The Ability to Redeem - Part II
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Ruth, that portion of the Word of God we are studying together. Since we are coming to the conclusion of one of the divisions of our study of the book of Ruth, we would like to call to your attention that we began our study by suggesting to you that there was a threefold approach that we would follow to our study of the book of Ruth: the approach of analogy, the approach of soteriology, and the approach of eschatology. We have completed some time ago our approach from the standpoint of analogy–that is, looking into the book of Ruth and finding spiritual parallels in our own lives. At the present time, we are studying soteriology. The study of the book of Ruth from the standpoint of analogy and soteriology is somewhat common in that folk are reasonably familiar with the approach from those two angles, but there has not been a lot said nor a lot written about eschatology in the book of Ruth. We think that would be a profitable study.

I think it is important to keep in mind what we are talking about when we use the word “soteriology” so as we make our various points, it would not be necessary for us to stop and wonder what we are saying. “Soteriology” comes primarily from the Greek word soteria , which means “salvation,” and it might be defined as “the study of salvation or redemption.” The story of redemption in the Bible is widespread, for if the Bible has one theme, it is the theme of redemption–the redemption of the human race. But soteriology, the study of redemption, in the book of Ruth is unique in that it is presented from the standpoint of the kinsman-redeemer. The words “kinsman” or “near kinsman” are used twelve times in the book of Ruth. They come from the Hebrew word khahyil , which we present from the phonetic spelling instead of from the usual spelling, gawal , but the gawal was an individual who was kin to the person in trouble and from the standpoint of his being kin to the individual in trouble, he could provide redemption.

So we learned at the very outset of our study that there were five requirements that the kinsman-redeemer must meet. He must be near kinsman; he must be willing; he must possess the ability to redeem; he must be free himself for that redemption, and he must have the price of redemption. If these five requirements were not met, then the kinsman-redeemer was inactive.

We have already noticed Boaz as an illustration of the kinsman or as the kinsman-redeemer in the book of Ruth. He was near kinsman in that he was related to Elimelech, the father-in-law of Ruth. He was willing to redeem because he sought out all of the possibilities and found that there was one that was nearer than he and told him if he was going to redeem Ruth, to redeem. If he was not, to let him know because he wanted to carry out the process of redemption. He was willing. As we learned in our last lesson, he possessed the ability. We examined the phrase which is found in the first verse of the second chapter of the book of Ruth that Boaz was a mighty man of valor. We pointed out to you that that had a number of significant interpretations.

In this lesson, we want to think with you about these last two requirements, the fourth and fifth requirements: Number four, the kinsman-redeemer must be free himself; and number five, he must have the price. We have seen how Boaz met these first three requirements, and I hope we will be able to see how he meets the last two requirements. Of course, Boaz, the type, meeting these first three requirements guaranteed that Christ, the antitype, was able to, which will be the case in relation to these last two. As Boaz meets the last two requirements, he will illustrate how the Lord Jesus Christ, the antitype, meets the last two requirements. Please keep in mind that I am using the word “antitype,” and not “Antichrist.” I am emphasizing that because someone called to our attention the fact that when we said, “antitype,” they automatically were thinking “Antichrist,” and they were a bit confused as to how it was that Christ could be considered in the book of Ruth as Antichrist. Of course, He can't. He isn't, but He can be considered the antitype, the real illustration of the type.

Free to Redeem

We want to consider with you the first of the last two requirements of the kinsman-redeemer. The kinsman-redeemer must be free himself if he were able to redeem. There were two problems which Boaz faced if he was going to redeem Ruth. One of those problems was related to the fact that Elimelech's family was hopelessly in debt. The other problem was that Ruth was a Moabitess. These two problems–Elimelech's family being hopelessly in debt and Ruth being a Moabitess–had to be resolved if Boaz was going to be able to exercise his privilege as kinsman-redeemer in relation to the five requirements, the fourth of which we are considering, and he had to be free to take care of this situation.

