Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
I was in a men’s bible study a few years ago and one gentlemen in the group described the salvation process like this: “If I go to the store and buy a gallon of milk then offer it to you, you have the free will to accept it or refuse it.” In other words, Jesus purchased salvation for us and offers it to us and we can either accept it or reject it by an act of our free will. At first glance that sounds reasonable doesn’t it? WRONG!
You see the problem with that analogy is that Jesus didn’t purchase salvation for us and then offer it to us to accept or reject. He purchased US! Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23, YOU were bought with a price (emphasis mine). The idea is that God redeemed or ransomed us. Paul wrote to Titus, Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:13-14 ESV)
All those who believe in Jesus Christ belong to God. Peter concurs, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 ESV) Jesus purchased us for God. John recorded the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures singing, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9 ESV)
Jesus took our sin upon himself, he literally became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), so that he could bear the punishment for our sin which is death (Romans 6:23). By taking our place on the cross Jesus suffered the wrath of God that was poured out on our sin. Near death he cried out, “It is finished!” meaning the debt had been paid in full (John 19:30). The wrath of God, the debt for our sin and the ransom price to bring us to God were satisfied. Now, since he paid the ransom or redemption price he owns us.
Before the foundation of the world God foreknew us, predestined us, chose us, and adopted us to be his children (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:4-5). God made a covenant with us before we were born; before we did anything good or bad. But, all of us like sheep wondered off, so the Good Shepherd came to lay down his life for the sheep to bring us to God our Father (John 10:11; 1 Peter 2:25, 3:18). By his blood Jesus became the mediator of God’s covenant promise to his people (Luke 22:20; Hebrews 8:10-12; 9:15; 12:24).
So, our boasting is not in our choosing (the milk) but in God’s choosing us. It is humbling to realize that it was God’s idea to redeem us long before we were born. And maybe even more humbling is realizing that he didn’t choose to redeem everyone. Let that sink in.
Scriptures for meditation: