“Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne.” (Psa. 89: 14; 97: 2.)
” the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1: 17; Numbers 23: 19.)
This inflexibility of purpose is the guarantee of God’s reliability and of the steadfastness of His decrees. Did we not have some assurance on this point we could not feel sure of anything. If God, after condemning Adam, had been brought to acknowledge that He had been unjust, what assurance could there be that He might not be unjust again? Divine Justice may seem severe at times, but its supremacy is the guarantee of stability for the universe.
The Omniscient foresaw the difficulty into which the entire race would be plunged by the transgression
of the first man, and before even creating the man, He had the relief measures fully arranged. One can fancy the attributes of the divine character harmoniously co-operating to devise the plan, Wisdom showing the way in which the interests of both Love and Justice would be fully served by meeting the requirements of the latter, and giving full exercise to the former, not only making plain the way by which the race might be blest, but also giving Love the opportunity to exercise itself all the more by providing the sacrifice — a corresponding price which alone could satisfy the righteous claim of divine Justice.
And what would be a corresponding price?
A corresponding price would be the substitution of life for life, and whereas nothing more could be demanded, nothing less would be satisfactory. Twenty-seventhousand millions! Where shall we find so
many? Where shall we find even one? Since all the race was condemned,
” none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Psa. 49: 7.)
Shall we create other twenty-seven thousand millions, and ask them to lay down their lives for the condemned ones? Divine Wisdom would not agree to such use of Divine Power, since the newly created ones would in all probability have taken the same course as Adam did, and the difficulty would thus
have been increased. Divine Love would have been in despair had not Wisdom shown the way by pointing out that the whole race was condemned on account of one man’s sin, his posterity in his loins at the time of the transgression sharing therefore in the sin and its penalty. If a man of perfect righteousness could be found, willing to give up his life, as a sacrifice, Justice could accept that as full satisfaction, because this man would also be giving up the life of a possible bride and race which in the ordinary course of events might have been developed from him as from the first man.
But where was such a man? No member of Adam’s race could meet the requirements, and there could be no assurance that another inexperienced, newly created man, such as Adam was, would not have followed his way of sin.
The Son of God shared the Father’s love for and interest in the race, and when Divine Wisdom pointed
out that He might become the Man required, and might, by giving up His life and that of His possible
posterity, thus supply the Ransom which Divine Justice required, He at once agreed to make the sacrifice. Here was one of experience, better fitted than any other of the heavenly host, by reason of acquaintance with the Father, to carry out this portion of the Plan devised by Wisdom.
When people take him to be God instead of “a God.” (John 1:1 ; literal rendering.) considering him not a man; how could he be a ransom, or corresponding price?
For those who consider Jesus to be God, lets take it that way for a moment. Than:
In the glory of His pre-human state He would be far in excess of the value required, and divine Justice, which could not be satisfied with less, could not demand more. He could be satisfactory to Justice only by leaving the heavenly glory and becoming a man; then He would be able to offer a ransom, or price to correspond.*
Could Divine Power accomplish such a wonderful change of nature, as to transfer Him from heavenly to earthly conditions? Yes; divine Power could do this.**
And so it came to pass that He Who was in a form like God’s form, and Who counted not that equality with God was a thing to be grasped (Phil. 2: 6, R.V.),
“emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.”
He became a member of the Jewish ” house of servants,” being born under the Law. The blood of bulls and goats, not being a corresponding price, could never take away sin; and the life of a heavenly being could not have been a proper price; one was not valuable enough, the other would have been too valuable.
“Wherefore, when He cometh into the world, He saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body didst thou prepare for Me. . . We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” __ Heb. 10: 5, 10; John 6: 51-38.
“One in a certain place testified, saying, ” What is man, that Thou art mindful of him or the Son of Man that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of Thy hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.” Thus is described the glory and perfection
of the first man. The entrance of sin made a great change, so that the Apostle says, ” We see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than, the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace
of God, should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:6-9.)
Could the ransom be more plainly described than is here done? Adam, crowned with the glory of perfect
humanity, a little lower than the angels and with the honour of being ruler over the works of God’s hands, loses all by reason of sin, and his posterity shares the loss.
