Ransom Theory

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Source: “Agnus Dei” (The Lamb of God) by Francisco de Zurbaran

Definition of sin: “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4b, KJV)

In the beginning God, in all probability, warned the devil by saying: “The wages of sin [rebellion] is death!” (Romans 6:23a) Because we know that the devil had been attending Gods council and we know that in the course of history, God warned all people for the consequences of sin, as a Moral Judge (See again Romans 6:23a and Romans 2:14-15,…).

The devil fell due to his rebellion and the wages of death he will certainly receive (Revelation 20:10).

After his fall, he dragged along with him, Adam en Eve, by deceiving them (Genesis 3), Cain (Genesis 4) and eventually every human being who has sinned and every human being who has not yet sinned but who will sin in the future (Romans 5:12, 1 John 3:8a).

The next part of this article can be summarized by the latest verse that has been quoted:
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
– 1 John 3:8a (New King James Version)

It can also be explained in the following manner:

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”
– Hebrews 2:14-17 (King James Version)

Jesus was innocent. Therefore, He did not have to die.
But precisely  because He died as being innocent, Jesus can now ransom all those who put their trust in Him from the devil; the accuser (Revelation 12:10).

I don’t believe that the ransom was paid to the devil [1], but that it was paid to the Father. God made the law, the devil accused the transgressors, Jesus paid the ransom to the Father. (I know this sounds like a contradiction, in that it was not paid to the one who held us captive, but it ransomed us from him).

Of course, chances are that we, by not loving Him anymore, by not trusting in Him and by not trusting on His ransom anymore will put aside the ransom, as illustrated in the following scheme:

Read the following article for more information:
Conditional Security

Also read this article for the full story.

Read also “What Happened on The Cross?” (by ReKnew).
Read also “Moral Influence Theory” (by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry).
Governmental Theory of The Atonement“.

Also read the following articles:
Living What We Believe (by Will Birch).
Sola Fide.


[1] Gregory of Nazianzus wrote:

“I ask to whom was the price of ransom given? To the Evil One himself? Shame on the rash thought. Then the robber would receive not merely from God, but God himself as a ransom and exceeding rich reward for his tyranny.”

Source: William Greenough Thayer Shedd, A History of Christian Doctrine: Volume II (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1868), 245.

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus lived 330-390 CE.


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