Here in Part 8 we will continue with the excerpts taken from chapter 6 of my book. We have discussed Rom. 5:1-8, and we are ready to discuss Rom. 5:9. I skipped discussing Rom. 5:12-16 in the book. (Romans 5:12-16 are discussed in my "Twenty-Eight Articles on Holiness and Victory Over Sin" on my internet site.) We will discuss Rom. 5:17-21 when we finish Rom. 5:1-11.
ROMANS 5:9. "having now been justified [dikaioo] by His blood." (Cf. Rom. 3:21-25; 4:25; 5:1.) In this context, dikaioo should be understood in a full sense. "Having now been justified" includes the ideas that we are no longer "helpless" and "ungodly" (cf. Rom. 5:6) and that we are no longer "sinners" (cf. Rom. 5:8) - we have been made righteous (cf., e.g., Rom. 1:16, 17; 3:21-25; 5:19; 6:1-8:17). (Also see the next paragraph.)
"we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." The Bible makes it clear that "the wrath of God" will be manifested against sin at the end of this age (cf., e.g., Acts 17:30, 31; Rom. 2:1-16; 3:5, 6; Eph. 5:3-7; Col. 3:5-7; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 1:3-9). As most of these references show (along with many other references [I had an endnote: Cf., e.g., Matt. 3:1-12; 4:17; 5:1-48; 7:13-27; 13:40-43, 49, 50; 16:24-27; 24:37-51; 25:1-46.]), a primary basis for Christians avoiding the wrath of God when judgment day comes will be the fact that (because of the grace of God in Christ Jesus) they will not be found in sin.
ROMANS 5:10. The transformation from a state of being "enemies" of God to a state of being "reconciled" to God is included in the "having now been justified" of Rom. 5:9. Being "enemies" of God is the opposite of having "peace with God." (Cf. Rom. 5:1.) Formerly we were hostile toward God (cf., e.g., Rom. 1:18-3:20; 8:5-7; Eph. 2:1-3), but now we have changed (we have been changed). The basis for the wrath of God (sin) has been removed for those who have been justified through Christ Jesus. (See under Rom. 5:9 on being saved from the "wrath of God," and see Eph. 2:1-10.)
"we shall be saved by His life." The words "we shall be saved" apparently mean "we shall be saved from the wrath (of God)" (cf. Rom. 5:9). The words by his life point to the resurrected Christ. He (our great high priest) is well able to save His own from the wrath of God and to take us to glory (cf., e.g., Rom. 5:2, 5, 21; 8:34; Heb. 7:11-10:39).
ROMANS 5:11. "And not only this [apparently referring to the fact that we have been reconciled to God], but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ." For one thing, "we EXULT in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:2). Compare "we also EXULT" in Rom. 5:3.
ROMANS 5:17 21. "For if by the transgression of the one [Adam], death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [dikaiosune] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (18) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [dikaioma] there resulted justification [dikaiosis] of life to all men. (19) For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous [dikaios]. (20) And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, (21) that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness [dikaiosune] to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
The Greek verb dikaioo is not used in these verses, but dikaiosis is used in Rom. 5:18. (Dikaiosis, which was derived from dikaioo, is also used in Rom. 4:25.) The adjective dikaios is used in Rom. 5:19. (Dikaioo was derived from dikaios.) The noun dikaiosune, which was also derived from dikaios, is used in Rom. 5:17 and 21.
ROMANS 5:17. "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one." DEATH [both spiritual death and physical death] REIGNED over mankind THROUGH Adam and BY [his] TRANSGRESSION. (See Rom. 5:12-16.) Where spiritual death reigned, sin also reigned (cf., e.g., Rom. 5:6, 8, 10, 19, espec. 21; 6:1-8:8), and especially after the Mosaic Law was given (cf., e.g., Rom. 4:15; 5:13, 14, 20; 7:5-25; 1 Cor. 15:56; Gal. 3:19).
"much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness."
"those who receive." The grace of God is RECEIVED by faith (cf., e.g., Rom. 4:16; 5:2; Eph. 2:8), as is "the gift of righteousness" (cf., e.g., Rom. 1:17; 3:22; Phil. 3:9).
