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Volume 19 - Page 90 of 154 Index | Zoom | |
The Epistle to the Romans.
Righteousness---provided and manifested (3: 24, 25).
pp. 22 - 26
When speaking of the "freeness" of the grace of justification as presented in the
gospel, we used such expressions as "gratuitous", and "without a cause". Having realized
the blessed fact that no "cause" for this act of God exists in ourselves, we are able to
contemplate that this "causeless" grace not only finds its first great efficient cause in the
heart of God Himself, but also finds its meritorious cause, if we may be allowed the
expression, in the sacrificial death of Christ.
The sacrificial death of Christ is twofold. It is a redemption, and it is a propitiation, or
atonement. While both are accomplished by the one offering of Calvary, they are very
different in their meaning, purpose, and results.
Apolutrosis is, both etymologically and doctrinally, deliverance of a captive by
payment of a price or ransom. In the N.T. this word is used exclusively by Paul and
Luke. The passages using it are as follows, and their inter-relation will provide a
profitable study, which, however, we here only touch upon before passing on.
Apolutrosis in the Epistles.
A | Rom. 3: 5.
Remissions of sins that are past.
Rom. 8: 23. Resurrection.
B | I Cor. 1: 30. Wisdom . . . redemption.
C | Eph. 1: 7.
Eph. 1: 14. Inheritance. Future.
Eph. 4: 30. Conduct.
Present influenced by future.
B | Col. 1: 14. Wisdom (i.9; 2: 3, 8, 23) . . . redemption.
A | Heb. 9: 15. Redemption of transgressions under first covenant.
Heb. 11: 35. Resurrection.
The standpoints of Romans and Hebrews are clearly indicated. Writing to Hebrews,
the apostle speaks of transgressions against the first covenant, whereas when writing to
the Romans he speaks of the remission of sins of the past. Rom. 8: 23, read in
conjunction with Heb. 11: 35 places the future deliverance, issuing in resurrection and
sonship, over against the temporal deliverance from present suffering, showing that
the "better resurrection" is comparable with the "redemption of the body". Both
I Corinthians and Colossians find in the wisdom of the world something that is
antagonistic to the cross of Christ, and when read together these passages illuminate one
another. In a future series we hope to show that the central feature of Colossians is the
cross of Christ in its relation to the five great antagonizing "isms" specified in Col. 2:
The three passages in Ephesians speak for themselves.