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DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE RANSOM?
Do you know what the word ransom means? When you have found out that the Greek word, antilutron, rendered ransom, has a particular meaning, that it means neither more nor less than a corresponding price, then ask yourself whether you believe in it according to its true and only meaning? Do you believe that the Lord Jesus gave a corresponding price? that is, a price equivalent to the forfeited life of Adam, in whose condemnation you were involved and in whose redemption also you are therefore included? If so, you are a believer in the ransom; if not, you might use the word ransom in every sentence you uttered and yet not be a believer in it. Remember that no other definition of the word ransom is ever offered, even.
Let us briefly go into the philosophy of the ransom and ask a few questions which may assist some to clearer views on the subject and enable them to square and repair their belief in harmony with this, the fundamental principle of God’s plan of salvation.
If you accept of the fact which the word ransom teaches—that Christ gave a corresponding price for all—then ask yourself, What was the price which he gave? Does he not say, it was his life that he gave as the price of ours? (John 10:15; 6:51.) Was that price not given to save us—to recover us out of death, to make legally possible the resurrection of the dead? Is it not written, I will ransom them from the grave? (Hos. 13:14.) Are you sure that you believe in the ransom, thus, according to its only meaning and use in the Scriptures? Make sure that you do so fully; for to believe something else about it and to use the word ransom in a wrong sense is only to deceive and ensnare your own heart, and will lead you bound hand and foot into the “outer darkness” of human philosophy—evolution.
Well, if you are sure that you have the correct idea of the corresponding price, look at the facts and ask yourself, When did our Lord pay that price for us? Does not the Apostle give the answer of this (1 Tim. 2:5,6), saying that it was the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all? When was he the man Christ Jesus? Surely not before he was made flesh, when he was a spirit-being with the Father. Surely not since his resurrection; for he is the man Christ Jesus no longer. He was made alive from the dead “a quickening spirit,” of the divine nature, far higher than angels, while manhood is “a little lower” than the angelic nature.—Heb. 2:7-9; Psa. 8:4-8.
Is it not clear, then, that our Lord when he was the man Christ Jesus gave himself (all of himself, his human rights, privileges, etc.) as our corresponding price?
And as the price paid by the Lord was a corresponding price, does not this prove that those for whom this price was paid had lost or forfeited just such things as corresponded to what he paid? And does not this agree with the statement, oft confirmed in the Scriptures, that God created man perfect, upright, in his own image, only of a fleshly or earthly nature instead of a spirit or heavenly nature?
Is it not evident, then—since Adam was created in God’s likeness, and not in a state of imperfection and sin; and since he lost his powers of perfect manhood and all right to their possession through disobedience; and since by losing these he and all in him became subject to death (Rom. 5:12)—that our Lord Jesus under the divine plan became a man for the very purpose of giving himself a corresponding price for Adam, and thus for all involved in the loss and fall through him? Is it not evident that he gave up his manhood on our behalf as a substitute for condemned Adam, that Adam and his children might be released from the tomb “in due time”? Is it not evident, then, that our Lord Jesus would not prefer to be a man, being now of a nature so much higher than the one that he humbled himself to take for our sakes, that he might be able to give the corresponding price? And is it not evident that even if human nature were higher and more desirable than the divine nature, our Lord could not take it again without taking back the price of our justification?
And is it not evident that this is the one and only view of ransom which fits to the meaning of the word and to the facts and testimonies which God gives relative thereto.
Do you know, now, whether or not you believe in the ransom? and are you able to see through the thin deceptions of some teachers who use the word repeatedly to give the impression that they believe the sentiments which the word represents, but who are nevertheless constantly teaching theories in direct opposition to the meaning of the word ransom and its use in the Scriptures? Settle this question at once and definitely; and then see to it that your every mite of influence, by word and by letter and by literature, is exerted for the ransom as God’s Word teaches it,—a “corresponding price,” its only definition.
— July, 1890 —