Paul is quite clear as to the centrality of the doctrine of the atonement of CHRIST in the preaching of the gospel. We see this clearly illustrated in his declaration to the Corinthians at the beginning of his first epistle. “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1Cor 2:2) If he, as an apostle, declared that he would preach no other doctrine, then how can any man, who claims to revere his writing as that which is verbally inspired by GOD HIMSELF, be willing to adopt a view of that precious work of CHRIST in the behalf of HIS elect bride, which would make that which is accomplished by CHRIST to be of equal or even secondary importance to the free will of man.
There is probably no other doctrine which is more often denied by the rank and file, Bible teachers and their hearers, than the particular, definite, and substitutionary nature of that redemptive work which CHRIST has performed on Calvary’s cross. Some think that the gospel cannot be preached without a declaration of a universal work which CHRIST has done for every member of the human race, along side what man must do in order to make the work of CHRIST efficacious to themselves..
They call this teaching GOD’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The truth is that this is in reality no gospel at all, but is in fact an exaltation of man, as the deciding factor in whether or not he will be saved. Such is a denial of the sovereign purpose of GOD to save that people which HE loved in CHRIST from before the foundation of the world.
Many who thus claim to preach “the cross of CHRIST”, actually deny the efficacy of HIS work, in favor of a teaching which has more appeal to the religious flesh of man which delights in his own free will. Thus instead of preaching a complete and finished work of CHRIST for a particular people, which actually procured their redemption, they preach that CHRIST made a general attempt to save as many as HE could by making a general offering for sin which makes salvation a mere possibility rather than an absolute fact. By doing so they preach not the “cross of CHRIST”, but rather a mongrel view of a salvation which depends partly on GOD and partly on man, with man holding the trump card, to even thwart the purpose of GOD.. This is a grave deception which is entertained by many.
It is impossible to mistake the apostle Paul’s views on the extent and purpose of the atonement of CHRIST, by a simple reading of what he said about it throughout his writings. This is probably nowhere any more clearly stated than in his exhortation to the Corinthians, as he said, “Ye are bought with a price.”
We would certainly think it odd if a man went into a store with money in his hand, stated his purpose to spend his money but never selected an object to buy. We would also consider any man a fool if he paid a set price in order to purchase something and then never took possession of it. A purchase assumes an item selected, a price paid, and a possesion of that which was paid for. This is exactly that which CHRIST has performed.
As we begin a new year, it would do us well to contemplate these glorious words of the Apostle Paul. Ye are bought with a price. .
He speaks to a specific and particular people, rather than the whole human race, or any who might happen by when he says “Ye are bought”. He addresses those who are of the household of faith. Those to whom the grace of GOD in salvation has been made manifest. These are the only ones of whom we can say, “Ye are bought”. It is no doubt true that the LORD has bought the salvation of all of HIS elect, but neither they nor we can determine who they are apart from the manifestation of faith by the gift of GOD’s grace. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Eph 1:13-14)
He speaks about a purchase which is accomplished completely by SOMEONE other than themselves. “Ye are bought”. In this he refers to HIM who had both the power and the will to make this purchase and most especially of the fact that HE made this purchase in order to secure a possession. Those who are bought, have no say in the matter nor can anyone nullify that transaction, or by unwillingness overturn the work of HIM who paid the price to possess it. This is no cooperative effort between those bought and the BUYER.
He speaks about the cost involved in this purchase. “Ye are bought with a price.” His exhortation to the Ephesian elders was this, “Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. “ (Acts 20:28) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb 9:12) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1Pet 1:18-19)
Is it possible that such a price could be expended and yet fail to secure that which the ONE who paid it determined to possess? Away with such blasphemy from the earth. How can anyone suppose that this payment is insufficient to procure exactly what HE intended to gain. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa 53:10-11)
Now if it be true, (and of this we have no doubt), then it surely follows that those who are “bought” no longer belong to themselves, but unto HIM who paid the price to secure their salvation. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1Cor 6:19) Shall a man rob GOD of that which is HIS by design and redemption?
No, a thousand times no. Those who are purchased and bought cannot live unto themselves, they must “glorify GOD” in body and spirit. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1Cor 6:20) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cor 5:17)
They are made a new creation, wherein the SPIRIT of GOD is pleased to take up HIS abode, and that body which is yet corruptible has nonetheless been purchased by CHRIST who shall even yet deliver it from the grave. “Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Rom 8:23-24) “We shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1Cor 15:51-53) Bought and paid for, indeed!mam