dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish



Forgiven. Alive. Servant. I love the thoughtful responses to my last post. We can easily become over-familiar with the vocabulary of the Cross, and cease to consider the significance of the words we use so often. I don't think that one word can encapsulate all that we are and all that we have received in Christ, but I do think that some words are particularly packed with meaning, and I know that it's worthy thing to take time to consider them.

So yes, I did have a word in mind when I asked that question in my last post. I've been thinking, of late, about what it means that we have been ransomed. This word had been on my mind earlier this year. Then, this month, a chapter in The Cross of Christ brought it back to the forefront of my thoughts. In the chapter called "The Salvation of Sinners," John Stott discusses four words which together describe our salvation: propitiation, redemption, justification, and reconciliation. (I hope to write more about the book, and especially that chapter, sometime soon.)

In the section on redemption, Stott writes that "[We] have been 'ransomed' by Christ, not merely 'redeemed' or 'delivered' by him." This has had me thinking about the significance of being ransomed, beyond merely being redeemed or delivered or freed. Also contributing to my thoughts on this word were the following verses, which I read in my devotions earlier this week.
"Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit. . . But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me."
--Psalm 49:7-9, 15 (ESV)

If we want to understand a word, one thing that we can do is look at the dictionary: a consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity.
  • If we have been ransomed, then we were in captivity.
  • If we have been ransomed, then we have been released from captivity.
  • If we have been ransomed, then a price had to be paid. There was no chance of merely "escaping."
  • If we have been ransomed, then someone else paid the price.
  • Finally, the word ransomed is also in the past tense. It means that it is finished. The price has been paid in full. We are not being ransomed. We have been ransomed.

But the Scriptures instruct us far beyond the dictionary.
  • From the Scriptures we see that we were in captivity to sin (John 8:34).
  • From the Scriptures we see that we are no longer in captivity because we are alive in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5).
  • From the Scriptures we see that a price had to be paid, yet that no man could pay it (Psalm 49:7).
  • From the Scriptures we see that Jesus Christ paid our ransom with His own blood (Revelation 5:9).
  • From the Scriptures we see that it was finished at the cross (John 19:30), and that Jesus Christ sat down at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12).

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One Word

If you were to choose one word to describe who you are as a follower of Jesus Christ, what word would you choose, and why?



November's Quote to Ponder

"What God is inspires awe. What God has done for His people commands affection."
--William Arnot