"the abundance of grace." Cf. Rom. 5:20, 21; 6:14.
"the gift of righteousness [dikaiosune]." This "righteousness," which is given to believers, is "the righteousness of God." (On "the righteousness of God," see above under Rom. 3:21, 22, including the discussion of Rom. 1:16, 17. Also see Matt. 6:33; Rom. 10:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; and Phil. 3:9.) "The gift of righteousness" not only cancels the guilt of sin and gives believers a right standing before God; but, significantly, it also overpowers and dethrones sin (and Satan and spiritual death) and makes believers righteous (cf., e.g., Rom. 5:19; 1 John 2:29; 3:7-12).
"will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Until the time of new covenant salvation, "death reigned" (Rom. 5:17, cf. Rom. 5:12-16). Mankind was under "condemnation" (Rom. 5:16, 18); they were under the penalty for the transgression of Adam, including the penalty of spiritual death (and with spiritual death came bondage to sin). Christians, however, are part of God's new creation (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17), and (from the time of conversion) they "reign in life." ((I had an endnote: The Greek verb that is translated "will reign" in Rom. 5:17 is in the future tense. The future began with the advent of new covenant salvation, and the future begins for each believer at the time of conversion. The future tense is also used in Rom. 5:19 ("WILL BE MADE righteous"), in Rom. 6:2 ("How SHALL WE who died to sin still LIVE in it?"), in Rom. 6:5 ("certainly WE SHALL BE also in the likeness of His resurrection"), and in Rom. 6:8 ("Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that WE SHALL also LIVE with Him"). In each of these references, the future has already begun. (See, for example, Rom. 6:11-13.) Romans chapter 6 and Rom. 8:1-17 deal (for the most part) with what Christians have now, in this present life.)) They have received the "justification of life" (Rom. 5:18). They have been born again by the Spirit of life (Cf. John 3:3-8; 1 John 5:11-13; Rom. 8:2, 8-11). Although the fulness of eternal life is yet future (cf., e.g., Rom. 5:21; 6:22, 23; 1 Cor. 15:20 23; Titus 3:7), it is important to understand that Christians have spiritual life now - they "reign in life," no longer being reigned over by spiritual death.
The apostle undoubtedly used the verb "reign" here because of the use of this verb earlier in verse 17 ("death reigned"). (Also note "sin reigned in death" in verse 21.) The use of the verb "reign" here is somewhat unusual; typically the New Testament speaks of Christians REIGNING with the Lord Jesus Christ after His second coming. (Cf., e.g., 1 Cor. 4:8; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:26, 27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4, 6.) A big part of what it means for Christians to REIGN IN LIFE now is to reign over sin, no longer being reigned over by spiritual death and sin (cf., e.g., Rom. 5:19, 21; Rom. 6:1-8:14). Those who are reigned over by spiritual death and sin (who are slaves of sin) certainly are not REIGNING IN LIFE.
ROMANS 5:18. "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men." Through Adam's one transgression there resulted "condemnation" to all men. Romans 5:12-17 show that this "condemnation" included the reign of death (both spiritual and physical death). And, significantly, where spiritual death reigned, sin reigned (cf., e.g., Rom. 5:21; 6:17-22; 8:5-8). It is also to be understood that if people continue in this state, it will ultimately result in the "condemnation" of the second death of Rev. 20:6, 14. The "condemnation" of death is contrasted with the "justification of life," which is spoken of in the second half of Rom. 5:18.
"even so through one act of righteousness [dikaioma] there resulted justification [dikaiosis] of life to all men." The "one act of righteousness" speaks of the voluntary atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf., e.g., Isaiah chapter 53; John 10:11-18; Rom. 3:24, 25; 4:25; 5:6-10; Phil. 2:8).
Those who submit to God and the gospel of His salvation come under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ (the last Adam); they are no longer under the headship of Adam. They are, therefore, no longer under the condemnation of death mentioned in the first half of this verse. They have received the "justification of life."
