Ephesians 1

Steven Lawson: To the Praise of His Glory: God’s Grand Design of Redemption

A biblical view of salvation centers on God. Before the foundation of the world, He graciously chose a people for Himself while justly passing over others “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Eph. 1:3–6). This session will demonstrate why the doctrine of God forms the heart of our understanding of the gospel and the doctrines of grace.

This message is from Ligonier’s 2015 Fall Conference, So Great a Salvation.

Grieving The One Who Sealed You

Text: Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

The Holy Spirit is not a force but a Divine Person whom we can grieve. Yet even when this happens, He never threatens His people with abandonment, having sealed us for the day of redemption. There is much concerning the Person and work of the Holy Spirit in this vital message.

To the Praise of His Glory

Steven Lawson: To the Praise of His Glory: God’s Grand Design of Redemption

A biblical view of salvation centers on God. Before the foundation of the world, He graciously chose a people for Himself while justly passing over others “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Eph. 1:3–6). This session will demonstrate why the doctrine of God forms the heart of our understanding of the gospel and the doctrines of grace.

Does 2 Peter 2:1 Deny Particular Redemption?

questionmarkredstandingDoes 2 Peter 2:1 Deny Particular Redemption?

2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

When someone tells me that they are a 4 point Calvinist, it is almost always the case that their struggle is with the “L” in the famous TULIP acrostic, namely so called “Limited Atonement.” “Definite Atonement” or “Particular Redemption” might be better terms to use (though they destroy the acrostic TULIP into “TUDIP” or even worse, “TUPIP” – hardly good memory devices).

Concerning the letters of Paul, the Apostle Peter was right when he related that some things are “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). Sometimes it takes a good deal of prayer, hard work and study to determine what the Bible is teaching on certain matters. For my part, I have not always been a 5 point Calvinist and have great sympathy for those who struggle with these very vital “doctrines of grace.” I tend to think however that many do not struggle with them nearly enough.

Our traditions can be so strong that we are often blind to them in our own thinking. We all have our blind spots. Part of my own intellectual struggle with the doctrine of Limited Atonement stemmed from a faulty understanding of certain biblical texts. One of them was 1 John 2:2, another being 2 Peter 2:1. For many years, I thought that these verses were irrefutable texts that rejected the idea that Christ died to infallibly secure the salvation of a certain group (His people, His sheep, His friends, His elect – Particular Redemption) and were proof that Christ died for all people, at all times, in every part of the world (Universal Redemption). I wrote an article some time back called “The Divine Intention of the Cross” found here, in which I made a case for Particular Redemption from scripture.

I also wrote a short article on 1 John 2:2, found here, but also wanted to post a few brief comments I came across today made by Dr. James White on 2 Peter 2:1 in a comment section on a blog.

Regarding 2 Peter 2:1, Dr. White writes:

1) Derive soteriological truths from soteriological passages (this isn’t);
2) “Lord” is despotes (sovereign title) not kurios (soteriological title);
3) Is this the Father or the Son? Can it be proven?
4) “bought” (agorasanta) has no purchase price mentioned, which would be the only time that happens in the NT *if* this is a soteriological reference;
5) The passage says the Master did not *potentially* purchase these men, but that He did, in fact, purchase these men (sovereignty, not redemption). Compare Deuteronomy 32:5-6 for parallel use in the OT.
6) Derive the extent of the atonement from Hebrews that discusses it, not from 2 Peter’s reference to false teachers.

Though obviously these six short comments are not full rebuttals to the Arminian understanding of the verse, there is enough here to hopefully whet the appetite for further study.

For anyone interested in a more thorough discussion of 2 Peter 2:1, I would recommend an article written here by Simon Escobido. Of course, John Owen’s “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ” is the classic work on this subject.

Redemption

Pastor Bruce Brock writes:

A good way to understand “redemption” is to look at the biblical words used for it. There are three Greek words and two Hebrew words.

1. Agorazo (Gk) describes a marketplace, an “agora” where all kinds of goods were purchased. This suggests Christ’s saving work was his purchasing us for Himself in the world’s “marketplace”.

2. Exagarazo (Gk) closely related to the first with the addition of the prefix, “ex” which means out of. Christ has bought us out of the marketplace with the idea that the person purchased might never have to return there again. 1 Pet 1:18-19

3. Lytrosis has to do with freeing a slave by paying for him. Jesus has freed us from sin’s slavery by His death. Jesus has redeemed us and purchased us by His blood.

A rich understanding of the redemptive work of Christ is seen in the Old Testament.

1. Kopher means “a ransom price.” It refers to the redemption of a person who, apart from that redemption would die. If your animal killed someone and you knew that animal was dangerous, you could forfeit your life. Old Testament law provided a way the owner could come to an agreement with the relatives of the deceased, and it would be possible for him to pay a ransom price. This ransom price was called the “kopher”.

a. Jesus ransomed us from not only sin’s power; He delivered us from death which is the punishment God established for transgressions.

2. The last word we will look at is go’el which means “kinsman-redeemer”. Here was a principle of Jewish law that property should remain within a family if possible. So, if a Jewish person lost his or her share of the land through debt or some other means, an obligation evolved on a near relative (if there was one) to buy the property back again. This close relative was a “kinsman” and if willing and able to purchase the property and restore it to the family, he became a “kinsman-redeemer. In some cases, where there was no male heir to inherit the property, the duty of the kinsman extended to marrying the widow in order to raise up an heir.

There were three qualifications in order to be a kinsman-redeemer:

a. He had to be a close relative (a stranger would not do).

b. He had to be willing to take on this responsibility (nobody could be compelled to do this work).

c. He had to be able to pay the ransom price (he had to have sufficient means at his disposal).

RUTH: A ROMANCE OF REDEMPTION. All three conditions of the kinsman-redeemer were fulfilled in our Lord Jesus. The book of Ruth makes these truths vivid. It is the story of Ruth and her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz.

In redeeming us, Jesus fulfilled similar qualification: 1) He became our kinsman by the incarnation, being born in this very town of Bethlehem, 2) He was willing to be our Redeemer, because of His great love for us, 3) He was able to redeem us, because He alone could provide an adequate redemption price by dying. Job 19:25-27

The redemption of Ruth may not have cost Boaz a great deal, at the most money; but our redemption cost Jesus Christ His life.