Six Excellent Properties of that Redemption Which We Have by Jesus Christ by Thomas Brooks

[1.] First, It is a GREAT redemption. The work of redemption was a great work. The greatness of the PERSON employed in this work, speaks out the work to be a great work. This was a work too high, too hard, too great for all the angels in heaven, and all the men on earth to undertake. None but that Jesus who is "mighty to save," Isaiah 63:1, was ever able to bring about the redemption of man. Hence Christ is called the Redeemer, Romans 11:26: "And their redeemer is mighty," Proverbs 23:11; Isaiah 44:6, "And his redeemer, the Lord Almighty;" Isaiah 47:4, "As for our redeemer, the Lord Almighty is his name;" Isaiah 49:26, "And your redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob;" Jer. 50:34, "Their redeemer is strong, the Lord Almighty is his name."

Again, the great and invaluable price that was paid down for our redemption speaks it out to be a great redemption. The price that we are bought with is a price beyond all computation. 1 Pet. 1:18-19, "Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," 1 Cor. 6:19-20, and 7:23. Christ was a lamb:

(1.) for harmlessness;

(2.) for patience and silence in afflictions;

(3.) for meekness and humility;

(4.) for sacrifice.

This lamb was "without blemish," Isaiah 53:7, that is, free from actual sin, and "without spot," that is, free from original sin, Jer. 11:19, (Aquinas.) That the most absolute and perfect purity of Christ—prefigured in the lambs of the Old Testament, which were to be sacrificed—might be better expressed, the apostle calls him "a lamb without blemish, and without spot," Eph. 5:27. The price that this lamb without a spot has laid down is sufficient to pay all our debts; it is a price beyond all computation. All the silver, gold, pearls, jewels in the world, are of no value—compared with this price; a price in itself infinite, and of infinite value. [Neither God nor Christ could lay down a greater price. All things in heaven and earth are not to be compared to this blood, to this price.]

Among the Romans, the goods and estates which men had gotten in the wars, with hazard of their lives, were called peculium castrense, or a field-purchase. Oh how well then may the elect be called Christ's peculium castrense, his purchase, gotten not only by the jeopardy of his life, but with the loss of his life and blood, John 10:11, 15, 17-18, and Acts 20:28.

Again, if you compare the work of redemption with other great works, you must necessarily conclude that the work of redemption is a great work.

The CREATION of the world was a great work of God, but yet that did but cost him a word of his mouth, a "let it be;" he spoke the word, and it was done; "He said, Let there be light, and there was light," etc., Gen. 1:3-6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24. But the work of redemption cost Christ's dearest blood. Much matter of admiration does the work of redemption afford us. The work of creation is many ways admirable, yet not to be compared with the work of redemption, wherein the power, wisdom, justice, mercy, and other divine attributes of God do much more shine forth; and wherein the redeemed reap much more good than Adam did by his creation, which will evidently appear by observing these particular differences:

First, In the creation God brought something out of nothing. But in the work of redemption, out of one contrary he brought another; out of death he brought life. This was a work of far greater power, wisdom, mercy. Death must first be destroyed, and then life brought forth.

Secondly, In creation there was but a word; and thereupon the work followed; in redemption there was doing and dying. But the work of redemption could be brought about by none but God. God must come down from heaven, God must be made man, God must be made sin, God must be made a curse, 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13.

Thirdly, In the creation God arrayed himself with majesty, power, and other like properties, fit for a great work. But in the work of redemption he put on weakness, he assumed a nature subject to infirmities, and the infirmities of that nature. He did as David did when he fought against Goliath, he "put off all armor, and took his staff in his hand, and drew near to the Philistine," 1 Sam. 17:39-40.

Fourthly, In the work of creation there was nothing to withstand God, to make opposition against God. But in the work of redemption there was justice against mercy, wrath against pity. Death, and he who had the power of death, was vanquished, Heb. 2:14-15; Col. 2:14-15.

