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A RANSOM—IN WHAT SENSE?
Those who hold to the Word of God on the subject of the RANSOM, have no need whatever to go outside of that word for full denunciation of all who oppose it. Our Lord and the apostles use words stronger and severer than we would otherwise feel at liberty to use. But it is right, nay, a duty incumbent upon us, to apply their words „damnable heresy” etc., where they belong—to the doctrine of NO RANSOM, to which they apply them. What else is a teacher’s duty? He has no other duty. He must not speak his own opinions, and he must not neglect to call attention to the errors which the inspired apostles fortold and described, though of course the advocates of such errors will not appreciate either the apostle’s words or the faithfulness of those who call attention to them. This, too, is what we must expect. These think the only possible application of the apostle’s words uncharitable. So also the great Master of the apostles was considered uncharitable, when He declared that there was only one door into the sheepfold. No other name is given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved, and no other way than by the ransom. All who attempt to lead to salvation in any other way are branded by the Lord „thieves and robbers.” So long, then, as we have strength, we shall endeavor to point out to these leaders, and those led by them, that they are building on a sandy foundation, without the only ROCK for a foundation, and that consequently, all their faith building reared thereon, must sink, and ultimately fall.
Yet we must be content, as were the Apostles and the Master himself, to be counted of such their enemies, because we tell them the truth. But even at this cost thank God, we are able to save some from the snare of the „great Adversary”—”that old serpent.”
We cite the no ransom advocates to 1 Tim. 2:6., which alone out of hundreds of texts, should convince them of their error. It is right to the point, and no amount of twisting can turn it aside. Will they not take it up, and convince and convict themselves of the „damnable heresy” of their teachings, and abandon the heresy, and accept the truth? Why not? We know this would cost the overthrow of much of the error built upon their sandy foundation, and we know that this would be hard for the self-willed to do, but is it not the best thing they can do,—turn right around, and confess the error of their teachings, since they left the rock, and return to it? But if they have done this willingly—if they have knowingly and deliberately counted the blood of the covenant wherewith once they had been sanctified, common, (Heb. 10:29.) denying its redeeming and sin-cleansing power, such, we know, will not return, for the Apostle declares their repentance „impossible.” (Heb. 6:4.) But doubtless some, we hope many, of the deceived ones are merely blinded, and have not wilfully rejected the only gateway to the fold of God, and to lasting life.
These no ransom advocates, by the way, will never admit that they deny it; but claim to believe in a ransom in some other sense, just as if there could be any other sense than the one—a price instead of—”a corresponding price.” We request them to take that text (1 Tim. 2:6.) with its connections, examine the word ransom therein in the Greek and in the Syriac, as well as in the English, and please show in WHAT sense they believe in the ransom therein taught. It is high time for honest men who do not wish to be deceived, who think the word ransom as here used, may have a sense different from bought, to examine the matter, and find out to a certainty what it does mean. It not only meant bought, but bought with a price which CORRESPONDED to the thing purchased—a life for a life, a being (soul) for a being, in the sense of instead of or in the place of. We hope they will not dodge the question by telling us what they think the text does not mean, but take up the text and handle it thoroughly and show in WHAT SENSE „the man Christ Jesus gave himself a corresponding price for all.” Handle this text thoroughly and honestly, and accept of its teachings as final, and you accept of the ransom in the same sense we do,—the only sense which lutron and antilutron have. There is no getting around this text. If they are resolved not to accept of its testimony, it would be far more honorable to deny it and reject it as uninspired, and cast it away; and with it all those Scriptures which teach that our Lord was the ransom or substitute for all men, giving for them the thing which they had lost all right to,—a „corresponding price.”
— March, 1887 —