What Would Jesus Buy?
When we think of Jesus, we dont tend to think of Him as One who had many possessions. After all, the Scriptures are clear that "though He was rich, yet for our sakes, He became poor that we through His poverity might become rich" (2 Cor. 8:9). At His own admission, we know that the Savior was homeless--His earthly ministry depended, in part, on the financial support of certain disciples and friends (Luke 8:3; 10:38). Nevertheless, the Scriptures also have much to tell us about what sort of things Jesus purchased.
The Scriptures speak quite plainly about the fact that believers have been purchased by Christ. The Apostle Paul tells believers that they "have been bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23) and that they are "the purchased possession" of Christ (Eph. 1:14). The Apostle Peter reminds his readers that they were "not bought with corruptible things like silver or gold...but with the precious blood of Jesus" (1 Peter 1:18-19). Francis Turretin pressed the idea of eternal security in light of this most precious truth when he wrote: "Who can believe that Christ would have suffered; that they who were given him of the Father for an inheritance and peculiar property, whom he bought so dearly (not with gold, or with silver, but with his own precious blood and with dreadful tortures of soul and body and with an accursed death), having been plucked from him should pass over to the power of another and indeed of an enemy most hostile to him?"1 Jesus died on the cross, in the place of His people, in order to purchase them for Himself and to reconcile them to God. Jesus purchased His people at the costly price of His own blood in order to bring them to glory.
While the Biblical teaching about Jesus purchasing His people with His blood is one of the sweetest of all meditations for the soul of a believer, there is more that the Scriptures teach about what Jesus purchased. As a young Christian I began to notice a repeated theme in the writings of many of the older theologians. Whenever they would speak of what Christ accomplished in the work of redemption they would throw it under the rubric of Christ's purchase. For instance, John Owen spoke of Christ purchasing "grace" for His people: "The death of Christ...is a spring of that purchased grace wherein we have communion with him."2 Francis Turretin insisted that, "by his satisfaction,...Christ purchased the right to life and reconciled us to God."3 Jonathan Edwards explained that believers are the recipients of that "excellent and everlasting peace and blessedness which Christ has purchased with the price of his own blood."4 Additionally, Turretin explained the nature of this peace that Christ purchased for His people: "The peace which the Messiah was to bring should not be an earthly and corporeal peace (which Christ openly teaches was not to be expected by his followers, Lk. 12:51; Jn. 14:27), but a spiritual peace, which Christ purchased for us by his death and was preached through the gospel."5
If we were to draw together all of the statements made by the Reformers, Puritans and Post-Reformation theologians about what Christ purchased by His obedient life and sacrificial death, we would find that every saving blessing that comes to us by faith in Christ is included. Jesus purchased redemption and all of the benefits of redemption for those who the Father gave to Him. Jesus purchased our regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification.
If that were not enough, one will also find that many of the same theologians will speak of Christ purchasing the Holy Spirit--the agent of the application of all of the benefits of redemption. For instance, Edwards suggested that the Spirit is the "sum of all that Christ purchased" for His people. He wrote:
"The Father appoints and provides the Redeemer, and Himself accepts the price and grants the thing purchased; the Son is the Redeemer by offering up himself, and is the price; and the Holy Ghost immediately communicates to us the thing purchased by communicating himself, and He is the thing purchased. The sum of all that Christ purchased for man was the Holy Ghost." 6
Again Edwards noted that "What Christ purchased for us, was that we might have communion with God in his good, which consists in partaking of or having communion of the Holy Ghost."7
Elsewhere Edwards explained what it means that Christ purchased the Spirit for His people:
"The sum of all that Christ purchased is the Holy Ghost. God is he of whom the purchase is made, God is the purchase and the price, and God is the thing purchased: God is the Alpha and the Omega in this work. The great thing purchased by Jesus Christ for us is communion with God, which is only in having the Spirit."8
Owen, while using the word procured (in the place of purchased) draws out this same truth about Christ purchasing the Holy Spirit in order to bestow the purchased blessings on His purchased people when he wrote, ""[Christ] procureth the Holy Spirit for us, effectually to collate and bestow all this purchased grace upon us."9
So believer, know that Jesus Christ gave up the glories and riches of heaven to become poor and homeless, mocked, beaten, bruised, crushed under the wrath of God and destroyed by the powers of hell in order to puchase you with His blood, to purchase all of the benefits of redemption for you and to purchase the Holy Spirit to seal you and apply those benefits of redemption to you. When we turn to the Scriptures to answer the question, we discover that He made the most costly purchase any man has ever made (Psalm 49:6-8) to bring His people to glory.
1. Turretin, F. (1992–1997). Institutes of Elenctic Theology. (J. T. Dennison Jr., Ed., G. M. Giger, Trans.) (Vol. 2, p. 599). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
2. Owen, J. (n.d.). The works of John Owen. (W. H. Goold, Ed.) (Vol. 2, p. 165). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.
3. Turretin, F. (1992–1997). Institutes of Elenctic Theology. (J. T. Dennison Jr., Ed., G. M. Giger, Trans.) (Vol. 2, p. 483). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
4. Edwards, J. (2006). The Peace Which Christ Gives His True Followers. In W. H. Kimnach & H. S. Stout (Eds.), Sermons and Discourses, 1743–1758 (Vol. 25, p. 549). New Haven; London: Yale University Press.
5. Turretin, F. (1992–1997). Institutes of Elenctic Theology. (J. T. Dennison Jr., Ed., G. M. Giger, Trans.) (Vol. 2, p. 286). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
6. Edwards, J. (2003). Writings on the Trinity, Grace, and Faith. (S. H. Lee & H. S. Stout, Eds.) (Vol. 21, p. 136). New Haven; London: Yale University Press.
7. Edwards, J. (2003). Writings on the Trinity, Grace, and Faith. (S. H. Lee & H. S. Stout, Eds.) (Vol. 21, p. 190). New Haven; London: Yale University Press.
8. Edwards, J. (2002). The “Miscellanies”: (Entry Nos. a–z, aa–zz, 1–500). (T. A. Schafer & H. S. Stout, Eds.) (Corrected Edition, Vol. 13, p. 466). New Haven; London: Yale University Press.
9. Owen, J. (n.d.). The works of John Owen. (W. H. Goold, Ed.) (Vol. 2, p. 168). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.