"justification [dikaiosis] of life. (See above on Rom. 4:25, which also uses dikaiosis.) When God the Father, the Ultimate Judge, declares righteous those who submit to the gospel in faith, He is at that time dethroning spiritual death (and sin) for these believers. This is a "justification" that sets believers free from spiritual death (and sin) and makes them alive (and righteous). As the "condemnation" included spiritual death (and bondage to sin), so the "justification" includes spiritual "life" (and freedom from sin). At the end of this age, physical death will also be overthrown (cf., e.g., Rom. 8:11, 23); this also will flow out of the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ and is part of the "justification of life."
ROMANS 5:19. "For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners." "The many" [all Adam's descendants] were born outside the Garden of Eden [the place of life and blessing through the abiding presence of God] into a state of spiritual death. "The many were made sinners." They were not merely under the guilt of sin - they were "sinners"; they were slaves of sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:6, 17-22; John 8:31-36). In a very real sense, the "disobedience" of Adam resulted in the "disobedience" (sinfulness) of all his offspring.
We need to take very seriously the effects of Adam's sin (the fall of man); however, we must also see that people still have a free will to some extent, and (in general) they are responsible before God for their actions. The Bible shows that God holds people responsible for their actions, including their priorities, attitudes, motives, etc. All will be judged according to their actions/works (cf., e.g., Matt. 16:27; 25:1-46; Rom. 1:18-3:20; 14:11, 12; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12, 13). I doubt that Adam's sin will even be mentioned at OUR judgment. Each person is especially responsible to submit to God and receive His offer of salvation in Christ Jesus (cf., e.g., John 3:16-21; 6:29; 14:6; Acts 4:12).
"even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous [dikaios]." (Cf. Isa. 53:11, which is discussed in chapter 2 of this book.) As the "disobedience" of Adam led to the many actually becoming sinners (disobedient), even so "the obedience" of the Lord Jesus Christ led to the many actually becoming "righteous (obedient). ((I had an endnote: See, for example, Henry Alford ("New Testament for English Readers," Vol. 2 [Baker, 1983 reprint], page 885); Wilber T. Dayton ("Wesleyan Bible Commentary," Vol. 5, page 40); and John MacArthur ("Romans 1-8" [Moody, 1991], page 307.) )) Romans 6:1-8:14 should suffice to show that the apostle Paul taught that Christians are to be transformed/sanctified and actually MADE RIGHTEOUS. (Cf. 1 John 2:29; 3:1-10, especially verse 7: "Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices [the one who is doing] righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.") Being MADE RIGHTEOUS [dikaios] is undoubtedly included in "the gift of righteousness [dikaiosune]" of Rom. 5:17 and in the "justification [dikaiosis] of life" of Rom. 5:18.
"The obedience" of the Lord Jesus Christ could include His lifelong obedience, but "the obedience" associated with His atoning death is especially in view here. (Cf., e.g., Phil. 2:8; Matt. 26:36-27:50; Rom. 5:18 [the "one act of righteousness"].)
I believe the future that is expressed by the future tense "will be made righteous" began at the time new covenant salvation began; the future begins for each believer at the time of conversion. (See under Rom. 5:17, including the endnote.)
ROMANS 5:20. "And the Law came in that the transgression might increase. Between the time of Adam and "the Law" (the Mosaic Law) there was much sin, but men could not transgress "the Law" before it had been given. In this sense the Law greatly intensified the sin problem (cf., e.g., Rom. 4:15; 5:13, 14; 1 Cor. 15:56; Gal. 3:19). The Law also aroused the desire for forbidden fruit (cf. Rom. 7:5-25). God used the Law to help force sin out in the open so that people might see their need for the Savior.
"but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." The "grace" of God in Christ Jesus (cf. Rom. 5:2, 15-17; 6:14) is well able to dethrone sin (and Satan and death), to make believers righteous, and to (ultimately) take believers to a state (an existence) much higher than what Adam had before the fall (cf. 1 Cor. 15:42-58). The next verse speaks of the "reign of grace" that has supplanted (in the case of believers) the reign of sin and death.
