Redemptionism: The doctrine that all of humanity was redeemed (i.e., saved, sanctified) through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and asserting that the redemption of all was completed and concluded in his resurrection. There was no further need for scriptural fulfillment thereafter.
The advent of the redemptionist doctrine began with Michael Williams in the early 1990’s. Williams is the President and Founder of Mike Williams Ministries and the Gospel Revolution.
Redemptionism, by its very definition in the opening paragraph, asserts a number of things, which comprise three fundamental conclusions: 1. All of humanity is redeemed through Jesus Christ. 2. The redemption of all humanity is a historical event that was completed and concluded in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (referred to as “at the cross”). 3. All Scripture was fulfilled at the cross.
THE REDEMPTION OF ALL HUMANITY
Redemptionism asserts that all of humanity was condemned by the imputation of the disobedience (sin) of the first Adam to everyone, and in like manner and even greater, the righteousness of Christ, who was the Last Adam, was imputed to all who were in the First Adam according to the letters of Paul the Apostle.
According to the Hebrew Scriptures, God made covenant with the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, which promised that a descendant of his would be the Messiah who, when he comes, would establish a new covenant of everlasting peace and righteousness by the permanent remission of all sin in one day thereby ending the first covenant. In the process, the Adamic species along with heaven and earth passed away at the cross and all things were made new in what is called the “new creation.” This is all confirmed in the New Testament writings to the Romans, Corinthians and Hebrews.
REDEMPTION WAS AT THE CROSS
Redemptionism also asserts that the redemption of all humanity from the law of sin and death happened at the cross of Christ ca. 2,000 years ago as a completed work, not an ongoing work in the lives of individuals or some future event that is yet to happen.
Redemptionism holds that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah prophesied in the Scriptures. He accomplished the establishment of the new covenant as a “kinsman redeemer,” who was qualified to redeem the world from the curse of the first Adam because he was related by blood and hence, the perfect sacrifice and the perfect high priest having been born not of man but of the spirit. These three things were demonstrated and foretold in the Scriptures to the Jews through prophecies that a kinsman redeemer would come and that a Messiah would offer a perfect sacrifice as opposed to the symbolically ceremonial sacrifices of Jews that did not take away sin. Christ was identified by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. Jesus achieved this through his death as a man, thus redeeming or “saving” the world as he himself said he would by offering his own blood, and by being sinless, destroying the curse of the law and sin, thus sanctifying and redeeming all kinsmen in the first Adam. In his resurrection, he is a perfect high priest who never dies thus raising all of humanity who shared in his death as new creatures. The Letter to the Hebrews confirms that “sin was put away” by the sacrifice of himself and that this needed to only happen once for all time because he lives forever as the Great High Priest who presented the perfect sacrifice.
ALL SCRIPTURE WAS FULFILLED AT THE CROSS
Fundamental to the doctrine of redemptionism is the distinction between what does and does not qualify as scripture and that all scripture is fulfilled.
The Holy Scriptures are what the apostle Paul referred to as “the oracles of God,” which were the written text scribed under strict code by the Jews that they compiled in the Jewish Bible called the Tannakh. The modern Christian Bible calls the Jewish scriptures the Old Testament as found in the King James Version though divided and ordered differently yet is still comprised of the same writings. All of the Jewish holy writ was scribed long before the actually birth of Christ. Both the redemptionist and the Jewish view is that nothing ever written after the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) qualifies as “Scripture” including and especially what is referred to in the Christian Bible as “New Testament.” All of the writers of the New Testament texts and the speakers who are quoted in them are unanimous to what they referred to and called “scripture,” which was only the Jewish Scriptures. None of those writers or speakers ever said or implied that their own words were scripture and the opinions expressed in the New Testament writings actually assert that quite the opposite was quite true. Furthermore, none of the New Testament texts were scribed according to the rigid supervision of the Jewish scribal code.
One of the most significant tenets of redemptionism comes from Jesus’ own statements about scripture and his specific purpose for coming as pertaining to the scripture. Jesus told the people of many things that he came to do. In one of those instances, he referred to the scripture, specifically the law and the prophets. In that statement, he said that he did not come to destroy them but to fulfill them. He further prescribed the only way that could happen. He said that not even one of the tiniest parts of the law could pass away until all is fulfilled. This decree stipulates that all prophecy and all law have to be fulfilled for even the tiniest part to be fulfilled. The redemptionist doctrine asserts that even Christianity accepts that some parts of the law have passed away but that that is Biblically incorrect by Jesus’ own decree. Redemptionism not only exposes the Christian fallacy, it declares that all scripture was fulfilled in the event of the cross.
Finally, the redemptionist doctrine refers often to the New Testament writings and regularly asserts that the writers themselves not only did not completely agree but even disputed amongst themselves. Redemptionist reliance on any supportive text from the New Testament writings is only after verifying and validating statements from those writings (like the “noble Bereans”) against the Jewish scriptures to discern whether or not what is written in them is correct and true.