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"To make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery"
(Eph. 3: 9, R.V.)
No.19 The Muniment Room (1: 3 - 14).
The Threefold Charter of the Church.
The Work of the Son (1: 7 - 11).
pp. 1 - 5
It is the delightful paradox of the gospel of grace, that "Redemption is so costly, that it
must be free!" The freeness of our salvation must ever be uppermost in our preaching to
the unsaved, and in our thanksgiving for our own gratuitous acceptance. The words "not
of works", "without money and without price", come spontaneously to mind. The
Psalmist said concerning those who trusted in their riches:
"None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for
him . . . . . that he should still live for ever and not see corruption" (Psa. 49: 7, 9).
Verse eight reads "for the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever".
Dr. W. Kay renders this latter clause "and for ever unachievable", lit. "it ceaseth for ever"
or "one must cease (from that attempt) for ever" (LXX kai ekopiasen). The Prayer Book
version reads "he must let that alone for ever". The fact that redemption is free, without
money and without price, must not blind our eyes to the equally important fact, that the
Lord Jesus Christ is God's "unspeakable gift". To every believer comes the challenging
"What? know ye not . . . . . that ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price"
(I Cor. 6: 19, 20).
To every redeemed sinner comes, with the full assurance of perfect acceptance, the
consciousness of the price that was paid:
"Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold . . . . . but with the
precious blood of Christ" (I Pet. 1: 18, 19).
Redemption is the work of "The Son", for a principle is involved that necessitates the
incarnation as a prerequisite to redemption. This principle is not categorically stated in
Scripture but is implicit in several passages, among which are the following:
"It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10: 4).
"This" as Dr. Owen says "is the last determinate resolution of the Apostle concerning
the insufficiency of the law and its sacrifices for the expiation of sin". These sacrifices
had a value in that they set forth in type the one great and all sufficient sacrifice that