ROMANS 5:21. "that, as sin reigned in death." In Rom. 5:17 the apostle speaks of the reign of death (cf. Rom. 5:12-16). Where spiritual death reigns, sin reigns - "sin [reigns] in death." The apostle frequently speaks of "sin" as an authority/power/master (cf., e.g., Rom. 3:9; 6:7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23; 7:8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 20; 8:3). The reign of "sin" is not independent of the reign of Satan.
"even so grace might reign." (On "grace" see under Rom. 5:20.) Romans 6:14 says: "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." The reign of sin is supplanted by the reign of grace. For grace to reign means that God in Christ Jesus reigns and that righteousness reigns (cf., e.g., Rom. 6:11, 13, 18, 19, 22).
"through righteousness [dikaiosune]." WHERE THE GRACE OF GOD REIGNS, SIN IS DETHRONED AND THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IS MANIFESTED. In other words, grace manifests itself through righteousness. ((I had an endnote: The Greek preposition translated "through" is "dia." Galatians 5:6 apparently uses "dia" in a similar manner; it speaks of "faith working through [dia] love." Faith (in Christ) is not static - it is active; it WORKS (by the grace of God/by the indwelling Spirit of God), manifesting itself through a walk in love. (Love is a fruit of the Spirit/grace of God [Gal. 5:22].) Similarly, grace reigns, manifesting itself through a life of righteousness.)) Righteousness is the opposite of sin. God's "righteousness" is manifested in the hearts and lives of His people. (Cf. Rom. 1:17; 3:21, 22; 5:17. All these verses use "dikaiosune.) WHERE GRACE REIGNS, RIGHTEOUSNESSS REIGNS (cf. Rom. 6:14, 15, 18, 19).
"to ["eis"] eternal life." I prefer the translation "unto" of the KJV for the Greek preposition "eis." I believe "eternal life" is used here of the yet-future life that will begin for believers at the end of this age (cf., e.g., Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; John 5:29; ROMANS 6:22, 23; 8:11; 2 Cor. 5:4, Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 6:12, 19; Titus 3:7). All who are under the reign of grace have LIFE (by the indwelling Spirit of LIFE, Rom. 8:2, 9, 10), and they walk in righteousness. All such persons will be ready to stand before God on the day of judgment, and they will receive the gift of "eternal life" (cf. Rom. 6:22, 23).
A FEW QUOTATIONS:
At the end of the discussion on Rom. 3:21-25a, I included several quotations. I quoted from the book "Righteousness in the New Testament" by John Reumann. On page 78 he heads the discussion of Romans chapters 5-8 with the words "Romans 5-8: Justification as freedom from death, Sin, and law, and as life in the Spirit." Then on page 80 he says: "ROMANS 6 goes on to present the meaning of justification as FREEDOM FROM THE POWER OF SIN. By baptism into Christ's death one becomes dead to the dominion of Sin and, alive to God, under the lordship of Christ, free to obey a new Master."
I also included two quotations from Peter Toon. On page 27, speaking of the epistle to the Romans, he says: "The contents of the next...chapters (5-8) may be seen as an explanation of what justification by faith means and entails. There is freedom from death, sin and the Law with new life in the Spirit of Christ. ... Here and now he experiences a freedom from the power of sin and he is enabled to live according to God's will (Rom. 6:16)."
This is as far as I will go with the excerpts from chapter 6, but I trust many of you will want to get a copy of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Lord Jesus Christ," which is available at amazon.com and on my website.
Chapter 7 of my book is titled A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF THE GREEK NOUN "APHESIS." I believe this chapter is extremely important to the topic of righteousness, holiness, and the victory over sin. I'll include the first half of this chapter in these excerpts, but the second half of the chapter is equally important, where I discuss Eph. 1:7; Acts 26:18 in context with Acts 26:13-20; Acts 13:38, 39; Hebrews 10:8-18, especially 10:18 with Heb. 8:6-13 and 9:13, 14.
