Part 2 (Ransom)
By Nick Bibile
Today we are going to continue on limited atonement. First, let us see the meaning of atonement. We have read this word and heard it over and over again, but what does it mean?
First, we saw in our previous study that atonement was necessary because of sin. Sin separates us from God. The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation. When the Israelites sinned God required atonement.
Ex 32:30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
Also atonement was make satisfaction for his offenses. We will see on another day on the satisfaction.
Le 5:16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.
Atonement goes along with the word redemption. Redemption means, to purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom. Today we are going to deal with this subject the ransom. However, before we get into ransom we need to see the work of the mediator and redemption.
Christ came from his Fathers bosom to this wicked world to save, that which was lost.
Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Note us, not everybody; us are the elect, the church, and the body of Christ)
Read the next verse as it becomes clearer.
Ro 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Who was justified? Everyone on the face of the earth or the church? If the church was justified, by the blood of Christ then he would love the church, will sanctify the church will present the church as without any blemish.
Read, Eph. 5:25-27, "He loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The sinners who would believe in him are the elect, they are his church. The Greek word for the church is ekklesia (ek-klay-see-ah) Meaning called out, an elect people assemble to worship God. They are his church.
Christ our Mediator.
Ro 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
We need to remember our past. We were enemies of God. We were going our way according to the lust of our flesh; we were heading for the lake of fire, like any unbeliever. Then Jesus came as the mediator to seek and to save that, which was lost. The Greek word for mediator is mesites (mes-ee-tace) It means, one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant.
Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
The work of the mediator is to make reconciliation between two hostile parties. He makes reconciliation between God and man by his all-perfect atoning sacrifice. Such a mediator must be God and human, divine, that his obedience and his sufferings have infinite value. That means his blood on the cross should be able to save the most wicked sinner.
Christ represented man and by obedience to the law, he satisfied Gods justice, in his glorified humanity, he is the head of the gloried church.
Christ as the mediators office involves the three functions of prophet, priest, and king.
As a Prophet Christ represented God to man. He came to show us the Father. A priest is a mediator who represents the people of God, His elect to God. (Joh 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world..) As a king, Christ rules the church, as he is the head of the church. A king is mediator of the family of the judicial and executive Power of God among His people. (Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.)
How did Christ reconcile us to God? By his death. (See Romans 5:10) We were enemies of God, the wrath of God was upon us Christ came in the behalf of the church and died for them and redeemed them.
Our English word Redemption, is from the Latin word redimo, it signifies, buying again; and several words in the Greek language, of the New Testament, are used in the affair of our Redemption, which signify the purchasing of something by paying a proper price for it; sometimes the simple verb agorazw, to "buy", is used: so the redeemed are said to be "bought unto God" by the blood of Christ; and to be "bought" from the earth; and to be "bought" from among men; and to be "bought" with a price; that is, with the price of Christs blood, as the church of God is said to be purchased with the blood of Christ. I will show you in the Bible how this verb agorazw is used.
Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, 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;
Ac 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
The value of the atonement was sufficient to save all mankind, it was efficient to save only the elect.
Sometimes the compound word (compound means it is composed of two or more) exagorazw, which signifies, to buy again, or out of the hands of another; as the redeemed are bought out of the hands of justice. We have not come up to the standard of the law as we have violated the law of God in our hearts, mind and outward behavior. We have transgressed the law and under the curse of the law. The elect are redeemed out of the hands of the Fathers justice, his wrath. (We are saved from the wrath of God. Rom 5:9)
Ga 3:13 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.
Ga 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
In other places in the Bible, the word lutrow is used, which means a deliverance of a slave, or a captive, by paying a ransom price for the deliverance.
1Pe 1:18 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:
The elect the saints, the church of God is redeemed not with silver or gold or money which paid for a ransom but with far greater, that is with the blood of Christ which came into this world to give as a ransom price for many.
Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
He did not give the ransom price for all but for many means only for a limited quantity. If I go to the store and buy oranges then later I forgot about them and when I opened the bag, I found many were spoiled, but not all were spoiled.
Ex 30:12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) a half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
Here we see how Israel had to give a ransom for himself to the Lord so they will be preserved from any plague among them. Each one was numbered and gave the atonement money or the ransom money, and this was typical of the ransom by Christ. Only the Israelites were ransomed and not other nations. In the same way, Christ did not ransom anyone except the Spiritual Israel of God, whom he has chosen and numbered them and their names are written in the Lambs book of life.
Redeeming the poor.
Le 25:47 And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family:
48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him:
49 Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.
This is a lively presentation of the people of God where Jesus came to redeem them. How an Israelite who is very poor then he is sold as a slave to a stranger who is rich, then afterwards one of his close relatives can redeem or purchase him again from the stranger. The elect were lost in darkness and were slaves to sin as the original sin had an effect on all humanity. (Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.) The elect of God in nature were poor, wretched and miserable, we were like beggars on the dunghill. We were slaves to sin, bondage to sin, totally in darkness could not redeem ourselves as we were totally poor wretched and miserable. Oh! How marvelous is the grace of God that appeared to the poor. When Christ Jesus left his throne of heaven and for the sake of the elect became poor, through his poverty we became rich.
2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
What did Christ do to these poor, miserable wretched sinners? He paid the price; he redeemed us to such a degree as to be raised from the dunghill to inherit the throne of glory! From poor beggars to a royal priesthood!
Now to whom did Jesus pay the ransom to redeem us? Some say he paid the ransom to Satan, if Jesus paid the ransom to Satan who would be victorious? Satan. On the other hand, Satan was defeated at the cross, victory belonged to Jesus. We were slaves to sin because we violated the law of God; the hurting party was the Father. We were under the wrath of God. Sin is a debt to God. That is why we see in the scripture that we were poor and in Christ, we are rich, to show that we owed a debt to the Father and we were poor, unable to pay the debt as the debt was an infinite debt against the infinite God. We cannot answer to the justice of God. But Christ in our behalf paid that debt in full. He blotted out the handwriting that was against us. Now Christ did not pay the debt to everybody. Who can redeem the poor man? It has to be a near relative, a kinsman, and a man of the same race or family. Christ paid the debt only to his people as he redeemed only them.
Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
He paid the death only for his sheep and not for the goats. He does not know the others. But he knows his people as he said, I know them, they hear my voice. We are related to Christ as he came from the seed of Abraham, there is Christ in our family tree.
The elect are related to Christ Jesus. Christ knows his sheep and the sheep knows him. Not just know about Christ but also know him personally, they have an intimate relationship with him. They are in love with him. The seek him daily, thirst for him daily they cannot without him as they know they are pronged to sin. They seek him by reading studying his word, meditating on him getting strength from him. When temptations come, they do not walk by feelings but by faith what they have heard from the word of God. Christ is their pleasure and not the world.
But how many are living in double standards today. They have two faces, two masks, one to the church and the other outside the church. When they are inside the church they sing songs to Christ and listen to his word, when they go outside to the world, they say bye to Christ until they meet again on Sunday. They are more fond of their treasure, wealth, gold, their health, their bodies, their clothes and their future upon this world. For these they will labor diligently. They are boastful, selfish and greedy. They hear the word of God and gets enlightened on Sundays but soon as they walk out of the doors, they forget what they heard and their hearts get hardened again. Are you related to Christ?
Lu 8:20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
On the other hand, there is much comfort to the true Christian who is walking in the narrow road. He is a child of God. We are related through Christ to God, and we can call him Father Gal. 4:4-6, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that are under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Jonathan Edwards said, The church is the daughter of God, not only as he has begotten her by his Word and Spirit, but as she is the spouse of his eternal Son.