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God is a giver – Part 4

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Austen C. Ukachi. Photo: HEISALIVEBLOG<br />

God never ceases giving to us. In Christ, the Father has given to man his best. He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ.

Our self-centred nature would always constrain us to hold back our best, but it was not so with God. He gave His best to us. He gave Jesus as our ransom. It is easier to give land, houses and physical goods in exchange for human life, but God gave a human life as a ransom for our sins. Why did God do this? Paul answers in Titus 1:14, “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

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A ransom delivers or rescues from punishment for sin, with the payment of a redemptive fine. A slave or captive is not liberated by a mere gratuitous favour, but a ransom price is been paid, in consideration of which he is set free. The original owner receives back his lost possession because he has bought it back “with a price.”

In Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45, Jesus referred to Himself as “a ransom for many,” and Paul used an identical word in 1 Timothy 2:6, “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” The Greek words translated “ransom” in these texts indicate a price paid for redeeming or ransoming a slave or prisoner – a common practice in the time of the New Testament – or the price for a life, closer to what we might think of today in the context of kidnapping and holding a person “for ransom.”

Acts 20:28 states that Jesus “bought” us. This passage helps us understand how Jesus “paid” this ransom, for it says that the church was “bought with his own blood.” First Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23 remind the reader that they “were bought with a price.”

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Though Jesus is our ransom, that is not to say that He paid any fee to Satan, but that He defeated Satan at the cross. His work of atonement does release us from bondage to sin and Satan, and we are saved primarily from the wrath of God (1 Thess. 1:9-10). Christ’s atonement placates our Creator’s wrath. This is what the term propitiation means. Jesus bears this punishment in place of His people, allowing the Lord to be favourable to all who are in Christ.

Jesus ransoms us from the wrath of God, which means that we never need to fear His condemnation if we trust in Christ alone for our salvation.

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Jesus is not only our RANSOM but also our MEDIATOR. Paul describes God’s gift to man in different ways. In 1 Timothy 2:5-6, he says “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 2:5-6 NKJV). A mediator attempts to settle a disagreement between two parties with the goal of resolving a dispute. There is only one Mediator between mankind and God, and that is Jesus Christ.

Again, Hebrew states, “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15).

Jesus embodies all the gifts of God to man. For giving, Jesus, we are eternally grateful. Like Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (II Corinthians 9:15 NKJV). Contact: pastoracukachi@gmail.com‬

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