It would follow that Elimelech, according to the law of the land, had a right to sell the land that was his when he found himself in need, and in so doing he put his family hopelessly in debt. It would follow that if Elimelech had the right to do this, then Boaz himself would have had the right to sell his land if there was some particular need. If Boaz had done so, then he would not be free to redeem the inheritance of Elimelech. He would not be free to take care of the second problem, the fact that Ruth was a Moabitess. If Boaz is the kinsman-redeemer in the book of Ruth, we have to know whether or not he is free to redeem, if he is free to carry out the privileges and the responsibilities of redemption. If Boaz is not free, then our study of types in the book of Ruth is ruined.

I would like to suggest that we consider the freedom of Boaz to carry out the right of the kinsman-redeemer. It will be described for us very briefly in verse 9 of chapter 4:

Ruth 4

9And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.

These gathered together in the gate of the city were all of the elders of Israel. Before them the transaction was carried out, recognized and confirmed. The very fact that it was set down on record that Boaz had bought everything that had belonged to Elimelech and to his own son indicates that he had all of the freedom in the world to do that which needed to be done.

The reason we are interested in whether or not Boaz had the freedom to do what we have been talking about is that Boaz is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, the antitype. If Boaz had the freedom, it would follow that the antitype, Christ, would have the freedom.

We need to spend a bit of time discussing the freedom that Christ had, but before we do I think it would be wise for us to recognize that the human race was hopelessly in debt when Christ came, as was the family of Elimelech. That's the human race today. It's as hopelessly in debt as it was then. No man can by any means redeem his brother as we learned some weeks ago in reading from the book of Psalms; and we recognize if this be true, someone had to redeem.

In connection with Boaz and his redemption, we recognize that he was free to redeem because he belonged to a higher branch of the family and he was not involved in Elimelech's debt. Keep those two facts in your mind. He was a member of a higher branch of the family, and he was not involved in Elimelech's debt. These two facts about Boaz illustrate perfectly why the Lord Jesus Christ is a picture of the perfect Redeemer.

Made Higher Than the Heavens

Turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, and notice chapter 7. The book of Hebrews describes the Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, in comparison and contrast to the earthly high priests, who exercised their ministry in the Old Testament tabernacle. Of course, they suffer by the comparison. He was so much greater. Notice these words:

Hebrews 7

23And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

They did not have a lasting priesthood because they died like ordinary mortals die.

Hebrews 7

24But this man [the word ”man” is in italics. You could just as well put in the word ”creature,” and the word is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. But this creature] , because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

It would be possible, for example, that there would be a time when there would be an understanding priest serving in Israel, as was Eli and in the days of Samuel. Then he could be followed by some very wicked and unsympathetic priest, as was true of the sons of Eli. No one could be certain about his representation before God in the Old Testament economy, but when the Lord Jesus Christ came to have an unchangeable priesthood, in verse 25, we read:

Hebrews 7

25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

We are interested in the following verses primarily, recognizing that Christ belonged to a higher branch of the family and was not involved in the family debt. We read in verse 26:

Hebrews 7

26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

You will notice those phrases, please, and surely no one here would think that he could be included in them–“holy, harmless, and undefiled.” The word “harmless” could better be translated by the phrase, “without fault.” There might be some of us harmless today in the sense that we couldn't hurt a fly, but that is not what this word means. It means that we are without fault. None of us would say that. Of course, the climactic statement is that the Lord Jesus Christ was separate from sinners–that is, He belonged to a different class than sinners. It doesn't mean that He was separated from them. He came to die for them. You will remember that the thing for which Jesus was criticized so much while He was on the earth was that He was continually associated with them, but He was separate from sinners in the sense that He did not belong to the class of sinful men. As Boaz was a higher branch of the family than Elimelech, Christ is a higher branch than we needy creatures.

We are told in the following phrases how it is that the Lord Jesus Christ is a member of the higher branch of the family. He was made higher than the heavens. That is, when His work was finished, then He was called to sit down at the right hand of the throne of God, far above principalities, powers and all other things.

