The Ransoming of Mankind

 

Theme Text - For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22 NIV)

1) If all of Adam’s race fall asleep in death as a consequence of Adam’s sin, how can the Bible promise ‘in Christ all will be made alive’?
Right after Adam’s fall, God told Satan - ‘He [the woman’s seed] shall bruise thy head’ (Gen 3:15 ASV). God promised the Christ there (Christ means one who is ‘Anointed by God’/the Messiah /Deliverer).
Satan brought death upon Adam’s race and he thought he had won.
But God loved Adam and wanted to save him. He said he would send Christ as the woman’s seed (essentially as a man born of woman) to defeat Satan and redeem Adam’s mankind.

2) How can mankind be redeemed from death?

  • God declares in the Bible – ‘I will RANSOM them [mankind] from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction!' (Hosea 13:14).
  • Paul notes how Christ fulfilled it - 'God will have ALL men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 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' (1Timothy 2:3-6).

God’s prophecy and Paul’s explanation of its fulfillment have some critical keywords -

  1. ‘RANSOM’,
  2. ‘ALL men’ ,
  3. ‘To be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth’
  4. ‘To be testified IN DUE TIME’

3) What does RANSOM mean?
It’s from the biblical Greek word ‘antilutron’ that means ‘an equivalent, corresponding price’. We find this equivalent price concept as a universal law of God. It’s illustrated in Israel’s Law Covenant - ‘Thou shalt give LIFE for LIFE, eye for eye, tooth for tooth’ (Exodus 21:23-24).
As seen earlier, Father Adam, a perfect man (with no genetic sin or deficiencies) sinned. The death penalty fell upon him and his forthcoming human race (We were all in Adam’s loins then).
To redeem Adam’s life, an equivalent price needed to be paid - the life of another perfect man.

4) Could any man have paid the RANSOM?
No, because all men are Adam's children and we all are born sinful (Psalm 51:5).
As we saw earlier, sin is in our genes. All of us are born imperfect and so cannot pay the RANSOM which requires the life of a perfect man.
That’s why the Psalmist declares, ‘No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a RANSOM for him’ (Psa. 49:7 NASB).

5) Who paid Adam’s RANSOM then?
God’s prophets foretold the arrival of the promised Christ/Messiah throughout the times (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Birth of Jesus

  • Jesus (name means Savior) was that Christ. During his pre-human existence, he was the Logos - the Word of God (John 1:1). He was the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15, Rev 3:14 NASB). God created everything else through him (Col. 1:15-16). So he’s called God’s only begotten Son. Yes, God sent his only Son to save mankind (John 3:16).
  • God transformed the mighty Logos into a virgin’s (Mary’s) womb (John 1:14) to be born as Jesus. As Mary was a gestational surrogate, Jesus didn’t inherit sin from her. So he was not born under a death sentence like we all are. He was a perfect man who could have lived forever on earth if he had wanted to. But he gave up that right - to pay Adam’s RANSOM.

6) What exactly did Jesus do on earth? What did he achieve?

  • He kept himself 'holy, harmless, and separate from sinners' (Hebrews 7:26). He proclaimed God’s salvation and allowed himself to be handed over to the Romans who tortured and crucified him in 33 AD. By his death on the cross, Jesus achieved salvation for ALL mankind, as we saw in 1Tim 2:3-6 where Paul says Jesus gave himself ‘A RANSOM FOR ALL’.
  • John writes to Jesus’ followers very clearly, ‘He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours [believers’] but also for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:2 NIV).
  • Yes, Jesus tasted death for EVERY man (Hebrews 2:9).
  • By dying in place of Adam, he bought Adam (and all his descendants) a second shot at life.
    For since by a man [Adam] came DEATH, by a man [Jesus] also came the RESURRECTION of the dead (1Cor 15:21 NASB).
    'By ONE man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so DEATH passed upon ALL men. Therefore, as by the offence of ONE [Adam] came upon ALL men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of ONE [Jesus] the free gift came upon ALL men unto justification of LIFE' (Romans 5:12, 18).

That's the good news – the glorious original gospel proclaimed from Genesis to Revelation!
It’s good news for each and every one born of Adam. That’s why the angel announcing Jesus’ birth said, ‘I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people (Luke 2:10). Jesus died in Adam’s place and became the Savior of Adam and all of his offspring, the human race.

7) What about the good news preached by many of today’s churches?
Many preach that only ‘Christians’ would be saved and all others would be tormented in hell for eternity. That means 95% of humanity since Adam are to burn in hell. Is that good news? What about the billions who died having never even heard the name of Jesus? What about the two-thirds of mankind who are heathen today?
Are they all lost? No! The good news preached by original Christianity proclaimed the ransom Jesus paid for all of Adam.

8) So, does the Bible say everybody gets eternal life? Can anyone get the right to live without accepting Jesus Christ as Savior?
Not really. The Bible does not proclaim eternal life for all. Some theorize that everyone will go to heaven irrespective of their acceptance of Christ. But the Bible rather bluntly declares Jesus is the only way to life (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Instead what it does say is this – everyone will be made alive (1Cor 15:22 NIV, 1Tim 2:3-6) to get a trial for life on earth. But what trial? Let’s study further.

9) So what happens when everyone is saved and awakened from death?
Let’s pay attention to the sequence of events declared in 1Tim 2:3-6: God will have -

  1. ALL men the be saved – i.e. to be redeemed and awakened from Adamic death,
  2. And to come unto the knowledge of the truth - i.e. after they have been awakened from death, they would be brought to full knowledge of the truth about God, Christ and would learn righteousness  - as in the Judgment Day foretold in Isaiah 26:9.

Yes, Jesus Christ, the RANSOM for ALL is to be testified IN DUE TIME – The due time for some is now, but for most of mankind it’s after resurrection – during Judgment Day i.e. in the Kingdom of God (2Tim 4:1).
What’s this Kingdom of God? Isn’t Judgment Day just one day? Do all just get a free pass in the Kingdom?

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