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Christian Biblical Studies
When God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, His purpose was to provide one who would be an equivalent of Adam, a second perfect man who would take upon himself the guilt of the first. This would satisfy in every particular the requirements of Divine Justice, freeing from the death sentence not only Adam, but also Eve (a genetic extraction of her husband), and their entire unborn offspring– nothing short of a ransom for all. In 1 Tim. 2: 6, the Greek word translated ‘ransom’ is antilutron, which means a price instead, or a corresponding price; it has the sense of a legal transaction.
But something more than the death of the Saviour was involved. While His was a life that came from above, He relinquished that life in the hope that He might remove the sentence of death from the human family. Had He not faithfully accomplished His Father’s purpose, not only would His death as a man have been fruitless, but His former existence as God’s well-beloved Son (the Logos or ‘Word’), would be forever lost. And had Jesus been nothing more than a perfect man, He would have remained dead forever. That is to say, the essential person would have ceased to exist. And in such a situation, how would the price of Adam’s release be applied?
The period of restitution enunciated by the Apostle Peter (Acts 3: 21) is equivalent to Christ’s future kingdom on earth. Following the Resurrection – guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus – come a time of recovery, or restitution – deliverance from all the noxious effects of the Adamic curse – death and dying, sin and imperfection. This will cover everyone – a miracle that will astonish an unbelieving world, as the prisoners of death are over time released, their ransom paid in full, their lives restored and their right to life no longer in question.
However, while the entire human family will be blessed by this process, it does not mean universal eternal salvation for every individual. John 3: 36 makes this clear (emphasis added):
During this period there will be instruction in righteousness, prompting reformation of character and a genuine, heartfelt appreciation of Christ as one’s Saviour and Redeemer. No longer condemned by Adam’s sin, each will be personally responsible for his or her own disobedience (Ezek. 18: 20):
The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.
As there is only one God, so only one Mediator is required. In paying the ransom for the entire human family, Jesus effectively owns it, and He will work to make all the willing acceptable to God, reconciling heaven and earth (Col. 1: 15-20):
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Jan-Feb 2019 – ukbiblestudents – no copyright