[Quotes from Watchtower publications, including their New World Translation, are in blue.]
We have examined the Watchtower’s doctrine of the Ransom and found it to be inadequate on many counts. But the Good News is that Christ’s ransom is more than adequate. It is abundant in its provision!
Let us look again at the excerpts from the article we are discussing, Christ’s Ransom: God’s Way of Salvation [WT, Feb. 15, 1999], quoted in italics in Part 2 of this series. We will apply the Scriptures to each of them:
Para. 15: “Jesus’ sacrifice opens the door to marvelous opportunities for those who exercise faith in him”.
Rom 10:4 “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” [here and elsewhere, the New World Translation has “exercising faith”; but the word is “believing” in the Greek column of the WT’s own Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures]. The use of the word “opportunity” in reference to pardon for sin, etc., introduces human effort.
Rom 4:5-6 “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works…”
Rom 3:27-28 “Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”
Para. 16: “Because of Christ’s ransom, however, our errors can be pardoned.”
Luke 7:48-50 “Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’”
Col 2:13-14 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave [past tense] us all our sins, having canceled [past tense] the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away [past tense], nailing it to the cross.”
Para. 17: “Christ’s ransom opens the way [for] the fulfillment of God’s purpose-that obedient humans live forever in Paradise on earth.”1
Rom 3:23-24 “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.”
The word, “obedient”, implies salvation is by works, not a gift.
Eph 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
“The ransom provides a basis for God to wipe out this ‘last enemy.’”
Para. 19: “the ransom makes it possible for us to be rescued from death!”
Col 1:13-14 “For he has rescued [past tense] us from the dominion of darkness and brought us [past tense] into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption [present tense], the forgiveness of sins.”
“it is crucial that we accept Jesus’ role in making everlasting life possible.” (4/15/99, p 10, para. 4:)
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” Jesus is not simply a way-shower, a coach, a good start; He is the way, truth, and life (everlasting life). To say Jesus plays a “role” implies salvation is a cooperative effort.
“[Jesus] provided a basis for the release of humankind from condemnation to sin and death and opened the way to everlasting life.” (4/15/99, p 11, para. 9)
John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned..”
Rom 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (The WT’s New World Translation has omitted the word “now” in this verse, as the WT’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures verify.)
“after the earth has been cleansed of all badness, the benefits of Jesus’ ransom will be applied fully. Yes, all who qualify will be restored to perfect health!” (4/15/99, p 12, para. 14): 2
I John 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Believers in the Son have eternal life now, according to this verse.
As we said above, the benefits of Christ’s ransom are abundant! We can go on and on; here are a few more not covered:
- The ransom of Christ is for undeserving sinners who can do nothing to save themselves. Rom. 5:8 “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- The ransom of Christ promises entrance into the Father’s House. John. 14:1-6, “In my father’s house are many rooms.. I’m going there to prepare a place for you..” The Father’s House is not “space limited”!
- The ransom of Christ is not limited in scope. Rev 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”
- The ransom of Christ covers all sin, not just inherited sin. I John 1:9,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Matt 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
In the Awake of June 8, 99, p 11, a woman writes, “I have been plagued with feelings of worthlessness most of my life. No matter how much I love Jehovah or how much effort I put forth to serve him, I always feel that it is not enough.”
Many of you feel that way. And you know what, it isn’t enough! Our works will never be enough. But, Christ’s ransom is enough! Christ’s life and His ransom are adequate for you! He gives the gift of life to believing sinners.
John 1:29 "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Rom. 11:6 “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
Dear Jehovah’s Witness, Have you noticed the discrepancies between what the Watchtower offers you and what the Bible offers in Christ? It is not your imagination; there is a great difference! Read the Bible alone. You can trust it.
Please feel free to contact us if we can help you in any way.
Please note the words of the beloved hymn, Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness:
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am,
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which at the mercy seat of God
For ever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.
Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean
Thou hast for all a ransom
For all a full atonement
The WT’s view on “Paradise on earth” is critiqued in “The Great Crowd
and the Little Flock” and related articles.
It is true that not all
of the effects of the fall will be fully eradicated until the end, but
it is not true that eternal life is withheld from believers until then.
See the present tenses in 1 John 5:11-13 and many other passages.
Written by Greta Olsoe
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.
1 The WT’s view on “Paradise on earth” is critiqued in “The Great Crowd and the Little Flock” and related articles.
2 It is true that not all of the effects of the fall will be fully eradicated until the end, but it is not true that eternal life is withheld from believers until then. See the present tenses in 1 John 5:11-13 and many other passages.