Hebrews 7

27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests [that is, as the Old Testament high priests] , to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Every Old Testament high priest, when he officiated in the Tabernacle, had to offer a sacrifice for his own sin. After that sacrifice was made, he offered a sacrifice for the people's sin. The second sacrifice would have been useless without the first. This was not true of our Kinsman-Redeemer, Christ by name, who was a member of the higher branch of the family because, in the last statement of verse 27:

Hebrews 7

27…for this he did once, when he offered up himself [once and for all He offered up himself] .
28For the law [that is, the Mosaic law, the Levitical law] maketh men high priests which have infirmity [which have the infirmity of sin] ; but the word of the oath…

That is the Word which God gave described earlier in the book of Hebrews. When He could swear by no greater, He swore by Himself that the Lord Jesus Christ was a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedek.

Hebrews 7

28…but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

The Son is made the High Priest. So Boaz becomes a perfect illustration of the Lord Jesus Christ Who belonged to a higher branch of the human family in the sense that He was God become flesh, and because He belonged to that higher branch of the human family, He was able to redeem.

We suggested to you that Boaz would not have been able to redeem had he been involved in Elimelech's debt in any way or had he been involved in any debt of his own. He would not have been able. He would not have been free to act a kinsman-redeemer.

Free From Debt

What we have read to you in Hebrews, chapter 7, indicates that Christ was not involved in debt of any kind because He was separate from sinners. I would like for you to turn with me to the first epistle of Peter, chapter 2, because I think there we have presented in unusual words the truth that we want to think about. Notice I Peter, chapter 2, the paragraph which begins with verse 21:

I Peter 2

21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22Who did no sin, neither was guile [deceit] found in his mouth:
23Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Keep in mind that Peter's address is to the twelve tribes of Israel, those who were scattered about through Pontus, Cappadocia, and Asia. When he would appeal to their minds, he would appeal with an Old Testament passage of Scripture, and that is what is the foundation of this paragraph which we have read here. Isaiah, chapter 53, is the foundation of I Peter, chapter 2, verses 21-25.

You will notice the statement that Christ was not involved in the family debt in the words, “who did no sin, neither was any guile found in his mouth.” Rather than being involved in the family debt, He took the family debt upon Himself. He wrote all the creditors and said, “I will be responsible for everything that is owed.” Verse 24 expresses it so well:

I Peter 2

24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

All of the wounds made by sin were healed by that which the Lord Jesus Christ suffered. He was free to take care of the first problem that was faced by the Redeemer of the human race. Keep in mind now we said that Boaz had two problems. One, Elimelech's family was hopelessly involved in debt. If he was to get them, then he had to be free to do it. The human family is hopelessly involved in the debt of sin; and if Christ, our Savior, is free to redeem us, then He must not be involved in the family debt in any way whatsoever. This we discover he was not.

Ruth Redeemed By Marriage

I said earlier in our discussion that there was a second problem that Boaz had to face. That problem was related to the fact that Ruth was a Moabitess. This probably means nothing to you if you have not been able to attend these Bible classes, but we showed you Scriptures, and we are not taking the time to go back and look at those, that Ruth as a Moabitess had no access to the congregation of the Lord because a curse had been placed upon the Moabites because of their treatment of Israel. Unless someone could come to Ruth's rescue, unless some redemption could be provided, Ruth would have no access to the congregation of the Lord in Israel. So we are interested in how Boaz solved this problem of no access.

What was his solution to the problem? If you will go back with us to chapter 4 of the book of Ruth and notice verse 10, you will find the simple solution that Boaz had when it came to taking care of the problem of Ruth being a Moabitess without any access to the throne of grace. Notice, please, verse 10:

Ruth 4

10Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

We had already read in verse 9 how Boaz gathered together the elders of the city and asked them to witness that transaction where he paid all of the debts related to the property. Now in verse 10 he asked them to witness the solution to the second problem. How was he going to solve the problem that Ruth, the Moabitess, have access to the congregation of Israel? Very simply; he was going to marry her, and once he married Ruth, she had free access to all the benefits and all the blessings of Israel. You will remember that when she was married to Mahlon, Elimelech was out of fellowship and had no access, until he made things right, to the congregation of Israel.

