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Take That to the Bank

06 March 2012 by Tom Chantry

Q. 59. Who are made partakers of redemption through Christ?
Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually communicated, to all those for whom Christ has purchased it; who are in time by the Holy Ghost enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel.

When I was a kid going to summer camp I discovered this neat invention called the “camp bank” - basically a way to avoid having kids running around in the woods with cash dropping out of their pockets. At the start of the week, my parents would deposit money in the camp bank, and by doing so they purchased credit for me. If I signed up for an activity that had cost, I had credit. If I wanted a snack at the store, I had credit. They had purchased it, and so it was mine.

Now, imagine that no one had told me that I had that credit, or that I hadn’t believed or understood the concept, and that as a result I was deprived of the benefit I should have had. In point of fact, that did happen to new kids at camp, and it resulted in some frustrated moms and dads at week’s end. At least they got their money back.

Now, Christ purchased redemption, and on that point Christians are agreed. Is it your opinion that in some - perhaps many - cases, those for whom He purchased it miss out on the benefit? Is it possible that He purchased heaven on the cross, only to see it denied to some because they were too clueless to take advantage of it? Is He like those frustrated parents at summer camp (only worse, because there’s no getting His purchase price back!)?

I can think of three good reasons why it is impossible for Christ to be frustrated in this way:

First, He can’t really be frustrated in anything because He’s God.

Second, He can’t really be frustrated in anything having to do with the plan of redemption because His Father, whose plan it was, is God.

And finally, He simply cannot be frustrated in the certain application and effectual communication of that Redemption, because the Spirit who communicates and applies it is, well, God.