The Transaction

The Transaction

Welcome to Brooklands Digital Church!

Pastor Karl Stanfield brings us the message today as we start a short sermon series entitled “Four Reasons to be Thankful”. In the first, we are thinking about the concept and place of ‘Transaction’ inherent in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Bible readings are taken from Psalm 130 and Ephesians 1:1-10.

The service starts with a 15 minute countdown, where we share some news and announcements. Please use the scroll bar to skip straight through to the service/message if watching the recording.

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Sermon Transcript:

It has been my habit each January to run a short New Year Series. So, throughout January and finishing on 7 February, I want to consider the Four Reasons to be Thankful. There are many, many reasons to be thankful but I have chosen these four because they are singularly significant on their own.

The first reason to be thankful to God is for something that theologians and hymn-writers have referred to as the transaction. Some 100 key passages refer to salvation in terms of ‘transaction’. Here are a couple of examples.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed… but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18–19).

Such verses are loaded with concepts of purchaseredemption, and ransom. Then there is this verse in Romans.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23–24).

The Greek word Lutron which Paul uses here is also used in the Greek translation of the OT; it often designates monetary compensation given to the wronged party in lieu of capital punishment for the perpetrator. 

It was a complete redemption that implied freedom from all kinds of slavery! Here is the example, and while it sounds harsh, the act of ‘redemption’ really does save the day. It is the story of a man in his day who owned an ox. For us today, it might be a truck, or another large vehicle used for work. Imagine the costs and responsibilities drivers have today to ensure their safety and the safety of others… Now here is the story.

But if the ox has a history of goring someoneand the owner knew it and did nothing to guard against it, then if the ox kills a man or a woman, the ox is to be stoned and the owner given the death penalty. If a ransom is agreed upon instead of death, he must pay it in full as a redemption for his life.” (Exodus 21:29–30).

These life and death situations were solved using the concept of ‘redemption’. Jesus seems to be evoking the prophecy of Isaiah 53 where the Suffering Servant would bear people’s iniquities by becoming a Redeemer

This is declared plainly in Mark’s gospel… “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).

The word ‘redemption’ used here by Jesus is a term for the marketplace where people pay a price to buy something; the more valuable it is, the more you must pay for it. It is essentially an Old Testament term, but it is also taken up by New Testament writers and applied to something immensely powerful that Jesus did.
It is during a conversation Jesus had with a prominent religious leader of his day that we have this timeless and concise declaration of the Gospel by John – ‘For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son that whoever believes will not perish but have eternal life.’ This ‘gift’ was the payment for our ‘Redemption’ to set us free. These passages and countless others are saying one main thing!

1. The Price is paid!

Without being too flippant about it, here is another scenario. For several years, our family would go out on Christmas Eve for a coffee to Starbucks, especially when Mark & Simona joined the ranks – and before the grandkids came along. There were quite a few of us and the tradition was that the ‘oldest’ one paid for the coffee and cakes! I did not mind paying for these because it was the only time in the year that tradition demanded this! Everyone enjoyed the treat and only one person went ‘ouch’! In no way am I trying to trivialize this; but in taking this legitimate OT concept into the 21 century, I am trying to say that there was absolutely no reluctance in paying the bill.

So, when Jesus ‘paid the price’ for our salvation, He did not do it grudgingly in any shape or form. How can I simply, but truly give this ‘transaction’ the magnanimity it deserves? When Jesus paid the ‘Ransom’; when he bore our ‘Redemption’, it was so BIG and so DEMANDING that it was dealt with completely in One UnspeakablePayment… for the whole world.

Charles Wesley writes about this in his hymn; O Happy Day…’ ‘Tis done, the great transaction’s done, I am my Lord’s, and he is mine…’ In Stuart Townend’s Behold the Lamb, he writes these lines, ‘The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life, Paid the price to make us one…’ When Frances Alexander wrote There is a Green hill far away, she included the lines, ‘There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin…’ And Philipp Bliss’s Man of Sorrows, includes the line, ‘When He comes, our Glorious King, All the ransomed home to bring!

So then, if the Price is Paid by Christ, then know this…

2. The Gift is offered free!

The idea of total liberty has yet to be plumbed and understood properly. We still need reminding that it is ALL paid for. There is nothing we need to do to earn our liberty in Christ. Some of you know what it is like to pay your monthly mortgages. Sometimes a mortgage debt can last for 25 or 30 years. You may wish to renovate your kitchen or something else at home, and so you add it to the mortgage and pay it off that way. Every chancellor of the Exchequer knows that whatever is provided – it has got to be paid for!
The day eventually comes when you make your final mortgage instalment! Remember the hymn – ‘O Happy Day!’ It is all yours now but guess what – you are still paying for it. There are repairs, insurance, redecorating, endless little jobs and all the rest…

When we talk about Redemption and the Ransom in terms of our salvation, we need to understand that the payment was made in full. You never need to take out another loan. Never! The only debt you and I have as Christians is the debt of love. There is a saying which holds true and it is this – ‘There is nothing free in life’

We need to grasp the freedom inherent in the Gospel. There are no catches. Jesus paid the price in full and everything is covered. There is nothing you need to do except return His love. As the Scriptures say, ‘Freely you have received, freely give’.

And here is the miraculous irony of it all summed up by the hymn writer Frances Ridley Havergal. She puts this paradox perfectly in these words…

I love, I love my Master, I will not go out free,
For He is my Redeemer; He paid the price for me.