The Church as the Bride of Christ

We are studying Boaz, the type, in order that we might see illustrated Christ, the antitype. What was the solution of the Lord Jesus Christ to the problem that faced Him because He looked upon the human race in the same condition as was Ruth–no access to the Lord? You will remember that Job recognized this and cried out with real heartbreak that he was a far distance from God and there was no daysman who could stand between him and God and bring the two together. He pictured an individual who with arms long enough–one long enough to reach to Heaven where Christ is, one low enough to reach to earth where man is–to span the gap. He said, “There isn't anyone to do that.” In his day, there wasn't but in our day, there is. How did Boaz solve the problem? He solved the problem by marrying Ruth. How did Christ solve the problem? He solved the problem by making unsaved men, redeemed by His own precious blood, His bride. Turn, please, to Ephesians, chapter 5, and notice with us the paragraph which begins with verse 23, how Christ solved the problem:

Ephesians 5

23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

The Church as we know it was not suitable to be with Christ until it had been washed in the blood of Christ. So He gave Himself; Christ gave Himself. He purchased the Church that the Church might be His bride just as Boaz purchased Ruth that she might be his bride. Christ purchased the Church.

Cleansing Through the Word

Then notice in verse 26:

Ephesians 5

26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

The cleansing process is still going on for the Church which is the Body of Christ. That cleansing process which is still going on–I want you to notice this very closely–is a cleansing made possible by the Word. The cleansing accomplished by the Blood is a finished work. Never again will the Blood of Christ be shed for cleansing. It was shed once and for all, and we are cleansed once and for all when we come to Christ, but we are journeying through a dirty world. You know, folk who were familiar with the Bible, folk who studied the Bible, knew a lot more about pollution long before these folk who wanted a hobby horse to ride began to emphasize pollution. It seems as if when anyone today, politicians or otherwise, have nothing else to talk about, they talk about pollution. Christ knew the world was polluted by a pollution that is far greater than the pollution that the do-gooders talk about today. That is moral pollution.

The Bride which Christ purchased with His own blood is living in a polluted world. She needs cleansing, and she is cleansed by the washing of water by the word.

Psalm 119

9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

The only way that you as a believer are going to escape the contamination that is in the world today is through the Word of God. The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin; for if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us. Your life will be full of, according to verse 27 of Ephesians, chapter 4, spots, wrinkles and blemishes unless you know the Word of God. The more you know of the Word and apply it, the fewer spots and blemishes there will be.

We are going to stop our reading right there although the rest of the paragraph every husband and wife ought to read periodically to get them out of the ruts into which they have the habit of slipping if they are not particularly careful.

The Church and the Judgment Seat of Christ

I would like for you to turn now to chapter 19 of the book of Revelation. In Ephesians, chapter 5, the statement was made that Christ was going to present the bride to Himself without spot, wrinkle, blemish or any such thing. Now, as I look at my life, I wonder how long Christ is going to have to tarry before all the spots and the wrinkles and the blemishes are gone from me. You can speak for yourself, and I won't sit in judgment on you. Maybe all of your spots are gone. Maybe all of your blemishes are over with, but I don't think that is true in my life. I wonder sometimes how will it ever be that Christ will be able to present His bride without spot, wrinkle, blemish or any such thing. For that reason, I have asked you to turn to chapter 19 of the book of Revelation, which according to the chronological schedule of the book of Revelation presents a scene that occurs after the Rapture of the Church. Someday the Lord Jesus Christ is coming to this earth for the Church. When it will be, we don't know. Someday He is coming, and when He comes He is going to catch the Church up to Himself, and the Church will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The final spots and wrinkles and blemishes will be ironed out there. In Revelation, chapter 19, are four “hallelujahs”, or “alleluias”, and we look at one of them in verse 6:

