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20/06/2010 / Test All Things

Christ Shed His Blood For A Ransom For The Sins Of His Elect

Usually most people know what is meant by a ransom when reading about a kidnapping in a daily newspaper. However, when they hear the word in the context of the Christian faith, they are as blind as if they never heard the word at all!

It means what it means in both settings!

The ransom price is paid, and the captive goes free!

That is the Gospel!

Again, that price was paid two thousand years ago!

By definition, a ransom is a price paid for the freedom of one that is held a captive against their will. In reality, sinners are held captive by sin and Satan, and when they are quickened to spiritual life, are not willingly so to be any longer.

To put it plainly: The ransom price frees the captive!

And when was this ransom paid?

You already know the answer. Two thousand years ago on the cross of Calvary!

Who paid it?

This, too, you already know!

Jesus said, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for MANY” (Matthew 20:28).

So, by definition, many are freed from their captivity to sin and death, as of when He paid that price.

That is good news!

But, one might ask, “Does not the Scripture say: ‘Who gave Himself a ransom for ALL?”

Yes, it does. But does “all” mean “everyone”?


“All” is an indefinite pronoun, and thus refers to “all” in some context. In this context, it is for “all” for whom Christ stands as a Mediator. And since He only mediates for His people, the “all” are His people. In fact, in the full context it means all sorts of men. “For kings, and for all that are in authority,” etc. (I Timothy 2:2).

It is too hard for us to omit James North and Hugh William’s’ study of this text. So we borrow their information that they used against Charles H. Spurgeon’s misleading sermon on this text. It is this, in a nutshell:

“The word “all” in the Greek is pastas.

In the set, it has these five meanings: “all,” “any,” “total,” “whole,” and “every kind of”.

Now which use of these definitions will fit the doctrine taught?

It cannot be “all without exception,” for if so all without exception are ransomed, and thus saved. Few people believe in universal salvation.

Will the word “any” fit the doctrine?

He gave His life for any. No, that will not work either.

Does it mean total?

That, too, will not fit.

Does it mean whole?

Whole what?

No, that cannot be its meaning. So we are left with: “every kind of.”

Will that work?

Of course; that is consistent with what Christ taught in the text quoted from Matthew. The “many” for whom He died.”

Putting arguments aside, the beauty of the doctrine is obvious. Our precious Lord loved His people with an everlasting love, and with loving kindness He draws such to Himself. To free them from their enslavement, He lovingly and willingly laid down His life, shedding His precious blood to ransom them from their captivity. In time, He gives faith to His quickened feeling sinners to believe that He is their salvation – their Deliverer!

How gracious to such unworthy sinners!

Again, simply put, Christ has already ransomed His captive people from the condemnation of sin, death, and hell.

Oh, wondrous grace!

By Stanley C. Phillips

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