‚Äď a purchase, occurring a few times in the redemptive sense (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23;
2 Pet. 2:1; Rev. 5:9; 14:3,4). hgorasaV V-AAI-2S Verb-Aorist Active Indicative-2nd Person Singular of agorazw means, buy, From G58; properly to go to market, that is, (by implication) to purchase; specifically to redeem:‚ÄĒbuy, redeem.
‚Äď the idea of purchase, occurring only twice (Gal. 3:13; 4:5).
A survey of the passages referring to the work of Christ in these terms shows
clearly the idea of a redemption that was accomplished by the payment of a price,
namely, the bloodshed of our Savior.
In Mt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45, Christ refers to his own work in terms of coming to give
his life a ransom for many. Note three ideas:
First, the work he came to do was that of ransom.
Second, the price of the ransom was the giving of his own life.
Third, this ransom price was substitutionary in character.
B. B. Warfield points out:
that with this description of his own work given to the disciples, it is no
wonder that we find the same idea repeated in the words of his followers. Paul
echoes these words in 1 Tim. 2:6. Again in Titus 2:14 the giving of Christ is
represented as having a two‚Äďfold design, namely, of ransom from iniquity, and of
sanctifying the ransomed possession. In Rom. 3:24, Paul speaks of being justified
through the redemption in Christ, and immediately relates this to the blood shed.
The idea of a ransom price is implicit. In Gal. 3:13; 4:5 Paul uses different terms,
and yet the notion of a purchase from bondage is present. The bondage to the
ceremonial law is in view in 4:5, and the price paid in 3:13 is his being made a
curse for us and being made under the law in 4:5. The effect of t his price paid
was deliverance from both kinds of bondage. In 1 Cor. 6:20 and 7:23, the idea of
a purchase price is present, without any mention of the price itself. The writer of
the epistle to the Hebrews also associates the blood of Christ with the securing of
redemption. John in Revelation 5:9 expressly names the blood of Christ in
connection with redemption (agorazo).
From this brief survey, it is clear that the New Testament presents the concept of
redemption as that of a ransom payment for the deliverance of the lost. The price
paid is the shedding of the blood of Christ. Luke 1:68; 2:38 see the deliverance as
from bondage to the oppression of an alien power. This, as we noted in the earlier
section, was one of the prominent ideas in the Old Testament usage of the term
redemption. Remembering the stress in the Old Testament on the mighty arm of
the Lord being the means of deliverance, and consequently the victory over
Egypt, it is not surprising to find a note of triumph associated with redemption in
the New Testament, John 12:31‚Äď33; Heb. 2:14‚Äď15. This is one of the points that
modern theologians such as Gustaf Aulen have seen. It is a fact that is frequently
overlooked in orthodox theology. The idea of the ransom price being the
instrument to deliver from the bondage to sin was prominent in the early history
of the Church. It gave rise to the ransom theory of atonement, which was
prominent for about ten centuries. These early theologians saw the two ideas that
we have noted in our survey of the Biblical data, namely, the payment of a
ransom price, and the deliverance from the power of Satan. Their error was in
seeing the price as paid to Satan. Anselm in his Cur Deus Homo showed the
error in this idea. There has tended to be an overreaction in Protestant theology to
the whole ransom theory, and thus a failure to take into account the reality of
Satan‚Äôs power, and the work of Christ in releasing us from it. Christ represents
him as ‚Äúprince of this world.‚ÄĚ Heb. 2:14 speaks of the work of Christ thus, ‚ÄúThat
he might destroy him that had the power of death.‚ÄĚ Again Col. 2:15 says, ‚ÄúHe
spoiled the principalities and powers, and he made a show of them openly,
triumphing over them.‚ÄĚ So also in 1 John 3:8, ‚ÄúFor this purpose was the Son of
God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.‚ÄĚ We see from these
passages the note of the triumphal aspect of Christ‚Äôs redemptive work. Though
there is an emphasis on the demonic in contemporary theology, a careful analysis
of this thought shows that it is an emphasis on what is viewed as ‚Äúthe
mythological.‚ÄĚ The Bible, on the other hand, is stressing the reality of the
demonic, and of the triumph of Jesus over this real evil.
