Saturday, April 20, 2013

Buying Humanity- essential ingredient to the new covenant?

I think I have at last grasped the larger picture with respect to the New Covenant, the gospel proclamation, and Christ as a savior of all men. Bless you 17th century theologians for pointing this out in a way that finally stuck with me. I hope I have, at any rate.

Christ dies on the cross to satisfy the wrath of the Father, in order to purchase men for all eternity.
Hebrews 7:27b "He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself." The thought is taken up again in Hebres 9:14 "How much more then will the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" To buy mankind.

This is where I used to digress to prove Jesus is a man and say something to the effect of He was a real flesh and blood man, a truly living, breathing, Grandma had to teach Him the barn animals man. He got hungry, sick, tired, out of breath, and excited for His 3rd birthday party. Hebrews 5:1 "For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins."
And while Jesus was a man therefore when He offered Himself He offered a sacrifice that's good for all men, it now seems to me that stopping here steals the power of the event. It is more fitting to say Jesus buys all men, from The Father, for Himself, therefore the gospel invitation is for all men. As their creator God the Father was entitled to them, for all under heaven and Earth is His. But having sinned man fell into ruin and misery and had earned just punishment of wrath. Therefore when Jesus comes He buys them from the Fathers sentence of punishment with Himself, Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" Jesus came, not to judge or condemn the world, but to save it.
And when He does He ransoms all of them, 1 Timothy 2:5-6 "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men"
1 Peter 2:1 "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction."
1 Tim 4:10 "For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

His cross was the currency by which He buys all men to Himself, which is why the Bible speaks in the pecuniary category.
And what did He want with them that He would be willing to take their punishment upon Himself? Why buy them all? To offer them a new and better covenant of course, so that He might have mercy on them, by His own shed blood (Luke 22:20 "And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.")

This is in contrast to the old agreement, whereby the Father would accept men if they were perfect and could keep all the rules. It was impossible of course, so Jesus took this aside, nailing it to the cross so that He may issue a new covenant with new terms and conditions: do not work anymore, but believe. Whomever believes will have eternal life.
The new covenant is synonymous with belief, with 'good news' with a better hope, a better promise. We are bought to new and better terms. It's not earn, it's He has earned. It's not do, its Christ has done.

So now we are all under a covenant to God the Son, who is our new rightful Lord and Master. This is why God the Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son- ("The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son") because they are His. This is why our alliegence is to the Son " Ps 2:12 "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." Because we are His.
This is why the prophets who served God the Father in the OT called men to look to Him, but the Son sends His Apostles to preach the message of reconciliation, of belief and forgiveness, because they are His purchased possession. Particularly the elect.
And this is the answer to the question of limited or unlimited atonement, this is why Jesus sacrifice is good for all men: He has already bought all men for His glory in order to issue them an invitation to union with Him on condition of belief.

That incidentally is also the answer to hypercalvinists- men die because they have run afoul with Christ, who is their owner, by not meeting His terms of faith. Since Christ has bought all men, they are all now in a saveable state, and therefore Christ issues a reasonable and sincere offer for them come to the Father through Him, be reconciled in other words, since He has paid their debt.

This is also the answer to the stupid argument of double Jeopardy (God can't send men to hell if Christ has paid the price for their sins because that would be unjust.) Christ paid the price to the Father, there now exists a debt for us to Christ the Son, since He is our master.

The fact that Christ owns all men, elect and not seems to bring together the manifold images and concepts of redemption and provide an easy to understand answer. 

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