WAGES AND RANSOM

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)

Leslie M John

“They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceases forever)” (Psalms 49:6-8)

WAGES OF SIN

Bible says…

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Romans 6:23)

The word “wages” is a financial term. It is the earnings of someone who did some work for one’s employer.  The word “ransom” is the amount paid to redeem a prisoner or slave from his/her captivity.

According to Holy Scriptures “the wages of sin is death”; that is to say a man by committing sin earns death as his wages.  Inasmuch as Adam sinned his earning was death. He had his spiritual death instantly and lost fellowship with God.  Later, he had his physical death.  He was made of dust and to dust he returned.

Physical death is common to believer and unbeliever alike. However, there is significant difference between the death of a believer in Christ, and unbeliever. The believer will rise from the dead with glorified body to be with the Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever and reign with Him.  His earnings are eternal life through Lord Jesus Christ and it is a gift of God.  

The believer earns his inheritance in heaven by accepting Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Sinner by confession of his sins to Jesus and praying to Him to forgive His sins, and by believing in the resurrection of the Lord earns everlasting life.

The life after death for believer and unbeliever is endures forever, but the former will be happy and spend his everlasting life joyfully not only by being with Lord Jesus Christ, but by reigning with Him forever and ever, while the latter will rise from the dead on the last day, to stand before the “great white throne”, where he will be judged by God, who will sentences him to be thrown into the ‘lake of fire’. 

“Lake of fire” is a place where there will be no end for gnashing of teeth, and where thirst of the punished victim will not be quenched.  His inheritance is suffering in the “lake of fire”, because God finds him guilty of committing transgression of His commands. The victim never would have prayed to God to forgive his sins and for the redemption of his soul. His portion of earnings is the second death, which is to spend his time in the ‘lake of fire’.

REDEMPTION

The children of Israel suffered four hundred years serving as slaves in the land of Egypt under Pharaoh.  The LORD heard their cry and promised them deliverance from the bondage of slavery.  He said to Moses, to tell the children of Israel that He is the LORD and He will bring them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. He promised them that He will redeem them with His stretched out arm and will rid them out of their bondage. He will bring great judgment upon Egyptians, He said. (cf. 6:6). 

It was physical redemption promised to them.  As for spiritual deliverance of mankind from the slavery of sin under the bondage of Satan, God made provision by sending His only begotten Son, Lord Jesus Christ to die as sacrifice on behalf of us, in order that we may accept Jesus as the Savior, and believe in God that He raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. 

In the Old Testament period animal sacrifices were made to temporarily cover the sin of the transgressor, but when the fulness of time had come, God sent Jesus into this world in due time to become sacrifice on behalf of us.  There is no need for repeated animal sacrifices to be made now.  Lord Jesus has willingly become sacrifice on behalf of us once and for all. It pleased the Father to bruise His Son on the cross for our sake. The sins of the Old Testament believers that were covered were expiated by the blood of Jesus Christ, and He became a propitiation for all in the New Testament period. Thus, all those, who believe in Him as personal savior shall be saved.

Scripture says “…the wages of sin is death…” and the redemption of soul of a sinner is possible only by the shedding of the blood of the worthy one, who can deliver sinner from his sin. Sinner is redeemed by accepting Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and savior.  Lord Jesus Christ was the only one who was worthy of dying on behalf of us, because He was sent by God into this earth. He is the only mediator, and He is the only high priest. 

RANSOM FOR REDEMPTION:

Redemption is of two types; it is of persons and it is of inheritance.

Of persons on this earth, is by paying a sum of money as ransom under the provisions of Exodus 21:1-36; Leviticus 25:25 and 25:48.

 “If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him” (Exodus 21:30)

“If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold”. (Leviticus 25:25)

“After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him” (Leviticus 25:48)

However, no one however rich one is, can redeem the soul of one’s brother or any close relative unto God by paying ransom.  It is possible to redeem one’s brother or relative physically from the bondage of slavery or redeem land by paying ransom equivalent to the value set for the man/woman or land; but no human being can redeem the soul of anyone by paying any amount of money or blood.  It is possible to redeem the soul of a person by the one, who is worthy to do so; and the only one worthy to take up such task is the incarnate God, Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into this world in the form a servant and in the likeness of man.

“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him” (Psalms 49:7)

WHO CAN PAY RANSOM?

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Only kinsman can redeem a slave on this earth.  (References: Leviticus 25:28; 25:48)

  1.   Blood relative especially male
  2.  A relative by marriage
  3.   A person of same nationality or ethnicity

A shadow of this kinsman-ship is found in the deliverance of Ruth, who was a Moabites widow, and a daughter-in-law of Naomi.  The narration is in the book of Ruth 3:1-13

SPIRITUAL REDEMPTION FROM THE BONDGE OF SIN

Lord Jesus Christ is our kinsman.

“For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11)

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

If Jesus came into this world as an angel He would not have qualified to become sacrifice for our sins, because man is lower than angel, or if He came as some inferior living creature than man, he would not have qualified to become a sacrifice for our sake, because the ransom paid should be of equal to the value of the one who is to be redeemed.  The ransom can be either a blood-relative, or a relative by marriage, or of same nationality or ethnicity.

Lord Jesus Christ became little lower than angel and came in the form of a servant and in the likeness of man into this world. He was the “Son of God” and lived a life as “Son of Man” among us.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5)

More details of redemption of property and persons are found in Leviticus 27:9-25; 25:47-55.  The book of Ruth details about Kinsman and redemption by kinsman. In Ruth 3:12 and 13 and following verses we see how Boaz redeems Ruth. (Also comparing Exodus 20:2; Psalm 82:4; Daniel 6:27; Jeremiah 20:13, Ezekiel 34:10-12, 22 will show how Jehovah was Israel’s Redeemer. He is the Father, and He is the Deliverer and preserver).

In the New Testament we see that Lord Jesus became little lower than angel and came into this world, and identified His people as brethren (cf. Hebrews 2:9, 11). No one can come to Lord Jesus Christ unless the Father, who sent Him draws him. Lord Jesus will raise him up at the last day (cf. John 6:44).

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by Him and God desires that all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, but only those who confess their sins to Him, and accept Him as Lord and believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead will be saved (John 6:44; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 John 1:8-10; Romans 10:9-10) 


CAPTAIN OF SALVATION CAPTAIN OF SALVATION

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10)

This book presents sublime theme of man’s redemption from sin and everlasting life. Man rebelled against God by transgressing His command. The only way available for reconciling man with God was by the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ and by His resurrection. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.