Revelation 19

6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

You see, He is going to present the Bride to Himself. Boaz took Ruth into his own home. You read in the book of Ruth that she became his wife. Christ is someday going to take the Church to His own home, and there she will become His wife. Notice in verse 8:

Revelation 19

8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

That should be in the plural, “righteousnesses”. The righteousness of the saints has already been provided through the Blood of Christ. But the righteousnesses of the saints are the righteous acts which survive the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Revelation 19

9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

So you see, the Lord Jesus Christ is going to do exactly what Boaz did. As Boaz took Ruth for his bride and took her into his home and gave her that privileged position, so Christ is going to take us.

The Price of Redemption

We said we wanted to consider with you both the fourth and the fifth requirement of the kinsman-redeemer, so we would like to think with you about the fifth requirement of the kinsman-redeemer which is related, you will recall, to the subject of whether or not Boaz, or the kinsman-redeemer, had the price of redemption. The fourth requirement was that he must be free, and the fifth requirement is that he must have the price of redemption. If he were a kinsman, a near kinsman, if he were free to redeem, but if he did not have the price, if he only had part of the price, then he could not discharge his obligation as kinsman-redeemer.

I have asked you to read the book of Ruth several times over while we are studying it together. I think the more you read it, the more it will mean to you; but if you did that, you will recall that nowhere in the book of Ruth is the question of the amount of money that it took to redeem Ruth ever raised. Never is the amount of money that was raised by Boaz to provide redemption mentioned anywhere in the book of Ruth. We remind you of what we read in chapter 4, and we gather immediately the impression that whatever the price was, it was incidental to Boaz. He didn't have to go around turning a lot of things into cash. He had the price of redemption. The price of redemption, as great as it might have been, was no problem for him.

With that thought in mind, he makes a perfect illustration of the antitype, the Lord Jesus Christ. We would remind you that the price that Christ paid for the redemption of the so-called “purchased possession” is nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures, as far as amounts are concerned. There is a very good reason for it. The Lord Jesus Christ redeemed us not with silver or gold, so how could the price be mentioned?

The Precious Blood of Christ

Turn, please, to I Peter, chapter 1, and notice the marvelous way in which Peter describes that with which our redemption was made. Yes, our Lord Jesus Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer, had the purchase price.

I Peter 1

18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Notice in the paragraph verse 19: “With the precious blood of Christ.” That was our redemption, Christ, “the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Lest there be any doubt in anyone's mind, we are told that it was important that we keep in mind that our faith and our hope might be in God. We say something that the modernists don't like to hear. To the liberalists of today, those who are not interested in the real facts of the Word of God, we say that not only were we redeemed with the blood of Christ, but we use another phrase. We were redeemed with the “blood of God.” To say we were redeemed with the blood of Christ is not offensive to some people, because they feel that Christ died as a martyr for a forsaken cause; but when we emphasize that we are redeemed by the blood of God, then our hope is placed exactly in the right place–in God.

Acts, chapter 20, verse 28, Paul is taking leave of the Ephesian elders, and he said in verse 28:

Acts 20

28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The pronoun “his” can refer to no one else than to God. The purchased price was the blood of God. I would have you recognize that today because individuals sometimes will tell you it was not the blood of Christ that was shed upon the Cross that really purchased our redemption. It was the fact that Christ died. Christ was God, and the Scriptures say that we were redeemed with the Blood of Christ. Boaz had the purchase price; so did the Lord Jesus Christ.

