Matthew 20:28 (Returning to a Former Master; A Ransom For Many)

As we recall from our previous lessons, the very nature of sin is that of bondage and enslavement, and the ultimate source of all our bondage, whatever it might be, is our bondage to sin.  Moreover, the full implication of our redemption is not only that Christ died as a substitionary atonement in order that we might be forgiven the penalty of our sins, but that He gave His life as a ransom in order that we might be delivered from all the bondage of sin.  See again Joh 8:34-36, Rom 7:14,24-25a and Tit 3:3-5.  Does the fact that one has been set free from slavery mean that he may not of his own will continue to serve his old master?  See Exo 21:5-6.  Does the fact that one has been redeemed from bondage to even a cruel taskmaster mean that he will then serve his new master and not seek to return to the fleshpots of his former slavery?  See Exo 16:3, Num 14:1-4, Neh 9:17.  What is it that makes those flesh pots so appealing as to entice a person or people back into the slavery to a former taskmaster?  Think: Does the fact that a person has been ransomed from bondage to a cruel taskmaster mean that he has no responsibility to the new master who redeemed him?  See 1Co 6:19-20, Exo 7:16, 8:1,20, 9:1,13, 10:3, and Luk 1:73-75.  Does the fact that God once redeemed a people mean that He will not eventually allow them to return to their former slavery, or if they stubbornly refuse to serve Him, even Himself cause them to return to their own destruction?  See Deut 28:68, Hos 8:13, Jer 42:7-43:7, 44:12-14.  Do these things only have meaning and apply in a literal sense to the Jews, or in the same way, does the fact that God once redeemed a person from sin mean that He will not eventually give that person over to return to his former iniquity and be destroyed if he stubbornly refuses to serve Him?  See Rom 15:4, 1Co 10:1-12, Heb 6:4-8, 10:26-31, 2Pe 2:20-22, Jude 1:5.

What do these things teach us about the true nature of salvation, and the notion that we can in any manner continue in our sin against God and not surely die?  Cf. Gen 2:17, 3:1-4.  How does it also help us to understand that if a person’s heart is not pure and does not have a sincere love for the truth, he can never be saved?  Cf. 2Th 2:9-12, 2Ti 3:1-5; contrast Deut 4:29.  In light of these truths, what choice does Christ’s ransom offer us?  See Jos 24:14-15.  So then, when confronted with anything in the word of God or our own conscience that is contrary to our own flesh which would rather remain in or return to the Egypt of the world, what must we do?  Cf. Luk 6:46-49.

For how many does Jesus say in this verse that He would give His life as a ransom?  Are we to understand “many” in the sense that there are some for whom Christ did not die, because He died only for the elect as is taught by the Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement?  Or are we to understand “many” in the sense that although Christ died for all, and many will indeed be ransomed from their bondage to sin, still others will choose of their own free will to continue to serve their old master and remain in bondage so that although Christ died for all, we cannot say that all will ultimately be ransomed and saved from their sins?  See 1Ti 2:6, 4:10, Joh 3:16[1], Mat 24:10-13.



[1] Notice Joh 3:16 does not say, “For God so loved the elect…”

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