REDEMPTION IS COSTLY
This is the first post of the new Foundation series.
No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give God a ransom for him – for the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever – that he should live on eternally; that he should not undergo decay.
Fundamental principles were laid down by Messiah pertaining to, ‘repentance from dead works and faith toward God, water baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit, laying on of hands, the resurrection, and eternal judgment,’ (Heb 6:1-2) – these were also taught and affirmed by the Apostles, (Eph 2:20). Yet, there has been a direct and forceful onslaught on these fundamental truths, and if these principal truths are shaken, how shall we continue to build a sturdy house? (Ps 11:3; 2 Thes 2:3-12). Moreover, how shall we stand in the day of great testing when ‘everything which can be shaken, will be removed’? (Heb 12:25-29). Let’s take the time together in the next few blogs to study each fundamental principle, as we lay them down in our FOUNDATION SERIES.
We do not need a wide search to find evidence that this generation is indeed living in the fulfillment of end-time prophecies. Through genetic manipulation and artificial intelligence (AI), scientist are striving to provide means to establish “eternal existence,” and thus ultimately, to overcome the sting of death. This quest is known in the scientific world as “transhumanism.” It seems like science fiction, but it is not; it is real, it is a threat to man’s mere existence, and it is an abomination.
Almighty God predestined the means to attain to eternal life for all humanity, it is not to be engineered. Each individual who would turn to God for redemption through repentance and faith will receive eternal life as a free gift, (John 3:16-21; Eph 1). Yet, redemption is costly, and no person can ever establish remission for a loved one or a friend, (Ps 49:7-9). It is entirely a personal account between a man and his Creator! No one can enter into the presence of a holy God for the purpose of reconciliation unless he complies with the requirement of atonement (‘kippur’ in Hebrew) or propitiation (‘hilasterion’ in Greek). The free gift of atonement, for the sake of reconciliation, is provided through the costly blood sacrifice shed by God’s only begotten Son, who conquered death through His resurrection, (Rom 3:23-26; Rom 5:10).
Two key elements will establish the powerful work of redemption from sin and death in order to reconcile man with his Creator – repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, (Heb 6:1). One should view this requirement as a two-sided coin – the one can never be effective without the other! Demons also ‘believe’ and shudder; yet, their faith does not profit them, for they are not able to ‘repent,’ (James 2:19). Moreover, Achan, who willfully disobeyed the commandment of God, showed ‘remorse’ (he was sorry that the incident occurred); yet, he did not to respond with ‘repentance’ (to turn from sin through a change of heart), even though grace and opportunity were granted, (Joshua 7:14-26).
John the Baptist and Messiah called sinners to ‘repent unto faith’ (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3), and the same gospel, namely, ‘Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ, appointed for you’ (Acts 3:19-20), was spread by the early disciples. [See also Acts 26:20.] Faith without repentance can never bring about change!
Let’s keep in mind that no man can establish eternal life by any human engineering. Redemption is costly! Also, no person can establish redemption for another. Neither can man be redeemed through any religious rite, ancient traditions, or any good works. Reconciliation can only be established through atonement (the remission of guilt), and each man will give an account for his own life. The free gift of atonement can only be effected to a person if he recognizes his own guilt through the conviction of sin, and turn to God in faith to accept the free gift of redemption.