Living Righteously In the Present World

One other passage of Scripture I will mention to you along this line that I trust will emphasize the responsibility that I think we ought to recognize. Turn, please, to Titus, chapter 2, verse 11:

Titus 2

11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

A better rendering of that verse would be: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men hath appeared.” I think that is the way you will find it in the original, and it is more consistent with the truth. The grace of God hasn't appeared to all men. There is more evil in the world today than there was when Paul wrote those words, but the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men hath appeared:

Titus 2

12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

There is no room in the Bible for loose living among Christians. There is a movement on in our Christian world today that greatly concerns me, and the movement seems to emphasize that it doesn't matter how you live as long as you have received Christ as your Savior. That emphasis is placed upon the fact that if you talk about sober living for a Christian, you are legalistic and denying the grace of God. The Scriptures say that that the grace of God teaches us that we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. Notice what our occupation should be. In verse 13:

Titus 2

13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Now, we need to look at that word “peculiar.” The world thinks we are “peculiar.” Some of us act it even more than they think, but the word “peculiar” there is not a happy translation of the original word. The text should read: “Who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people for his own possession.” You have been redeemed, purchased, by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, purchased by the blood of God, and you owe allegiance to Him and to no one else. My wife would not have minded my saying this, and she exemplified it in her life. When she married me, she gave up her rights and she became subject to me. That is the reason that God says the happiest illustration of the relationship that should exist between Christ and the Church should be seen in the relationship that exists between a husband and his wife. It is sad, sad, sad today that this is not true in too many cases.

When Boaz married Ruth, the term isn't that he married her, it is that he purchased her for his own possession. When Christ purchased the Church, He purchased her for His own possession.

Glorify God In Your Body

I want to leave one last thought with you, and that is as Ruth belonged to Boaz, we belong to Christ. I believe that if you could have visited with Ruth at any time after the wedding and talked with her about what she wanted to do, what she thought, she would have said, “Let me ask Boaz what he wants to do, and then I will tell you what we want to do.” This should be the relationship that exists between every man and wife. I know that when I make mention of this quite often women say to themselves, and some of them even say it to me, “Well, I am just not about to give up my independence; I'm not about to do that. I don't care if the Bible does say so.” Well, Believer, you will never know the happiness God intended for you to know as husband and wife until you take the scriptural place that God has outlined. And, Believer, you will never know the happiness that God intends you to know as Lord and believer until you take the place God intended for you to take. That is the reason we ask you to turn, as a closing thought, to I Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 19:

I Corinthians 6

19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

I would like to point out to you that the phrase, “and in your spirit,” is not in the original text. I never, never read this verse without being reminded of how preachers from time immemorial have felt that they needed to help out God a little by making things seem not quite so hard as they seem on the surface. Some translator in the process of evolving our King James version wrote in the margin “and in your spirit.” Did you get it? “For you are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” The translators said, “Oh, that sounds so hard, 'in your body'.” You see, you know what your body is. You can dream what your spirit is and never do anything about it, but you know what your body is. Your body is that thing that you clothe, the thing that you wash and that thing that you take care of; that is your body. You know what that is. Glorify God in that body. This translator said, “Oh, that sounds so hard. I'll just add 'in your spirit'.” It takes something away from it because you are not really sure of what your spirit is and how you can glorify God in your spirit, so you are not too much concerned about it. Notice the thrust of the verse. You are not your own for you are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your Body, which is God's. So you see, technically Ruth had no right to do anything without asking Boaz what he thought. “Boaz, I belong to you. What do you want?” He very graciously could have said, “What do you want?” She would have been free to say–wise woman that she was–“I have no idea what is best. What do you want?”

Seek the Mind of Christ

In your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, when anyone asks you to do something, you ought not to jump into it with both feet. You ought to immediately say, “I'll have to seek the mind of the Lord about it.” Oh, you might not say those words. If you did, they might be ready to lock you up in some mental institution. You might just say, “I'll tell you later,” but what you mean by that is, “I am going to see what God thinks about it.” Look it up in His Word and then you give your decision. You have no right to give it without consulting Him.

This is the story of redemption in the book of Ruth. I hope it has been a blessing to you.

Prayer

Grant, Father, we pray that each of us redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ might recognize our responsibilities in You of that redemption. May we yield ourselves completely to Christ to be wholly His. For we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


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www.livingbiblestudies.org