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blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Chap. vii. 14. “ These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Such plain declarations of the efficacy of the blood of the cross, in washing away our sins, clearly point out the death and blood of Christ as an atoning and expiatory sacrifice for sinners, and show that our entire salvation depends upon what he has done and suffered
V. The doctrine of a vicarious atonement is fully confirmed by those scriptures which speak of Jesus Christ as a redeemer, and man as being redeemed by him.
Matt. xx. 28 and Mark. x. 45. “ The son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
1 Tim. ii. 6. “Who gave himself a ransom for all.” The English word ransom contained in the above quotations is thus defined by Dr. Webster.
“RANSOM, n. 1. The money or price paid for the redemption of a prisoner or slave, or for goods captured by an enemy. 2. Release from captivity, bondage or the possession of an enemy. 3. In law a sum paid for the pardon of some great offence and the discharge of the offender; or a fine paid in lieu of corporeal punishment. 4. In scripture, the price paid for a forfeited life, or for delivering or release from capital punishment. 5. The price paid for procuring the pardon of sins and the redemption of the sinner from punishment."
“RANSOM, v. t. 1. To redeem from captivity or punishment by paying an equivalent. 2. To redeem from the possession of an enemy by paying a price deemed equivalent. 3. In scripture, to redeem from the bondage of sin, and from the punishment to which sinners are subjected by the divine law. 4. To rescue, to deliver.
If then Christ "gave himself a ransom for many,” “ for all,” in the above sense, there is no room for farther controversy; The texts above quoted teach that Christ has ransomed sinners from the bondage of sin and the punishment to which they are subjected by the divine law, by paying his life a price for theirs.
It may then be asked, if the word ransom is a proper translation of the original Greek.
The word which the Evangelist employs, rendered ransom by our translators, is lutron which is thus defined in the Greek and English Lexicons : Lutron, ransom, redemption, atonement, price of deliverance. The word which the apostle uses in the above text is antilutron and is thus defined : “ Antilutron, (from anti, inturn, and lutron, a ransom,) the price of redemption, ransom.”
It is clear then that Christ has ransomed us by giving his life a ransom for ours.
This view is farther supported by those scriptures, which express the same sentiment by the terms redeem, redemption, &c.
Rom. iii. 24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” 1 Cor. i. 30, “ But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who, of God, is made unto us redemption.” Gal. iv. 45. “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” Tit. ii. 14. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeeem us from all iniquity.” Heb. ix. 15. “ And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressors that were under the first testament, that they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
It is clear, from these texts, that Christ has redeemed us, that he is the redeemer and we the redeemed. We ask then, what is it to redeem, or what is redemption ? So far as the English word is concerned there can be hardly room for dispute.
The word redeem Dr. Webster defines as follows:
“REDEEM, v. t. 1. To purchase back; to ransom; to liberate or rescue from captivity or bondage, or from any
obligation, or liability to suffer or to be forfeited, by paying an equivalent. 2. To repurchase what has been sold; to regain possession of a thing alienated, by repaying the value of it,” &c. With this corresponds his definition of the word redemption, which he defines thus : “ REDEMPTION, n. repurchase of captured goods or persons; the act of procuring the deliverance of persons or things from the possession and power of captors by the payment of an equivalent. ***In theol
ogy, the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law by the atonement of Christ.” Indeed, these terms are so well understood that it can hardly be necessary to produce authority to establish their meaning ; and yet, if Christ has redeemed us in this sense, the controversy, is ended in plain English, and the doctrine of vicarious atonement is established. Now, that it is in this sense that Christ has redeemed us, appears from the following considerations :
1. These English terms well express the sense of the original Greek.
In Rom. iii. 24. in the expression, “ through the relemption that is in Christ Jesus,” the apostle uses the word apolutróseos which our translators have rendered redemption, and which literally signifies deliverance from captivity. In Tit. ii. 14. in which it is said Christ“
gave himself for us that he might redeem us,” the verb which is rendered redeem is, in the original, lutrosetia which is derived from luo to pay, and signifies to ransom or to redeem, and the very derivation of the word shows that it signifies to redeem by paying a redemption price.