In verse 2 she adds… 

He chose me for His service, and gave me power to choose
That blessed, perfect freedom, which I shall never lose.

We thank God that, ‘the great Transaction’s done’!  
And to love Jesus our Redeemer in return – is perfect freedom!

It has been my habit each January to run a short New Year Series. So, throughout January and finishing on 7 February, I want to consider the Four Reasons to be Thankful. There are many, many reasons to be thankful but I have chosen these four because they are singularly significant on their own.

The first reason to be thankful to God is for something that theologians and hymn-writers have referred to as the transaction. Some 100 key passages refer to salvation in terms of ‘transaction’. Here are a couple of examples.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed… but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18–19).

Such verses are loaded with concepts of purchaseredemption, and ransom. Then there is this verse in Romans.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23–24).

The Greek word Lutron which Paul uses here is also used in the Greek translation of the OT; it often designates monetary compensation given to the wronged party in lieu of capital punishment for the perpetrator. 

It was a complete redemption that implied freedom from all kinds of slavery! Here is the example, and while it sounds harsh, the act of ‘redemption’ really does save the day. It is the story of a man in his day who owned an ox. For us today, it might be a truck, or another large vehicle used for work. Imagine the costs and responsibilities drivers have today to ensure their safety and the safety of others… Now here is the story.

But if the ox has a history of goring someoneand the owner knew it and did nothing to guard against it, then if the ox kills a man or a woman, the ox is to be stoned and the owner given the death penalty. If a ransom is agreed upon instead of death, he must pay it in full as a redemption for his life.” (Exodus 21:29–30).

These life and death situations were solved using the concept of ‘redemption’. Jesus seems to be evoking the prophecy of Isaiah 53 where the Suffering Servant would bear people’s iniquities by becoming a Redeemer

This is declared plainly in Mark’s gospel… “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).

The word ‘redemption’ used here by Jesus is a term for the marketplace where people pay a price to buy something; the more valuable it is, the more you must pay for it. It is essentially an Old Testament term, but it is also taken up by New Testament writers and applied to something immensely powerful that Jesus did.
It is during a conversation Jesus had with a prominent religious leader of his day that we have this timeless and concise declaration of the Gospel by John – ‘For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son that whoever believes will not perish but have eternal life.’ This ‘gift’ was the payment for our ‘Redemption’ to set us free. These passages and countless others are saying one main thing!

1. The Price is paid!

Without being too flippant about it, here is another scenario. For several years, our family would go out on Christmas Eve for a coffee to Starbucks, especially when Mark & Simona joined the ranks – and before the grandkids came along. There were quite a few of us and the tradition was that the ‘oldest’ one paid for the coffee and cakes! I did not mind paying for these because it was the only time in the year that tradition demanded this! Everyone enjoyed the treat and only one person went ‘ouch’! In no way am I trying to trivialize this; but in taking this legitimate OT concept into the 21 century, I am trying to say that there was absolutely no reluctance in paying the bill.

So, when Jesus ‘paid the price’ for our salvation, He did not do it grudgingly in any shape or form. How can I simply, but truly give this ‘transaction’ the magnanimity it deserves? When Jesus paid the ‘Ransom’; when he bore our ‘Redemption’, it was so BIG and so DEMANDING that it was dealt with completely in One UnspeakablePayment… for the whole world.

Charles Wesley writes about this in his hymn; O Happy Day…’ ‘Tis done, the great transaction’s done, I am my Lord’s, and he is mine…’ In Stuart Townend’s Behold the Lamb, he writes these lines, ‘The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life, Paid the price to make us one…’ When Frances Alexander wrote There is a Green hill far away, she included the lines, ‘There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin…’ And Philipp Bliss’s Man of Sorrows, includes the line, ‘When He comes, our Glorious King, All the ransomed home to bring!

So then, if the Price is Paid by Christ, then know this…

2. The Gift is offered free!

The idea of total liberty has yet to be plumbed and understood properly. We still need reminding that it is ALL paid for. There is nothing we need to do to earn our liberty in Christ. Some of you know what it is like to pay your monthly mortgages. Sometimes a mortgage debt can last for 25 or 30 years. You may wish to renovate your kitchen or something else at home, and so you add it to the mortgage and pay it off that way. Every chancellor of the Exchequer knows that whatever is provided – it has got to be paid for!
The day eventually comes when you make your final mortgage instalment! Remember the hymn – ‘O Happy Day!’ It is all yours now but guess what – you are still paying for it. There are repairs, insurance, redecorating, endless little jobs and all the rest…

When we talk about Redemption and the Ransom in terms of our salvation, we need to understand that the payment was made in full. You never need to take out another loan. Never! The only debt you and I have as Christians is the debt of love. There is a saying which holds true and it is this – ‘There is nothing free in life’

We need to grasp the freedom inherent in the Gospel. There are no catches. Jesus paid the price in full and everything is covered. There is nothing you need to do except return His love. As the Scriptures say, ‘Freely you have received, freely give’.

And here is the miraculous irony of it all summed up by the hymn writer Frances Ridley Havergal. She puts this paradox perfectly in these words…

I love, I love my Master, I will not go out free,
For He is my Redeemer; He paid the price for me.

In verse 2 she adds… 

He chose me for His service, and gave me power to choose
That blessed, perfect freedom, which I shall never lose.

We thank God that, ‘the great Transaction’s done’!  
And to love Jesus our Redeemer in return – is perfect freedom!

Amen