Fifthly, By creation man was made after God's image, like him, Gen. 1:26-27. But by redemption, man was made a member of the same mystical body "whereof Christ is the head," Eph. 1:22, 23.

Sixthly, By creation man received a natural being. But by redemption man received a spiritual being.

Seventhly, By creation man received a possibility to stand. But by redemption man received a certainty of standing and impossibility of falling, John 10:28-31; 1 Pet. 1:5; Jer. 32:40-41.

Eighthly, By creation man was placed in an earthly paradise. But by redemption he is advanced to a heavenly paradise.

Thus you see how the work of redemption transcends the work of creation.

Again, the works of PROVIDENCE are great, very great, in the eye of God, of angels, of men; but what are the works of providence, compared to the works of redemption? For in order to the accomplishment of that great work, Christ must put off his royal robes, take a journey from heaven to earth, assume our nature, do and die, etc.

Again, the work of redemption by Christ will be found a great work, if you will but compare it with those redemptions that were but types of this. Israel's redemption from their Egyptian bondage, and from their Babylonish bondage, were very great redemptions, which were brought about by a strong hand, a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm, as the Scripture speaks. But, alas! what were those redemptions, compared to our being redeemed from the love of sin, the guilt of sin, the dominion of sin, the damnatory power of sin, and to our being redeemed from the power of Satan, the curse of the law, hell and wrath to come? 1 Thes. 1:10.

Lastly, the great things that are wrapped up in the womb, in the belly, of redemption, speak out our redemption by Christ to be a very great redemption. In the womb of this redemption you shall find reconciliation, justification, adoption, eternal salvation, etc. Are not these great, very great, things? Surely yes! But,

[2.] A second excellent property of that redemption that we have by Christ is this, that it is a FREE and GRACIOUS redemption. All the rounds in this ladder of redemption are made up of free, rich, and sovereign grace. Though our redemption cost Christ dearly, as has been before hinted, yet as to us it is most free: Eph. 1:7, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" that is, according to his exceeding great and abundant grace: "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." [This word properly signifies a deliverance, which is brought to pass by paying of a ransom and price. See Mat. 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18.] Our redemption is from the free love and favor of God. It was free grace which put God the Father upon finding out a way for the redemption of lost sinners. It was free grace that put God upon providing of such a surety, as should undertake the work of redemption, as should carry on the work of redemption, and as should accomplish and complete the work of redemption; and it was free grace that moved God the Father to accept of what Christ did and suffered, in order to the bringing about of our redemption; and it is free grace that moves God to make an application of this redemption to the souls of his people. Ah, poor souls! the Lord looks not, neither for money nor money's worth from you, towards the purchase of your redemption, and therefore always look upon your redemption as the mere fruit of rich grace, Isaiah 52:3. But,

[3.] The third excellent property of that redemption that we have by Jesus Christ is this, it is a FULL and PLENTEOUS redemption: Psalm 130:7, "Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." Christ redeems us from all sin, and from all the consequences of sin. He redeems from death, and from the power of the grave; he redeems us from the law, and from the malediction of the law. Christ took that off; he was made a curse for all that believe on him. [Hosea 13:14; Titus 2:14; Romans 7:6; Gal. 4:6, and 3:18.] He did not only stand in the place of eminent believers, but he stood in the place of all believers, and endured the wrath of God to the uttermost for everyone who believes on him. Every believer is freed from a cursed estate by the least faith. Every degree of true faith makes the condition to be a state of life, and passes us from death and condemnation: "There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."

