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June 18 Today’s Reading: Psalm 44-50
“The redemption of their soul is precious.”
No sinner can redeem himself; and none can redeem his brother, because we have nothing with which to pay the ransom price. — “For the redemption of their soul is precious!” The only ransom price by which the souls of men could be redeemed is “the precious blood of Christ.”
“For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever.” — Dear and precious is the redemption of the soul. It cannot be bought with corruptible things like silver and gold. But the precious blood of Christ is a ransom price of infinite worth. Sinners ransomed by the sacrifice of Christ are dearly purchased, so dearly purchased that once the ransom price was paid redemption ceased forever. Those purchased cannot be lost.
How we rejoice in the sweet gospel doctrine of limited atonement! God’s elect, being redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, are effectually redeemed forever! What mercy is here! Oh, precious Lamb of God, all thanks and praise we give to you for your great, tender compassion toward us, “for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation!”
Redemption is as much an act of divine justice as it is a matter of divine mercy. It is God's greatest act of love and mercy that he gave his Son to die in the place of sinners. But it is also the clearest display of his justice. The precious blood of Christ was shed as a ransom price, paid into the hands of justice. It was the price required by the law. It is now clear that God is inflexibly just, for, when his own darling Son was made sin for us, he was slain according to the strict requirement of the law. And now that the law has been fully satisfied justice will not allow one soul to perish for whom Christ died.
Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety's hand,
And then again at mine.
Justice will not allow a double payment for sin. The justice of God pleads as strongly as his mercy for the eternal salvation of his elect. The price of redemption for them was paid at Calvary. At the cross, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Because Christ died and rose again, “He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.” Sovereign mercy purposed it. And satisfied justice demands it.
A just redemption is and must be a particular and effectual redemption. The foolish notion of universal redemption (the doctrine that Christ died for everyone) is as blasphemous as it is foolish. We rejoice to hear God say of our Redeemer, “He shall not fail!” The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ shall never be discovered a miscarriage. Every sinner for whom the Lord Jesus died shall live forever with him. Each ransomed soul shall be born again at God’s appointed time by the omnipotent operations of his grace. Because the redemption of our souls was accomplished by the precious blood of Christ, the Lord God declares, regarding every redeemed sinner, “He shall live forever, and not see corruption” (Psalm 49:9).
Thanks, eternal thanks and praise, everlasting praise, we give to you, O God, our Savior, for the redemption of our souls!