"Ye are bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23)
Have you ever considered THE PRICE that was paid for your redemption? It was paid, and what a price! I doubt any of us can fully evaluate and comprehend the cost of our salvation. But I believe it will help us to at least get a better grasp of its immensity.
Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian believers, "You are not your own -- you are bought with a price." What does that mean? How did it come about that we had to be "bought"? Who paid the price? To whom was it paid? What was the price? And why did He do it?
Who are those -- that were "bought"?
Paul's statement to the Corinthians is also a message to all believers. We were in deep trouble, but Someone intervened in our behalf, rescuing us from a cruel slave master-- from the devil. We were delivered from the deadly power of sin, and redeemed to once again qualify as children of God.
What made it necessary to pay for our redemption? Adam and Eve, our forebears, by rebelling against their Creator, forfeited their holy birthright. By yielding to Satan's lies and disobeying God, they sold themselves and their offspring (future generations of the human race) to sin. "Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men because all sinned" (Rom. 5:12 -NIV). Adam's rebellious act resulted in a rupture of the close fellowship he had with God. It also introduced moral corruption and an impelling force toward sin and evil, that was passed on to all generations. Thus, humans became slaves of sin, with the curse of death upon them, -- destined to an eternity in "outer darkness," -- forever separated from God. And there was nothing man could do to save himself. Look up Eph. 2:8,9; Tit.3:5.
Who paid the price of redemption?
God paid it because He was "not willing that any should perish" (2 Pet. 3:9). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16). Jesus said, "I am come that they may have life" (Jn. 10:10). "I lay down my life for the sheep" (Jn. 10:15). Read Galatians 1:4; Titus 2:14.
To whom was the price paid?
Was it paid to the Father? to Satan? or to whom? The price was "paid" and it satisfied the justice of a Righteous God. The price was not a bartering exchange of money or materials for souls. Death was the payment to justice, to compensate for Adam's sin of rebellion against a holy God. "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23 ). Judgment was finally administered through the substitutionary death of Jesus. This was a just and satisfactory transaction in the eyes of the Holy Triune God. The payment that delivered Adam and the human race from the bondage of sin was the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, the sinless Substitute --the Son of God, "The Lamb of God" (Jn. 1:29) to satisfy the justice, the righteousness, and the love of God.
Was Jesus' death the full price that was paid?
Apostle Peter tells us it was "not with corruptible things such as silver or gold (1 Pet.1:18). The price was much more, and it included many harsh factors in addition to Christ's physical death on Calvary.
Let's look at a few of them.
1. Jesus left the glory of heaven and His kingly throne to come to us via a smelly barn where livestock was kept, and later, to dwell in a sin cursed dirty world. What a contrast!
2. The Creator submitted to be born in a human family:-- first as "The Seed" planted in the womb of a woman (Gen. 3:15), -- then on to infancy Lk.1:31), to youth, to manhood (Lk. 2:52). See Jn. 1:14; Heb. 2:16.
3. The Son of God chose to set aside His divine prerogatives of power and authority, and to live within the limitations of a real human life as the "Son of man." He depended fully on the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Read Phil. 2:5-8; Lk.4:18).
4. As the eternal Son of God, He always possessed His divine attributes, but as man, He had to be taught by human parents, and directed in His actions by the express permission and instruction of the Father. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb. 5:8). See John 12:; Heb. 2:16-18.
5. As a human He suffered pain (Lk.23:33), weariness (Jn.4:6), hunger (Lk.4:2), weakness (Lk. 23:26), loneliness (Mk. 14:37), thirst (Jn. 19:28), poverty (Lk. 9:58; 2 Cor. 8:9), and felt our sicknesses (Isa. 53:3-5). Remember, He is the all-powerful Son of God.
6. He was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:2), and on more than one occasion (Lk. 4:13).
7. He suffered humiliation from the people (Mt. 27:27-29, 39,40), from religious and political leaders of His day (Mt. 27:41-43). He was branded as an illegitimate (John 8:41).
8. He was falsely accused, judged, and executed as a felon along with other criminals. (Lk. 22:37)
9. He submitted fully to the will of the Father, including drinking the bitter "Cup," (Lk. 22:42), which meant: a. accepting humanity's sin and becoming a "curse for us" (Gal. 3:13); b. being separated from the Father (Mt. 27:46); c. and the Author of life finally experiencing death at the hands of sinful men (Gal. 1:4; 1 Jn 3:16).
Let's not forget that all this (and more) happened to the Son of God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, whom angels worshipped by singing: "Holy, Holy, Holy!." He is the One Who willingly came to us and sacrificed Himself to the full. What a price!
Why did He do it?
1. Because it was the plan of the Triune God from the "beginning." Jesus was "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). Before the world was made, or man created, God planned to form a family of His children, "created in His image and likeness." He knew man would disobey Him and sin. Man had to know about sin and death, and then utilize his own free will: to choose to fall in love with the loving God, or rebel against Him. God's family was not to be made up of a host of robots, but of persons who in spite of the devil, temptations, sin, and all sorts of difficulties, would freely choose to love and serve God. Such, who receive Christ are called: "the children of God," "sons of God," "heirs of God." They are the ones who make up the family of God, for whom Christ paid the price. Read Heb. 2:10; Jn.1:12; Rom. 8:14; Gal. 4:4-7; Ph. 2:15; 1 Jn. 3:1.
2. We could never save ourselves (Gal. 2:16). If we died for our own sins, it would be the punishment we deserved; and would have no positive effect toward our salvation. To save us required God to plan and create the way for our redemption. As sinners we were doomed to an eternal hell, but when Christ became our substitute and died for our sin, we were set free the moment we chose to believe and accept Him as our Savior.
Recognizing the enormity of the price Jesus paid for our salvation, surely, we must also realize how much He loves us. It should also become clear, how much love we owe Him. Realizing how great a price He paid for us, should also give us a better self worth, and a greater appreciation for our God!
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ our Lord" (Rom. 8:35-39 -NIV).
May the immensity of THE PRICE Jesus paid for our redemption, stir you and your people to a greater devotion and commitment to Him who loves us so much.