And Christ redeems us from this present evil world, and from the earth, and from among men, and from wrath to come, and from "the hands of all our enemies." [Romans 8:1; Gal. 1:4; Rev. 14:3, 4; 1 Thes. 1:10; Luke 1:71, 74.] Jesus Christ has completely done the work of our redemption. Christ does not his work by halves; all his works are perfect; there is no defect or flaw in them at all. Christ does not redeem us from some of our sins, and leave us to grapple with the rest; he does not work out some part of our redemption, and leave us to work out the rest; he does not bear the heat and burden of divine wrath in part, and leave us to wrestle with other parts of divine wrath. Oh, no! Christ makes most complete work of it. He redeems us from "all our iniquities; he delivers us out of the hands of all our enemies," Heb. 7:25. He pays all debts, he cuts all scores, he delivers from all wrath, he takes off the whole curse, he saves to the uttermost, and will settle us in a state of full and perfect freedom, when grace shall be turned into glory. In heaven our redemption shall be entire and perfect.

[4.] The fourth excellent property of that redemption which we have by Jesus Christ, is this, it is an ETERNAL, a permanent, a lasting, yes, an everlasting redemption! Heb. 9:12, "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Redemption is in general a freeing one out of thraldom, Exod. 6:6. Now this is done three ways—

(1.) By interceding and pacifying wrath. Thus the prophet Oded, 2 Chron. 28:9, etc., procured redemption for the captives of Judah by his intercession.

(2.) By force and might. Thus Abraham redeemed his brother Lot, and the people that were captives with him, by overcoming their enemies, Gen. 14:16.

(3.) By ransom, or paying a price. Thus a Hebrew that was sold a slave to a stranger might be redeemed by one of his brethren, Lev. 25:48-49. The last of these is most agreeable to the notation of the several words, which in the three learned languages do signify to redeem, though the last be especially intended. In that, mention is made of a price, namely, Christ's blood; yet the other two are not altogether exempted, for Christ has all those three ways redeemed his people. This will more clearly appear if we duly weigh the distinct kinds of bondage in which we were by reason of sin—

(1.) We were debtors to divine justice, Mat 6:12;

(2.) We were children of wrath, Eph. 2:3;

(3.) We were slaves to Satan, Heb. 2:14-15.

(1.) As debtors, Christ has paid a ransom for us;

(2.) As children of wrath, Christ makes intercession for us;

(3.) But though divine justice be satisfied and divine wrath pacified, yet the devil will not let his captives go; therefore Christ by a strong hand wrests us out of Satan's power, "and destroys him that had the power of death, that is, the devil," Heb. 2:14-15.

The ransom which Christ paid was the ground of man's full and eternal redemption, for by satisfaction of justice way was made to pacify wrath; both which being accomplished, the devil lost his right and power over such as he held in bondage. This redemption is a full freedom from all misery, and comprises under it— reconciliation, justification, sanctification, and salvation. By this redemption divine justice is satisfied, wrath pacified, grace procured, and all spiritual enemies vanquished. The perfection of this redemption is hinted in this word eternal. The eternity here meant has a special respect to the continual duration thereof without end, yet also it respects the time past, so as it looks backward and forward. It implies a virtue and efficacy from the beginning of the world, for Christ was "a lamb slain from the foundation of the world," Rev. 13:8.

Christ himself is, Rev. 1:8, "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending—who is, and who was, and who is to come." Now that which is spoken of the person of Christ may very well be applied to our redemption by Christ. This epithet eternal is here added to redemption, in opposition to the legal purifications, which were momentary and temporary. They had a day, and endured no longer than the "time of reformation." On this ground, by just and necessary consequence, it follows that the redemption wrought by Christ is absolutely perfect, and that there is no need for any other. Redemption being eternal—all who have been, all who shall be redeemed, have been and shall be redeemed by it; and they who are redeemed by it need no other means. The liberty whereinto Christ Jesus brings the elect, is permanent and lasting, it abides unmoveable and unchangeable to all eternity. The Jews which had sold themselves to be servants were to be set free at the jubilee, yet the jubilee lasted but for one year; therefore the same persons might afterwards become bondmen again, Lev. 25. But this "acceptable year of the Lord's redeemed," Isaiah 61:2, and 63:4, is an everlasting year, it shall never end; therefore they shall never be subject to bondage any more.

