for the child of God. For the Christian, it is better to work than not to work, since the man who does not provide for his household is worse than an infidel. However, there are some jobs that are entirely inappropriate for the professing Christian, since they go so far to destroy the Christian’s testimony. Additionally, there is the matter of tithes and offerings. When a Christian works a job, God places more into his hands than that which is his to spend. God places the tithe into that Christian’s hands, and He desires freewill offerings from the redeemed in addition to tithing. In this way, the redeemed of the Lord say so by giving so that others can reach out to say so to regions and in ways that person cannot by himself. Our missionaries, who we support with our offerings, are just one way the redeemed have banded together to say so through the lives and ministries of those in regions beyond.

 

You see that things are not really all that complicated in life, not nearly so complicated as sin makes things to be. There are people who are redeemed and there are people who are not redeemed. The redeemed will go to heaven when they die because their sins are forgiven, while those not redeemed will go to Hell when they die because their sins are not forgiven. It is quite simple. The redeemed have been forgiven by means of their faith in Jesus Christ, while those not redeemed have not been forgiven because they have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ. It really is quite simple. The redeemed are confident that God’s Word is true, and have not only used it as a guide to the salvation that can be found only in Jesus Christ, but as a reminder that their sins are forgiven and their destiny is secure. This results in singing. Psalm 51.14 reads, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.” It also results in speaking, as our text for today clearly shows.

Do you see how simple it all really is? The redeemed have come to faith in Christ, while those not redeemed have not. The redeemed say so, in a variety of ways, while those not redeemed do not. One way the redeemed say so is by singing aloud of God’s righteousness, while those not redeemed sing quietly or preoccupy themselves while the redeemed sing aloud. What we have focused on today is not singing, but the fact that the redeemed of the Lord say so.

Two different destinies, that results from two different relationships with Jesus Christ, because of two different responses to the gospel. Most people who claim to be Christians would have us to believe that conversion to Christ leaves one much the same as before. I dispute that view of Christianity. We have seen today that those who are the redeemed of the Lord say so.



[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury Of David, Volume II, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers), pages 410-411.

[2] Psalm 134.24



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