If we are sensitive to the demands of the Kingdom of God and the glory of Christ, then
we will be sensitive to the invisible kingdom of which Satan is the prince. If we are
sensitive to the demands of the kingdom of God and the glory of Christ, and sensitive to
the principalities and powers against which we wrestle, then the real essence of our
consolation, faith, and hope will be traced back to the victory which Christ once‚Äďfor‚Äďall
secured, when he destroyed the god of this world and brought to nought him who had
power of death.
It should be remembered that the very first promise of the Gospel in Gen. 3:15
had the note of victory in it. This promise reaches its consummation in the
casting out of the old serpent, the Devil (Rev. 20:10). The redemption of Israel
from Egypt was the picture of this triumph as God delivered his people with a
(3) Bondage from which we are Delivered
The term redemption as it suggests deliverance is a comprehensive term covering
our salvation. There are various aspects of our salvation that are included in the
deliverance of the redemption of Christ.
First, there is redemption from sin. Titus 2:14 says he ‚Äúgave himself for us, that
he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own
possession, zealous of good works.‚ÄĚ Our redemption is defined as ‚Äúforgiveness
of our trespasses.‚ÄĚ The same thought is suggested by Heb. 9:15, ‚ÄúAnd for this
cause he is the Mediator of a New Covenant, that a death having taken place for
the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that
have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.‚ÄĚ The Old
Testament uses a similar statement in Ps. 130:7‚Äď8, ‚ÄúO Israel, hope in Jehovah;
For with Jehovah there is loving‚Äďkindness, and with him is plenteous
redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.‚ÄĚ
The bondage of sin involves three aspects, namely, guilt, defilement, and power.
The redemption of Christ removes us from the bondage to sin in all three of these
aspects. Romans 3:24, which is found after Paul has been stressing the guiltiness
of our sin, no doubt has reference to the removal of guilt. Titus 2:14 adds to the
deliverance from guilt the idea of sanctification, or the deliverance from the
defilement of sin. The redemption from the power of sin is particularly the
triumphal character of his work.
It is in this connection that a strand of New Testament teaching needs to be appreciated
but which is frequently overlooked. It is that not only is Christ regarded as having died
for the believer, but the believer is represented as having died in Christ and as having
been raised up with him in newness of life. This is the result of union with Christ. For by
this union Christ is not only united to those who have been given to him, but they are
united with him. Hence not only did Christ die for them but they died in him and rose
with him. It is this fact of having died with Christ in the efficacy of his death and of
having risen with him in the power of his resurrection that insures for all the people of
God deliverance from the dominion of sin.
Second, not only is redemption a deliverance from sin, but there is also reference
to deliverance from the law as a consequence of his redeeming work. We are
redeemed from the ‚Äúcurse of the law.‚ÄĚ We are under the curse of the law for
having failed at any single point in keeping the law. Since no one is able to keep
the law, but all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, there can be no
salvation unless we are delivered from the curse of the law. This we are told
explicitly was a consequence of his work. The price he paid was that of taking
the curse due us upon himself. He bore the full wrath of God due to us for that
curse. ‚ÄúThat curse he bore and that curse he exhausted.‚ÄĚ In addition to
deliverance from the ceremonial aspect of the law he purchased our adoption as
sons. This is suggested by Gal. 4:5, where it is said that we are redeemed ‚Äúthat
we might receive the adoption of sons,‚ÄĚ the idea being that Israel, under the
ceremonial law, was under it as a tutor. Now that Christ was made under the law
and completely fulfilled it, God‚Äôs people are not under the ceremonial aspect any
longer. Instead of being under the tutor, we now are adopted as sons, and have all
the privileges and liberty of sons.
One final aspect of the law being fulfilled in the work of Christ is the relation of
the law to the covenant of works. We have already observed under the section on
the atonement as obedience that Christ‚Äôs work may be seen as fulfilling all of the
obedience that Adam had failed to keep. Thus it was by his obedience that he
constituted many righteous (Rom. 5:19). Christ has accomplished by his
obedience, both active and passive, what Adam failed to do by his disobedience.
As we conclude this section in which we have considered the nature of the
atonement, it would be well for us to summarize our findings. The obedience of
Christ met the demands for righteousness. The sacrifice of Christ met the needs
arising out of our guilt. He propitiated the wrath of God. Reconciliation met the
need caused by the alienation from God, and redemption the needs arising from
If Christ is not God (the second person of the triune God) who came in flesh to reconcile man back to God not only in the essence of His person as God-man but also in His works in the Death of the Cross, ....there is no Salvation!