Who gave himself a ransom - The word λυτρον signifies a ransom paid for the redemption of a captive; and αντιλυτρον, the word used here, and applied to the death of Christ, signifies that ransom which consists in the exchange of one person for another, or the redemption of life by life; or, as Schleusner has expressed it in his translation of these words, Qui morte sua omnes liberavit a vitiositatis vi et poenis, a servitute quassi et miseria peccatorum. "He who by his death has redeemed all from the power and punishment of vice, from the slavery and misery of sinners." As God is the God and father of all, (for there is but one God, 1 Timothy 2:5;), and Jesus Christ the mediator of all, so he gave himself a ransom for all; i.e., for all that God made, consequently for every human soul; unless we could suppose that there are human souls of which God is not the Creator; for the argument of the apostle is plainly this:
The original words, το μαρτυριον καιροις ιδιοις, are not very clear, and have been understood variously. The most authentic copies of the printed Vulgate have simply, Testimonium temporibus suis; which Calmet translates: Rendant ainsi temoignage au tems marqué; "Thus rendering testimony at the appointed time." Dr. Macknight thus: Of which the testimony is in its proper season. Wakefield thus: "That testimony reserved to its proper time" Rosenmullen: Haec est doctrina, temporibus suis reservata. "This is the doctrine which is reserved for its own times;" that is, adds he, quoe suo tempore in omni terrarum orbe tradetur, "the doctrine which in its own time shall be delivered to all the inhabitants of the earth." Here he translates μαρτυριον, doctrine; and contends that this, not testimony, is its meaning, not only in this passage, but in 1 Corinthians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 2:1, etc. Instead of μαρτυριον, testimony, one MS., Cod. Kk., vi. 4, in the public library, Cambridge, has, μυστηριον, mystery; but this is not acknowledged by any other MS., nor by any version. In D*FG the whole clause is read thus: οὑ το μαρτυριον καιροις ιδιοις εδοθη· The testimony of which was given in its own times. This is nearly the reading which was adopted in the first printed copies of the Vulgate. One of them now before me reads the passage thus: Cujus testimonium temporibus suis confirmatum est. "The testimony of which is confirmed in its own times." This reading was adopted by Pope Sixtus V., in the famous edition published by him; but was corrected to the reading above, by Pope Clement VIII. And this was rendered literally by our first translator: Whos witnessinge is confermyd in his timis. This appears to be the apostle's meaning: Christ gave himself a ransom for all. This, in the times which seemed best to the Divine wisdom, was to be testified to every nation, and people, and tongue. The apostles had begun this testimony; and, in the course of the Divine economy, it has ever since been gradually promulgated; and at present runs with a more rapid course than ever.
Who gave himself a ransom for all - This also is stated as a reason why prayer should be offered for all, and a proof that God desires the salvation of all. The argument is, that as Christ died for all, it is proper to pray for all, and that the fact that he died for all is proof that God desired the salvation of all. Whatever proof of his desire for their salvation can be derived from this in relation to any of the race, is proof in relation to all. On the meaning of the phrase “he gave himself a ransom,” see the Matthew 20:28 note; Romans 3:25 note; on the fact that it was for “all,” see the notes on 2 Corinthians 5:14.
See also the Supp. note on the same passage.
To be testified in due time - Margin, “a testimony.” The Greek is, “the testimony in its own times,” or in proper times - τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδίοις to marturion kairois idioisThere have been very different explanations of this phrase. The common interpretation, and that which seems to me to be correct, is, that “the testimony of this will be furnished in the proper time; that is, in the proper time it shall be made known through all the world;” see Rosenmuller. Paul affirms it as a great and important truth that Christ gave himself a ransom for all mankind - for Jews and Gentiles; for all classes and conditions of people alike. This truth had not always been understood. The Jews had supposed that salvation was designed exclusively for their nation, and denied that it could be extended to others, unless they became Jews. According to them, salvation was not provided for, or offered to pagans as such, but only on condition that they became Jews. In opposition to this, Paul says that it was a doctrine of revelation that redemption was to be provided for all people, and that it was intended that the testimony to this should be afforded at the proper time. It was not fully made known under the ancient dispensation, but now the period had come when it should be communicated to all; compare Romans 5:6 note, and Galatians 4:4 note.