The Greek noun "aphesis," which is used seventeen times in the New Testament, is translated "forgiveness" fifteen times by the NASB. The KJV translates it as "forgiveness" or "remission" fifteen times. The only place where the NASB and KJV translate aphesis other than "forgiveness" or "remission" is Luke 4:18, which uses this Greek noun two times. (We will discuss Luke 4:18 below.) The NIV has "forgiveness" or the verb "forgiven" in all the fifteen uses that exclude Luke 4:18. The BAGD Greek Lexicon lists each of these fifteen uses under "forgiveness" and equates forgiveness with the "cancellation of the guilt of sin."
Although "forgiveness" (or the equivalent) is widely accepted as the normal translation for aphesis in the New Testament, I don't believe this is an adequate translation in many verses. In my opinion, if forgiveness is understood in the typical sense of the cancellation of the guilt of sin, then this translation frequently says far less than what was intended by the Author/author. I believe a translation like "RELEASE [from sin(s) with the guilt and the penalties (including being released from the major penalties of spiritual death and the attendant bondage to sin)]" would be much more accurate in many verses.
A translation like "release [from sin(s) with the guilt and the penalties (including being released from the major penalties of spiritual death and the attendant bondage to sin)]" says much more than forgiveness (of the guilt of sin), though that is included. This suggested translation also includes the ideas of being set free from the kingdom of spiritual death and lawlessness, and being made alive and made righteous (sanctified).
In my opinion, there is far-too-little emphasis placed on the gospel truth of being made righteous (sanctified; living in an abiding state of holiness) in the Christian church of our day. An understanding of this fuller sense of aphesis will serve as an important step in the solution to this problem.
There is much in common between aphesis (understood in this fuller sense) and the idea of redemption. There is also much in common with the idea of justification when it is understood in the full sense discussed in chapter 6 of this book. (See the discussion of Acts 13:38, 39 in this chapter, but this discussion is not included in these excerpts. These verses use both aphesis and dikaioo.)
In this study we will first discuss Luke 4:18 (with Luke 4:16-21), where the context makes it very clear (and everyone seems to agree) that aphesis means much more than forgiveness. It means release/deliverance/liberty. At the end of the study of Luke 4:18, we will briefly discuss the meaning of aphesis as it is used in the Septuagint (the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek).
We will then discuss five very important New Testament verses that use aphesis. In each of these verses, aphesis has typically been translated forgiveness, or the equivalent. In my opinion, however, it is very important to see that aphesis means more than forgiveness in each of these verses. Our understanding of the meaning of this Greek noun (as it is used in these verses) will significantly affect our understanding of the meaning of these very important verses. The five verses we will discuss (in the order we will discuss them) are Col. 1:14 (with Col. 1:9-14); Eph. 1:7; Acts 26:18 (with Acts 26:13-20); Acts 13:38, 39 (aphesis is used in Acts 13:38 and dikaioo is used in Acts 13:38 and 39); and Heb. 10:18 (with Heb. 10:8-18).
LUKE 4:18 AND THE MEANING OF "APHESIS"
LUKE 4:16-21. "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. (17) And the book [scroll] of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book [scroll], and found the place where it was written,
(18) 'THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE [aphesis] TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE [aphesis] THOSE WHO ARE DOWNTRODDEN,
(19) TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.'
(20) And He closed the book [scroll], and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. (21) And He began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.' "
LUKE 4:18. Note that aphesis is used twice in this verse. The quotation in Luke 4:18, 19 comes almost entirely from Isa. 61:1, 2. These verses in Isaiah prophesy regarding the anointed ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Luke 4:18, 21). "The Christ" (from the Greek) and "the Messiah" (from the Hebrew) both mean "the Anointed One."
Instead of "RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES," the KJV has "deliverance to the captives" and the NIV has "freedom for the prisoners." Instead of "TO SET FREE," the KJV has "to set at liberty" and the NIV has "to release." I would prefer a more literal translation of the Greek for these words in the last line of verse 18: "to send out in the release," or the equivalent. (I had an endnote: This line in Luke 4:18 is not found in Isa. 61:1, 2. It is very similar, however, to a line in Isa. 58:6.) The Amplified Bible has, "to send forth delivered those who are oppressed - who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed and broken down by calamity."
