Salvation is a free gift but it is not cheap! The salvation which comes to us freely as a gift by God’s grace was purchased at a great price and high cost to God. Three words are used in Romans 3:24-25 that express the high cost that God paid for our salvation: (1) redemption, (2) propitiation, and (3) blood.
Redemption carries the idea of delivering, especially by means of paying a price. Basically and fundamentally our redemption is from under the Law which has a two sided meaning. In other words when we speak of our redemption from under the Law we must see it and speak of it as two sides of the same coin.
First we are redeemed from under the Law because we are in bondage to the Law. Now the Law is not some evil task-master and that is not why we are in bondage to it. Men are in bondage to the Law because it is the expression of the perfect and just demands of a perfect and just God. God is Law-giver and Judge and His Law must be upheld perfectly or else the penalty for violating His Law must be upheld perfectly. So without being redeemed from under the Law men who have not upheld the precepts of God’s Law perfectly must face the penalty of God’s Law which God will uphold perfectly. The only way for you and I to be redeemed from under the Law is for Someone to uphold the Law perfectly in its precepts and then die a sacrificial substitutionary death to uphold the penalty for violating the Law perfectly. Does anyone know what His name is?
Second we are redeemed from under the Law because we are in bondage to sin. The reason that we are in bondage to the Law is at its root because we are in bondage to sin. This is the flip side of the coin of being redeemed from under the Law. We cannot keep the Law because of our sinful passions and therefore we are in bondage to the Law because we are in bondage to sin. So in order for us to be redeemed from under the Law we must be saved from or redeemed from sin. The Bible speaks of our being redeemed from sin as being redeemed from every lawless deed (Titus 2:14) and as being redeemed from our futile way of life (1 Peter 1:18).
The apostle Paul spoke of this two-sided truth in Romans 7:1-6: “Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning her husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
There is a high cost to being redeemed from under the Law and from our sin!
Propitiation carries the basic idea of appeasement or satisfaction. In human terms, propitiation means appeasing someone who is angry, usually by a gift. But this is not what it means in the Bible. In the Bible, propitiation means the satisfying of God’s holy Law, the meeting of its just demands, so that God can freely and legally forgive those who come to Christ. So in propitiation the just wrath of God as the just penalty of God’s Law against ungodly, law-breaking sinners is appeased or satisfied because His Law has been actually upheld through His wrath having been actually poured out on a sinless substitute – God’s own dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Propitiation isn’t something that we do for God but something that God does for Himself and for us. There is no gift that we could give God that would satisfy His wrath for our violation of His Law. So propitiation is always the work of God and never the work of man.
In propitiation the penalty for violating God’s Law which incurs God’s wrath is turned away from the deserving sinner onto the undeserving Substitute in order that the Law is upheld, the sinner can be legally forgiven, and the Law-giver is satisfied and remains just.
There is a high cost to appeasing or satisfying the wrath of God for violating God’s holy Law!
Blood tells us what the price was that redeemed us and made propitiation for us. Jesus had to die on the cross in order to satisfy the Law, redeem men from under the Law, and justify lost sinners. Our salvation cost our Savior His life. We read that life is in the blood and therefore we know that when Jesus shed His blood for our forgiveness that He gave His life. We also read that without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
There is a high cost to our salvation and so we should not neglect so great a salvation.
If you want to know what our salvation cost God the Father then take a good look at Genesis 22
If you want to know what our salvation cost the Son of God then take a good look at Psalm 22
As we look at the cross of Calvary we see that our salvation cost God everything and yet He was willing to give it in order to redeem us and maintain His own glory and the fame of His name!