“THUS saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.”
Sister Susie Gillett, whose post-office is Mardela Springs, Mil., desires that we give some expression concerning “money “as it appears in the Scriptures. She has mentioned several places both in the Old and New Testaments where the word occurs. We quote the above text as a starting point, with the hope that we may be given something that may be of interest, at least, to our sister and others who love the truth as it is in Jesus.
Never in our experience in the church have we felt more destitute of all things pertaining to righteousness than now; we feel that if our redemption depends upon money, and good works of the creature, we are forever lost. We are glad that our text declares the idea of salvation by money and works to be absolutely false.
Let us now consider the first clause of the text: “Thus saith the Lord.” The prophets in declaring the messages of God to Israel said, “Thus saith the Lord.” The Savior called attention to these holy things declared by the prophets, and the apostles spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; thus the Old and New Testaments are to us the word of God or the “Thus saith the Lord.” And as far as we know, the Old Baptists and those of like precious faith are the only people who accept it just as it is, and believe that the sinner must be saved by grace alone. We are always safe in presenting the way of life and salvation just as the Scriptures teach it; we are safe in declaring predestination, election or any other point of doctrine just as the word of God declares it; science, philosophy and all the wisdom of the world combined, in the salvation of the soul, fall to the earth when weighed by the “Thus saith the Lord.”
The text at the head of this article no doubt literally refers to the captivity, and deliverance of Israel from Babylon. By their transgressions against God’s law in living in and partaking of the things which perish with the using, they had sold themselves for nought. The same is true in the case of Adam in the beginning; the forbidden fruit was that which perished with the using; only one tree in the garden of Eden yielded abiding fruit, which tree was the tree of life.
The greed for money has taken possession of the entire country; many men of high rank (so called) have fallen into disgrace because of it; some have gone down into the grave with guilt stamped upon them, others are languishing behind prison bars, others living in seclusion and others confined in insane asylums. Wives and children have been disgraced and brought low because of husbands and fathers having sold themselves for nought. Let us beware of this disease and not sell our birthright for a mess of pottage. The love of money is the root of all evil, says the word of God. Some of Israel were called greedy dogs that could not be satisfied; this principle is to-day in the flesh of all men. If a man accumulates one thousand dollars he then wants two; if he accumulates a million he wants more; this appetite can never be satisfied. It sometimes causes the children of God to neglect their church privileges, and instead of worldly prosperity making one more liberal, it often has the opposite effect. When we sell ourselves for nought we may rest assured that money can never redeem us from that bondage.
Israel went into captivity; they had sold themselves for nought, or for the things which perish. The Lord called Cyrus, a ravenous bird from the east, to execute his counsel in their deliverance; no money was paid as a ransom, but by the mighty working power of God in his servant Cyrus and also in those who followed him, Israel was delivered. In their deliverance they were taught that their money, works or righteousness had not redeemed them, but instead God’s mercy according to his promise had done all for them.
The spiritual import of our text teaches us the important lesson that we sold ourselves for nought, in the transgression of Adam, and were beyond the reach of all earthly help, as the transgressor has never been able to undo what he did, by good works or money. If he should give a world of money and live morally till the end of time he is still a transgressor. If neither money nor good works can redeem the sinner, what can?” Ye shall be redeemed without money,” saith the Lord. The first representation of this redemption was in the shedding of the blood of a lamb by the faith of Abel, who realized himself to be a sinner, and was taught by the Spirit of God that without the shedding of blood there could be no remission. Cain did not know he was a sinner, hence saw no need of the shedding of blood.
According to the Missionary idea few will be saved without money, and works of the creature; none are preachers in their sight who do not go through the schools of men to be prepared for the work as the lawyer and physician are prepared. Just who they will attribute the faith of Abel to, and the walk of Enoch, by faith, with God, and the preaching of righteousness by Noah, we do not know, but one thing is sure: they had nothing to do with it. The Lord works in the hearts of his children to-day to believe in him and to trust in him as their Redeemer just as he did in the beginning of the world, and as he did in the days of Job, who said, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
The idea of the Mission cause is that it requires money to save souls, and that without it and the gospel being sent to the heathen they must be lost. No, not if redeemed without money; the gospel is the message of salvation, but not the means unto salvation, except salvation from error, idolatry and every false way.
God made promise to the first transgressor, manifestly, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, or in other words, the works of the devil should be destroyed, not by money, but by the Lamb of God. The sinner who knew the plague of his own heart looked for the fulfillment of this promise; generation after generation, age after age passed away before the appointed time of God for the redemption of the transgressor, but this did not affect the faith of those who died without the sight, neither did it affect their eternal salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord, neither will one among the heathen or elsewhere for whom Christ died be lost. The blood of the Lamb was the price paid for the redemption of the transgressor; this was all that law and justice demanded; this was God’s way and purpose in Christ; no money used in the redemption. Ye shall be redeemed without money, therefore not one penny has ever or can ever be used in the redemption of the sinner. Peter says we “were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,” “but with the precious blood of Christ.”
Because of the redemption the Spirit calls upon the church (Zion) to awake and put on her beautiful garments; the garments of salvation doubtless are meant; these are faith, hope and charity, and every other grace, together with every fundamental principle of truth, such as election, predestination, salvation by grace, special and complete atonement and resurrection. The church clothed in such a beautiful manner is established in the truth and prepared to fight against spiritual wickedness in high places. In this clothing is clearly presented the whole armor of God which the church is commanded to put on that it may be able to withstand the wiles of the devil.
To the thirsty soul the call is, Come and buy wine and milk without money and without price; the poor and needy have neither good works nor money, hence gladly hear and obey the voice of their Shepherd, and drink. The Fountain of life provides every needful blessing for the redeemed, and it is because of the redemption through Christ that every blessing for time and eternity comes to the sinner.
Let us not forget the fact that Christ did not redeem his sheep in order to make them his, but because they were his already; not purchased with money, but chosen in him before the world began. The relationship between Christ and his people existed in eternity, hence how absurd for man in this age of the world to teach that those who are not the children of God can become children if they choose. “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.” There is no middle ground in this matter, we are either the children of God or not his children; we are either redeemed or not redeemed. With us all, faith lays hold upon the finished work of Jesus and we hope in his righteousness. To God the Father, through Christ, belongs all the praise for our redemption and sonship. K.
Editorial – Elder H. C. Ker
Signs Of The Times
Volume 74, No. 9
May 1, 1906