In Gal. iv. 4, 5. where the apostle says, Christ“ made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law,” the original word which is rendered redeem, is exagorase. This word is compounded of ex, from, and agorazo, to buy, and signifies to buy from, or out of, implying that Christ has redeemed, i. e. brought us from or out of the claims or
of the law, so as to deliver us from the penalty which it inflicts on transgressors as the apostle states, Chap. iii. 13. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law."
2. The connection in which these terms are used is sufficient to convince the plain English reader, without any reference to the original, that redemption by price or purchase is intended. It is said that “Christ gave himself for us that he might redeem us." 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” These forms of expression clearly imply that a price was paid for our redemption, and that the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ constituted such a price.
This view is farther supported by other expressions which represent us as being purchased, bought, &c. Acts xx. 28. “ Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” 1 Cor. vi. 20. “Ye are bought with a price therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are his.” 2 Pet. ii. 1. “There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.” In the first of these texts, the church is said to be bought, and the blood of Christ is stated to have been the price paid. In the second of the above texts, the Corinthians are said to be bought with a price, and what was that price more or less than the sufferings, and death of Christ," who gave himself a ransom for all ?" In the third of the above quotations, some persons are said to deny the Lord that bought them, they must, therefore, have been bought.
VI. The vicarious and propitiatory character of Christ's sufferings and death, is farther established by those scriptures which represent him as a mediator, intercessor and reconciler 1 Tim. ii. 5,6. “ There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who
himself a ransom for all.” The word, mesites, mediator, literally signifies a middle person, whose office it is to reconcile the parties between whom he acts, who are supposed to be at variance. The apostle says Gal. iii. 20. “A mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one." That is, a mediator does not act exclusively for one party, but equally for both parties, between whom he mediates. This was true of Moses, of whom the apostle was speaking; he spake to the people on the part of God, and interceded with God on
part of the people. The same is true of Jesus Christ who is a mediator between God and all men, he being both God and man, God manifest in the flesh, acts for both parties in effecting a reconciliation. Christ as mediator reconciles God to men by his death for their sins, and men to God by the word of his gospel and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. That he is our mediator, to render God propitious to us, as well as to reconcile us to God, is evident from the manner of his exercising his mediatorial office, marked by the apostle in the above
text. « There is one God and one Mediator between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.” Christ then, as mediator, gave himself ransom ( antilutron, the price of redemption) for all. To whom was this ransom paid ? It was not paid to man, to purchase his favour and reconciliation to God, by the payment of a price! The apostle informs us to whom Christ gave himself a ransom, Heb. ix. 14. “Who” (Christ) through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God.” Christ then, as mediator offered himself to God for man. The offering was made to God to render him propitious and to procure, consistently with the principles of divine government, that grace by which sinners are renewed, pardoned, and reconciled to God. Heb. vii. 25. “Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Does Christ intercede with men, in the sense of this text, to reconcile them to God? Or does he intercede with God for man, to render bim propitious, that they may receive reconciling grace ? Let God, by the mouth of his apostle, answer this question. Heb. ix. 24. “ Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself
, now to appear in the presence of God for us." It is clear, then, that Christ intercedes with God for us. Eph. v. 2. “ Christ hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” This not only fully refutes the notion held by universalists, that men only, and not God, are reconciled by Christ, but it establishes, beyond doubt, the fact that an atonement for the sins of men has been made to God, the object of which is to render him propitious to his offending offspring, by enabling him to “be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” If, as universalists" contend, God never was unreconciled to man but was always propitious, without reference to a vicarious atonement, man only being an unreconciled party, the offering and intercession of Christ should have been made to and with man; for it would not be necessary for Christ to offer himself to God, and intercede with him in behalf of man if God was not unreconciled, man only being the subject of reconciliation through the mediation of Christ. But in opposition to this absurd notion, the scriptures uniformly repre