It is observable that when the Lord would comfort the Jews with hopes of a return from Babylon, he usually annexed evangelical promises respecting the deliverance of poor sinners from the slavery of Satan, whereof that captivity was a type, some of which promises do plainly express the perpetuity of that spiritual freedom which they shall enjoy. Take a taste: [See also Jer. 32:39; Ezek. 37:25-28, and 39:29.] Isaiah 35:10, "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 51:6, "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and those who dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." Isaiah 60:19-20, "The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you: but the Lord shall be unto you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended." Jer. 31:11-12, "For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow any more at all." But,

[5.] The fifth excellent property of that redemption that we have by Jesus Christ is this—namely, it is an ENRICHING redemption; it is a redemption which makes men rich in "spiritual blessings in heavenly places," Eph. 1:3. There are many choice and rare spiritual benefits which attend on redemption, which go hand in hand with redemption: as reconciliation, remission of our sins, justification of our persons, adoption, sanctification, full glorification, Romans 5:1, and 3:24-25. We have some foretastes of it in this life. Here we have the "first-fruits of the Spirit," Romans 8:23, 30; but in the morning of the resurrection, we shall reap the whole harvest of glory. It is called, by way of eminency, the salvation of our souls, 1 Pet. 1:9. Redemption, and the noble benefits attending on it, are salvation begun; but in heaven this shall be salvation consummate. Redemption is a rich mine, containing a mass of treasure which cannot be valued. Could we dig into it, could we pry into it, we might find a variety of the choicest jewels and pearls, in comparison whereof all the riches of the Indies, all the gold of Ophir, and all the precious jewels and most orient pearls that are in the world, are no better than dross.

I have read of Tiberius the emperor, that passing by a place where he saw a cross lying in the ground upon a marble stone, and causing the stone to be dug up, he found a great treasure under the cross. But what was this treasure, but a great nothing—compared to that treasure which is wrapped up in our redemption by Christ! What the Lord said once to his anointed Cyrus, a temporal deliverer of his people, the same he has spoken, and much more, to his anointed Jesus, the greater Savior and Redeemer of his church: "I will give you the treasures of darkness, the hidden riches of secret places," Isaiah 43:3. There are "unsearchable riches" in Jesus Christ. In him are riches of grace, of all grace; in him are riches of justification, and riches of sanctification, and riches of consolation, and riches of glorification. Would you share in the best of riches, would you share in the most durable riches, would you share in soul riches, would you share in heavenly riches? Oh, then, secure your interest in the redemption that is by Jesus Christ. But,

[6.] The sixth, and last, excellent property of that redemption that we have by Jesus Christ is this—namely, it is a redemption- sweetening redemption; it is such a redemption as sweetens all other redemptions. It is redemption by Christ, which sweetens our redemption out of this trouble and that, out of this affliction and that, out of this danger and that, out of this sickness and that, out of this bondage and that. Redemption by Christ is like that tree which Moses cast into the bitter waters of Marah, which made them sweet, Exod. 15:23. This water became sweet for the use and service of the Israelites for a time only, and remained not always sweet after, as appears by Pliny's Natural History, who makes mention of those bitter waters in his time. But the redemption that we have by Jesus Christ does forever sweeten all the bitter trials and afflictions that we meet with in this world. The Jewish doctors say that this tree was bitter, and they give us this note upon it, "that it is the manner of the blessed God to sweeten that which is bitter by that which is bitter." I shall not dispute about the truth of their notion; but this I may safely say, that it is the manner of the blessed God to sweeten our greatest troubles, and our sharpest trials, by that redemption that we have by Jesus Christ.

And thus you see the excellent properties of that redemption that Jesus Christ, by covenant or compact with his Father, was engaged to work for us.

Excerpt from Thomas Brooks, The Golden Key and Other Hidden Treasures.  Found in his Works, volume 5, pages 354-358.

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