Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology"
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- THE MEANING OF THE ORIGINAL WORDS
- A. Old Testament words
- Ga-al - root meaning is "to set free" (a verb)
- A field or farm sold by paying back the price (Ruth
- Anything consecrated to God (Lev. 27:13,15,19-20,
- A slave (Lev. 25:48-49).
- To set free by avenging (Num. 35:19).
- Go-el - meaning "kinsman redeemer"
This word speaks of the one who had the right of redemption. He was the
one who redeemed by paying back the price, the avenger of blood, and so
this word denotes a blood relative or kinsman.
- The redeemer must be a kinsman (Lev. 25:48-49; Ruth
2:20; 3:9,12-13; 4:1-10; Job 19:25; Num. 5:8).
- The kinsman redeemer must be able (Ruth 2:1; Jer.
- The kinsman redeemer must be willing (Ruth 3:11; cp.
4:4 with 4:7).
- The kinsman redeemer must be free himself.
Boaz could not have redeemed Ruth if he had been a slave or a Moabite,
- The kinsman redeemer must have the price of
The legal tender of our redemption was the precious blood of Christ (1
Pet, 1:18-19, cp. Heb. 10:4).
- The Lord Jesus Christ fulfils all these requisites.
- He is a Kinsman (Mt. 1:1; Lk. 3:23,38; Heb.
2:14-15; Gal. 4:4-5).
- He was the able Kinsman (Heb. 7:25; Eph. 3:20; Jude
24; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
- He was the willing Kinsman (Heb. 10:4-10).
For the contrast of the ability and willingness of Christ and the
nearest kinsman, compare Ruth 4:6 with Romans 5:8 and Ephesians
"There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin;
He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in."
- The redemption was done before witnesses (Ruth
4:1-2, 9, cp. Acts 26:26).
- The position of the redeemed.
Ruth was Boaz' wife (Ruth 4:10); the receiver of all his affection
(3:11); the one sheltered under his protection (3:9, cp. Isa. 38:14).
So, the Christian is a child of God (Jn. 1:12); a member of the family
of God (Rom. 8:15); an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ (Rom.
8:17); accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6); made meet to be partakers
of the inheritance of the saints in light (Col. 1:12); the object of
His affection (Eph. 5:25-27).
- Padah - root meaning "to cut in two, to redeem or to
sever" (Lev. 19:20; 27:29)
- Qanah - meaning "to erect or create, and hence to
procure, to own, to buy, to acquire "(Neh. 5:8).
- GeuHah- meaning "freedom or price of freedom" (Lev.
25:26, 29, 32; Ruth 4:7; Jer. 32:7-8)
- New Testament words
- Agorazo - meaning "to be in the 'agora' (place of
assembly and market), hence, to buy for cine's self by a price freely
paid" (Rev. 5:9).
Following this meaning of the purchase of a slave in the marketplace, we
have a remarkable parallel so far as the condition is concerned in the
story of redemption.
- The subjects of redemption are slaves.
As far as slavery is concerned, a man is a slave to sin and to Satan and
to self (Rom. 7:14, "sold under sin"; Rom. 8:7-8; Eph. 2:2-3).
But the believer has been purchased (1 Pet. 1:18-19; Mt. 20:28).
- They are condemned to die.
Ezk. 18:4; Jn. 3:18-19; Rom. 3:19; Gal. 3:10
- The purchase price is the same for all.
Whoever will redeem these must take their place; be made a curse (Gal.
3:13); be made sin (2 Cor. 5:21); and shed his blood for a ransom (Mt.
20:28; Mk. 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6).
- Exagorazo - meaning "to purchase out of the market not
This word carries with it the thought that those whom the Lord Jesus
redeems with His own blood are not to be put up again for sale (Gal. 3:13;
- Apolutrosis - meaning "a full deliverance of the soul
from sin and of the body from the grave" (Rom. 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30;
Eph. 1:7,14; 4:30; Col. 1:14).
- This redemption freedom is from:
- The curse of the law (Gal. 3:13).
- The law itself (Gal. 4:5).
- Slavery to sin to deliverance unto sonship (Rom.
- The former vain life (1 Pet. 1:18 ASV).
Redemption then takes a slave condemned to die from the slave pen and
sets him free as a son and an heir in the Father's house.
- But there was a privilege of affection for the freed
slave (Ex. 21:5-6; cp. Ps. 40:6; cp. 2 Cor. 5:14; 1 Cor. 9:19)
- THE OLD TESTAMENT TYPES OF REDEMPTION
- Redemption is wholly of God (Ex. 3:7-8; 6:1-8).
- Redemption is through a person.
In redemption God uses a human instrument. In Exodus, the instrument was
Moses. In the great work of salvation, it is the Lord Jesus Christ (Ex.
3:10; Gal. 4:4-5; Jn. 1:29).
- Redemption is by blood.
The blood is the purchase price (1 Pet. 1:18-19); the precious blood of
Christ (cp. Lev. 17:11; 4:33-35).
- Redemption is by power.
The blood having been shed, God may righteously "pass over" the sinner when
judgment falls (Ex. 12:12-13; cp. Rom. 3:25-26), but His POWER was needed to
deliver the sinner whom He had redeemed by purchase (Ex. 6:6; 13:14;
14:21-25). The Egyptians lacked power (Ps. 77:15; Dt. 7:8; Neh. 1:10).
- PERTINENT COMMENTS ON REDEMPTION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
God's power is involved in the rest of our lives as Christians.
In Romans, we have the two aspects of redemption dealt with.
The guilt of sin is dealt with in the blood and sacrifice of Christ (Rom.
5:1). The question of the bondage of sin is handled in the sixth and seventh
chapters of Romans. The power which the Christian needs for deliverance is
explained in the eighth chapter.
Also, the redemption that is spoken of in Romans 8:23 (the redemption of the
body) is future. Redemption does have a future application. Our full and
complete redemption is future. Redemption, like salvation, is in three tenses.
There are two ideas fundamental to the truth of redemption:
- There is a purchase involved by paying a price.
- There is a deliverance by power involved.
We are redeemed by the blood of Christ and delivered by the power of the
Redemption is the act of deity in which Jesus Christ pays the whole demand of
the law for the sinner; the Father receives the believer as a son and heir;
and the Holy Spirit delivers him unto freedom from bondage to indwelling sin.
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