Could it then be that there would have been God Who changed into Jesus, a heavenly being, the Creator of angels and men, divesting Himself of His glory, and taking instead the glory and honour of perfect humanity; in a word.
Remember that God is, was and always shall be the Most High, but that here we have a Biblical character lower than angels.
… is made ” a little lower than the angels,” as the Apostle says. He takes this lower position for a purpose which is so definitely expressed that there is no room to question it
— ” Jesus, • • made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, . . . that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
This makes several questions quite clear. It shows that our blessed Redeemer was really a man. He had to be such, in order to present a satisfactory price to divine Justice. He was not ” the God-man.” Such
an expression is foreign to the Scripture. Neither is He described as ” God the Son,” though He is “the Son of God.” It was as the Man, Christ Jesus, that He
“gave Himself a ransom [corresponding price] for all.”
Now it can be understood that His temptations were real, that His prayers to God were more than formalities, and that He really gave up His all for us, trusting the Father to raise him from death. Now it
is plain that in giving up Himself He was giving up the companion who might have been formed from and for Him, as Eve was formed for Adam, and the race which might thus have been developed, so supplying a price to correspond with every requirement of Justice.
” To this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
” He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” — Rom. 14: 9 ; 1 John 2 : 2.
By reason of a clear view of the Ransom, and what it required, we can also understand that the Wages of
Sin is not life in misery, but is the taking away of all life, in death. If the Son of God had to leave the
heavenly glory, in order that He might correspond in nature and perfection to the first man, whose race
He was to redeem, it must be that divine Justice would be equally scrupulous concerning the penalty
He was to pay for us. Scripture is explicit on this point. If the original transgressor was told he should die if he sinned, we are instructed that the very first article of the Christian faith is that
“Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15: 3.)
If death meant eternal torment in Adam’s case, it could signify nothing less for Jesus, the Substitute.
If eternal torment is the wages of our sins, if the iniquity of us all has been laid upon Him, and if He
bare our sins in His own body to the tree, must not Jesus now be suffering eternal torment? (Isa. 53: 6;
1 Peter 2: 24.) The case is plain: If eternal torment is the penalty for our sins, and Jesus is not suffering it, we are not redeemed; no corresponding price has been paid to divine Justice, and we can look forward to nothing but unspeakable woe to all eternity.
But we are redeemed; we are “bought with a price,” even ” the precious blood of Christ.” He is the pro-
‘pitiation for the sins of the whole world. This being so, eternal torment cannot be the penalty for our sins, because our Redeemer, who ” bare them in His own body,” is not suffering eternal woe. He tasted death for every man, and the evidence that His sacrifice was satisfactory is in that He was raised from the dead by the power of the Father.* (Eph. 1: 18, 19; Acts, 2:1±.) Let those who believe in eternal torment ask themselves the solemn question,
” Has a ransom, a propitiation, a corresponding price, a satisfaction, ever been offered for what is due on account of my sins?”
Since the Scripture teaching on the Ransom makes dear so much that before was not so, it is not surprising that William Tyndale, the great Reformer, said that the doctrine of the Ransom is the
“touchstone to try all teachings.”
A few illustrations of the Ranson teaching as a “touchstone” have been given. The student will at discretion apply this “stone” to other religious or so-called Bible teachings. Whatever he finds out of harmony with the Ransom is to be rejected forthwith; time spent with it is wasted. Although there
may be beautiful thoughts expressed by some who openly or covertly deny the Ransom, we are not to go
through their error for the sake of a few good things which, by the grace of God, we can get from His Word, without coming in contact with the false teaching.
But some one will say that the Apostle commands us to
“prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thes. 5: 21.)
It cannot be that the Apostle means that God’s people are to undertake to acquaint themselves with all the details of all the religious teaching in the world. Life is too short for this. He Himself wrote that there was one foundation, Christ, and other foundation can no man lay. If a teaching be presented
for our consideration, we are not to shut our eyes and ears, and, as it were, run away from it without knowing what it is. We are to prove it ; and the first question will be, Does it agree with the one foundation, the fact, that Jesus “‘gave Himself a ransom tor all?” If it does not agree, even though the words “ransom” and “propitiation” be frequently employed, the task of proving it is finished — perhaps in one minute — and our obligation toward it is discharged in full. If it be found to be harmonious with the Ransom, it will be right for us to examine it more closely, and derive whatever blessing we may from its presentations.
