A Short Study of 1st Corinthians 7:23

“For ye are bought with a price.”
(1st Corinthians 6:20)

For centuries so-called theologians and preachers have mocked the preaching of what they have called a “mercantile redemption.” They have denied the need of Christ’s death being a payment, a satisfaction to God’s justice or a propitiation for our sins. They deny this because they deny the true condition of all men apart from the grace of God in Christ. If men are in such a state that it requires the death of God as the price of our salvation, then what an awful, poverty-stricken state we must be in. Helpless and hopeless without the Redeemer, unable to save ourselves and totally dependent on the free and sovereign grace of God. No, the only gospel, the only salvation in the Bible is described by the words given by the Holy Spirit as just that. His words speak of and require this “payment.” The word “redemption” itself meaning, “to buy back by the payment of a price.”

Who requires this payment for sin? A holy God.

Who pays this price? Christ the Redeemer.

What is the price He pays? Himself! His holy, sinless life. His blood. As a matter of fact, the sacrifice of Himself is called a “ransom” which means “the price paid in redemption.” This is what the Redeemer Himself declares: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

Christ gave His life a “ransom” to redeem, not all, but “many.” As we read in John 10:11 & 15, the Shepherd “gives” and “lays down” His life “for the sheep.” Christ paid a particular price for a particular people, purchasing the church with His own blood! “..By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)

Boaz went down to the city gate as the kinsman redeemer for the purpose of redeeming Ruth and he did it.

Hosea went down to the slave market to redeem Gomer. He paid the price and redeemed her.

Christ as the Surety (another such word) of His people had long been responsible for the full debt of their sin and when He hung on the cross, suffering and dying in the fulfillment of that suretyship, cried, “It is finished.” How was this debt of sin finished? Not by setting it aside but by paying it! Christ paid the sin debt of all who believe on Him. This is why the Spirit of God brings them to believe on Him. Justice requires it now because it is paid, they now must be set free! “Paid in full” is what the gospel of Christ announces to His people. The wages of sin is death and it is Christ that died. Christ died for our sins, and in Him has been given to us righteousness. Before God, our debit column is empty and our credit column is full.

G. Shepard

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