We were all CAPTIVES in bondage to sin, Satan, and spiritual death; we were under our sins with the guilt and penalties. (See chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.) But the Savior came TO RELEASE THE CAPTIVES; He has released us (He has set us free) from sin, Satan, and spiritual death.
Isaiah chapter 53 showed by what means the Servant of God would set the captives free. He bore our sins with the guilt and the penalties (including the major penalties of spiritual death and the attendant bondage to sin). He dethroned sin, Satan, and spiritual death; He gives us spiritual life and makes us righteous and holy. Matthew 1:21 says: "And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." He saves His people "from their sins [with the guilt and the penalties (including saving His people from spiritual death and bondage to sin)]." The name "Jesus" means "The LORD [Yah (short for Yahweh)] saves."
The words "TO PROCLAIM RELEASE [aphesis] TO THE CAPTIVES," which are quoted from Isa. 61:1, build on the old covenant year of jubilee. The year of jubilee, which is spelled out in Lev. 25:8-55, was a year of RELEASE. Leviticus 25:10 says: "You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and PROCLAIM A RELEASE [my emphasis] through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family." The Hebrew verb for PROCLAIM and the Hebrew noun for RELEASE that are used in Lev. 25:10 are also used in Isa. 61:1.
The last line of Luke 4:18 (which I would translate "to send out in the release") and Luke 4:19 ("TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD") also apparently build on the year of jubilee. In the Septuagint, aphesis is used some fifteen times in Lev. 25:8-55. ((I had an endnote: Aphesis is used two times in the Greek of Lev. 25:10: "And ye shall sanctify the year, the fiftieth year, and ye shall proclaim a release [aphesis] upon the land to all that inhabit it; it shall be a year of release [aphesis], a jubilee for you; and each one shall depart to his possession, and ye shall go each to his family." (This English translation of the Greek was taken from "The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English," by L. C. L. Brenton [Zondervan, 1980 reprint], page 163.) In Lev. 25:28, 31, 33, 41, and 54, we read of persons or property going out in the release [aphesis]. In Lev. 25:13, 40, 50, 52, and 54, we read of "the year of (the) release [aphesis]." We will further discuss the meaning of aphesis as it was used in the Septuagint at the end of the study of Luke 4:18.))
One primary feature of THE RELEASE of jubilee was that any Israelites who had sold themselves into bondage because of poverty were to be set free, if they had not been set free beforehand (Lev. 25:10, 39-43, 47-55). Another primary feature of THE RELEASE of jubilee was that the Israelites were to return to any property they had (temporarily) lost; the property was RELEASED that the Israelites might return to that which had been given to them by God (Lev. 25:10, 13-17, 23-28, 31-33).
It is not hard to see how THE RELEASE of jubilee prefigured the much greater RELEASE that was to be accomplished through the Lord Jesus Christ. He has already RELEASED the captives from sin, Satan, and spiritual death, and He will ultimately overthrow every enemy, including physical death. "The creation itself also WILL BE SET FREE [my emphasis] from its slavery to corruption into the FREEDOM [my emphasis] of the glory of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21).
I should mention one more important feature regarding THE RELEASE of jubilee. Leviticus 25:9 shows that it began on the Day of Atonement. THE RELEASE of Christians has come through the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, which was prefigured by the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement. Isaiah 61:1-3 build on Isaiah chapter 53.
I'll comment on the last two lines of Isa. 61:3 since these words are so relevant to the studies of chapters 6, 7, and 8 of this book. The last two lines are
"So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
There cannot be any substantial or permanent salvation for the people of God unless they are set free from bondage to sin and made righteous. This RELEASE (deliverance) from sin and transformation to righteousness are the heart and foundation of salvation in Christ Jesus. God makes His people righteous; He makes them "oaks of righteousness," and He will be glorified. (Cf., e.g., Isa. 60:15-22, espec. verse 21.)
We will continue these excerpts in Part 9, starting with the heading "A Few Comments Regarding the Interpretation of Isaiah 61:1-3."
My primary reason for publishing these excerpts from my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ," is to make this important information available to the Body of Christ. I would also like to encourage those who appreciate my teaching on this super-important topic to obtain a copy of the book. The book is available on my website (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching) and at amazon.com.
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