The Ransom as a “touchstone ” will not only be a test of all teaching brought to it, but it may also be a
teal of the student, in that some long cherished beliefs may be found to be inconsistent with the faith in the Ransom. Happy will he be to whom the ” touchstone ” does not become a “stumbling stone and rock of offence,” as it was to the Jews, and is now to a large number in Christendom. — 1 Cor. 1: 23; 1 Pet. 2 : 8.
The Ransomer, raised from the dead, is no longer “a little lower than the angels;” that is to say, he is
no longer a human being. Another change has occurred.
He is now
“far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”
On account of His obedience unto the death of the cross,
“God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth and things under the earth.”
He has been raised from the dead
” to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away,”
being now the exact image of the Father’s person. — Eph. 2: 20, 2 1 ; Phil. 2: 6-10; 1 Peter 1:4; Heb. 1: 3.
To be continued
• The word “ransom” occurs but three times in the New Testament — Matt. 20: 28: Mark 10: 45; 1 Tim. 2: 6. It is in each case a translation of the Greek ‘lutron’, meaning a redemption price, joined with ‘anti’ indicating correspondence — a “corresponding price.” Thus is indicated the strictness of divine justice. The word “ransom” is used in Hos. 13: 14 and Isa. 35: 10 to translate the Hebrew ‘padah’, which has more to a sense of release or deliver. This translation is not quite accurate, as the release or deliverance is not the ransom, but is the consequence of the ransom.
It is not supposed that the divine Attributes, Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power actually engaged in a colloquy as above described. This is merely a free parabolic form of description of the harmonious co-operation of those grand attributes in inspiring, devising, sanctioning, and executing the wonderful plan, determined on from the foundation of the world. — Rev. 5: 6 -13:8.
In John 10: 18 the word “take” should be “receive,” as in the last sentence—’I have power to lay it down, and I have power to receive it again. This commandment have I received of My Father.”
- The New Covenant Advocate April, 1909 pp. 6-8
Preceding article: A Ransom for all 1 Eternal torment
To be continued:
A Ransom for all 2 Corresponding price
A Ransom for all 3 Seeing Him as He is
The Atonement in Type and Antitype 1 Sacrifices and High Priests
The Atonement in Type and Antitype 2 Going forth to Jesus
- The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
- The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
- The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #6 Curse and solution
- The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
- Disobedient man and God’s promises
- Redemption # 1Biblical doctrine of salvation
- Omniscient God opposite a not knowing Jesus
- God’s Special Gift
- Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?
- Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
- Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
- Why do we need a ransom?
- Ransom for all
- Ransom for All – Searches
- We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”
- No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
- Love been perfected with us
- Russell and his beliefs
- “For God Knows”
- When God Says No
- Obedience vs Disobedience
- Glimpses of Eden
- When God’s People Live Ungodly
- The Consequences of Disobediance
- Disobedience Consequences
- Long range consequences
- Crossing the Jordan
- God Tried
- Psalm 119:136 Tears Over Disobedience
- First Principles – On Disobeying the Law
- Thursdays With Oswald—Knowing Evil By Living Good
- Are You lukewarm?
- When Our Will Resists God’s.
- Going Down the Path of Life (Jonah 1-2:10)
- The Choices We Make
- God’s Pleasure with His Children
- God’s Justice
- God of Mercy. God of Justice.
- What Did Jesus Do?
- What did the cross achieve? – Part 1
- The Journey Toward Christ!
- Lenten Readings: Day 29
- Jesus Christ – “I’m counting on your prayers…”
- “I Am the Just Judge” – A Solemn Message from Jesus Christ
- Kiln blog: Why Tribulation?
- Kiln blog: Moral Complexities
- Spiritual Activism
- “Dear children, if you do not see these times as desperate and as a battle between good and evil, then you are not living in the Truth”
- Does God Send Terror Attacks because of Bathroom Rights and Evolution?
- The God-Man
- Is Jesus God?
- God the Son (By: Have faith in Jesus)
- Jesus the son of God, Jesus the son of man – Part 1