Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 17, 1961
NUMBER 15, PAGE 5b,12c-13a

Causes Of Redemption

C. D. Plum, Paden City, West Virginia

1. God is the prime cause of redemption. Hear it: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." (Gal. 4:4-5) This indicates very strongly that God made the first move in the redemption of man. Another Scripture will be in place here. We read: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people." (Luke 1:68)

2. Jesus is the mediatorial cause of redemption. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 2:5) There is none better fitted than Jesus to stand between God and man as a middle man. Partaking of both flesh and blood, as well as divinity, Jesus can represent man to God, and he can plead with God for man.

Jesus is not only the mediator between God and man, but he is the "mediator of the new testament." One can no more accept Christ and reject the new testament than he can fly to heaven. To obey the new testament is to obey Christ, to disobey the new testament is to disobey Christ. Man cannot come to God directly. He must come by Jesus and his word. Did not Jesus say, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me?"

3. The Holy Spirit is the revealing cause of redemption. The Spirit's revelation has already been made. Jesus taught the apostles for three and one half years. And just before his ascension into heaven he told these apostles to: "Teach them (the people) to observe 'all' things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:20) This would have been an impossible task for the apostles without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The apostles did not have this teaching of Christ written down. How could they remember everything Jesus taught them in three and one half years? They could not. And Jesus knew they could not. He knew they needed the Holy Spirit to bring this teaching back to their memory. And Jesus told the apostles the Holy Spirit would bring his teaching back to their memory. Now let us read John 14:26: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." So, apostolic teaching is not guess work. Since we now have the written teaching of Christ, given by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, when we wish to know what the Spirit has said, we read it in the new testament, All that God wants us to know is contained therein. For he has revealed "all that pertains unto life and godliness." (2 Pet. 1:3)

4. The blood of Christ is the procuring cause of salvation. "Without the shedding of blood is no remission of sins." (Heb. 9:22) Since the word of God declares that, "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats can take away sin," it follows that the blood which procures the remission of sins is the blood of Christ. And this statement is amply borne out in the teaching set forth in 1 Peter 1:18-19.

Some have been heard to say they cannot see the necessity of baptism since the blood of Christ saves. Let us remember, too, that the word of Jesus says, "Baptism doth also now save us." (1 Pet. 3:21) The only thing for us to bear in mind is this. In some way, baptism connects us with the blood of Christ. Look at it this way. (a) Christ's blood was shed in his death. (b) We are baptized into his death. (Rom. 6:3-4) Again, look at it this way. (a) Christ's blood is in his body. (b) His body is the church. (Eph. 1:22-23) (c) We are baptized into Christ, into his body. (Gal. 3:27) That which connects us with the blood of Christ is as important as it can be. Baptism connects us with the blood of Christ. So, without baptism we cannot be saved.

5. The apostles are the ambassadorial cause of redemption. The United States ambassadors represent this country to other countries. So, the apostles of Christ represent Christ to the people. As the apostle has well said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ." (2 Cor. 5:20)

6. The gospel of Christ is the prescribing cause of redemption. Earthly doctors prescribe for physical sickness. Jesus has given the prescription for gospel obedience, worship, and work in the gospel. And as druggists are prohibited from changing the doctor's prescriptions, so people dare not change the gospel prescriptions concerning service for God. For of the gospel it is said, "By which also ye are saved."

7. Man's obedience is the appropriating cause of redemption. It is the Lord's business to prescribe, but it is man's business to take the medicine. The Lord is the author of eternal salvation unto "all them that obey him." (Heb. 5:9)