One honored of all heaven came to this world to stand in human nature at the head of humanity, testifying to the fallen angels and to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds that through the divine help which has been provided, every one may walk in the path of obedience to God's commands. The Son of God died for those who had no claim on His love. For us He suffered all that Satan could bring against Him. 1SM 309.1
Wonderful—almost too wonderful for man to comprehend—is the Saviour's sacrifice in our behalf, shadowed forth in all the sacrifices of the past, in all the services of the typical sanctuary. And this sacrifice was called for. When we realize that His suffering was necessary in order to secure our eternal well-being, our hearts are touched and melted. He pledged Himself to accomplish our full salvation in a way satisfactory to the demands of God's justice, and consistent with the exalted holiness of His law. 1SM 309.2
No one less holy than the Only Begotten of the Father, could have offered a sacrifice that would be efficacious to cleanse all—even the most sinful and degraded—who accept the Saviour as their atonement and become obedient to Heaven's law. Nothing less could have reinstated man in God's favor. 1SM 309.3Read in context »
The angels prostrated themselves before Him. They offered their lives. Jesus said to them that He would by His death save many, that the life of an angel could not pay the debt. His life alone could be accepted of His Father as a ransom for man. Jesus also told them that they would have a part to act, to be with Him and at different times strengthen Him; that He would take man's fallen nature, and His strength would not be even equal with theirs; that they would be witnesses of His humiliation and great sufferings; and that as they would witness His sufferings, and the hatred of men toward Him, they would be stirred with the deepest emotion, and through their love for Him would wish to rescue and deliver Him from His murderers; but that they must not interfere to prevent anything they should behold; and that they should act a part in His resurrection; that the plan of salvation was devised, and His Father had accepted the plan. EW 150.1
With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels and informed them that hereafter those whom He should redeem would be with Him, and that by His death He should ransom many and destroy him who had the power of death. And His Father would give Him the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and He would possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners would be destroyed, nevermore to disturb heaven or the purified new earth. Jesus bade the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that His Father had accepted and rejoice that through His death fallen man could again be exalted to obtain favor with God and enjoy heaven. EW 151.1
Then joy, inexpressible joy, filled heaven. And the heavenly host sang a song of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sang a note higher than they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up His dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels. Praise and adoration were poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that He would consent to leave the bosom of His Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to give life to others. EW 151.2Read in context »
God honors those who obey Him. “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness,” said David; “according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me” (Psalm 18:20-22). 1SM 299.1
Only the believer in Christ can receive life everlasting. Only by continually feeding on Christ's flesh and blood can we have the assurance that we are partakers of the divine nature. No one should be indifferent on this subject, saying, If we are honest, it is no matter what we believe. You cannot with safety surrender any seed of vital truth in order to please yourself or anybody else. Do not seek to avoid the cross. If we receive no light from the Sun of Righteousness, we have no connection with the Source of all light; and if this life and light do not abide in us, we can never be saved. 1SM 299.2
God has made every provision that His purpose in the creation of man shall not be frustrated by Satan. After Adam and Eve brought death into the world by their disobedience, a costly sacrifice was provided for the human race. A higher value than that they originally possessed was placed upon them. By giving Christ, His only-begotten Son, as a ransom for the world, God gave all heaven. 1SM 299.3
The acceptance of Christ gives value to the human being. His sacrifice carries life and light to all who take Christ as their personal Saviour. The love of God through Jesus Christ is shed abroad in the heart of every member of His body, carrying with it the vitality of the law of God the Father. Thus God may dwell with man, and man may dwell with God. Paul declared, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). 1SM 299.4Read in context »
Christ gave Himself to ransom man from the power of the destroyer. By becoming the sin-Bearer He broke the power of Satan. He says, “I will become the Center of the redeemed world.” TDG 28.4Read in context »