Sermon #12                                                 Ruth Series:

          Title:            Three Nearer Kinsmen, But Only One Redeemer

          Text:            Ruth 3:12-13


          Subject:       Redemption only by Christ

          Date:            Tuesday Evening - July 13, 1993

          Tape #        



          Let me make four very important statements by way of introduction. I want you to get and understand these four things.


1.   Tragedies never convert sinners (Rev. 9:20; 16:9-11.


          You can mark it down. The old proverb is true - “Any refuge built in the storm will die in the calm.” Acts of providential judgment do not produce repentance. A good scare will make a man seek a refuge; but it will not change his heart. Only the grace of God, only a saving revelation of Christ in the heart will change the heart and produce repentance (Zech. 12:10). “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Rom. 2:4).


2.   However, God does use providential tragedies, judgments, and dangers to bring chosen sinners to Christ (Psa. 107:1-43). As I have shown you repeatedly in the course of these messages, this fact is beautifully and clearly illustrated in the case of Ruth. Ruth, the chosen object of mercy, a Moabitess, must be saved. Therefore…


·        God sent famine.

·        Elimelech went down to Moab.

·        Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth were all widowed.


3.   In the saving of chosen sinners, God always utilizes the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:10-17; 1 Cor. 1:21; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). This fact is beautifully illustrated in Ruth 1:6.


4.   Yet, there is one thing absolutely essential to the salvation of God’s elect, one thing without which no sinner could ever be saved, one thing without which God himself could never have saved anyone. That one thing is redemption, blood redemption!


          “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). God could save with or without earthly tragedies. Had he chosen to do so, certainly God could save without the ministry of the Word. But God cannot save apart from blood redemption. The whole purpose of the Book of Ruth is to teach us about redemption, more specifically, to teach us about Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer.


·        Boaz had spotted Ruth in his fields.

·        He took care of Ruth and provided for her.

·        Ruth came to Boaz on the threshing floor and asked him to take her for his wife.

·        He wanted her and was determined to have her; but the law of God had to be honored.


          Ruth had a nearer kinsman. Boaz knew the boy. He knew that if Ruth looked to that self-serving scoundrel for redemption she would never be redeemed at all. But according to the law he had to be dealt with.


          Boaz was ready, at any price, to perform the part of a kinsman to Ruth, the stranger from Moab. By nature, being a Moabitess, she was an aversion to him. But he loved her. He wanted her. But there was a kinsman nearer than he to Elimelech’s fallen family (Read chapter 3 verses 12-13).


          The title of my message tonight is Three Nearer Kinsmen, But Only One Redeemer.




          Though there are many nearer to the fallen sons and daughters of Adam by nature, there is none who could and would redeem us but the Lord Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer.


I.     Some commentators suggest that THE NEARER KINSMAN REPRESENTS THE ANGELS OF GOD.


A.  Without question the angels are nearer kin to us than the Son of God in the natural order of creation.


1.    They are creatures like us. Christ is not a creature, but the Creator - “Sons of God” by creation (Job 1).

2.    Like us, angels were created to be the servants of God.


B.  But redemption is a work no angel could ever perform.


1.     They might be able to assume human nature.

2.     They are holy creatures.

3.     But they are only finite creatures.

·        They could never suffer the wrath of God to the full satisfaction of justice.

·        They could never bring in everlasting righteousness.

4.     Besides, the angels of God were created to be ministering spirits to God’s elect (Heb. 1:14).

5.     So far from being able to redeem, the angels of God look to redeemed sinners to learn about redemption (Eph. 3:10-11).

                   *No need praying to angels! Angels cannot redeem! Angels cannot save!


II. Some are of the opinion that THIS NEARER KINSMAN REPRESENTS THE OLD MAN ADAM. (Fallen man.)


          Both Philip Mauro and Bro. Ferrell Griswold gave this interpretation to the passage.


A.  The law of God certainly made allowance for the man in bondage to redeem himself, if he were able (Lev. 25:26).


          That is a mighty big “if”! If you are going to save yourself, if you hope to redeem yourself, this is all you have to do.


1.    Perfectly obey God’s holy law (Gal. 3:10).

2.    Make complete atonement for all your sin (Ex. 13:13). “Redeem it, or kill it!”

3.    Give yourself a new heart! (See Isa. 1:16-18).


          Self-salvation is an utter impossibility! It is permissible. But it is not possible.


B.  Not only is self-salvation impossible, it is also impossible for any man to redeem another man (Psa. 49:7-9).


          We are but finite creatures of the dust. Redemption requires…


1.     An infinite Savior!

2.     With infinite righteousness!

3.     With infinite blood!

4.     With infinite power!


III. A third nearer kinsman to us is THE LAW OF GOD.


·        The law was made for man.

·        The law is holy, just, and good.

·        The law is designed to shut us up to Christ.

·        But the law of God could never redeem and save fallen man (Rom. 8:3; Gal. 3:21; 4:5-6; Heb. 10:1-4).


          The law curses, but never cures. The law provides punishment, but not propitiation. The law bruises, but never blesses. The law gives terror, but never peace.


The law demands a weighty debt,

And not a single mite will bate;

The gospel sings of Jesus’ blood,

And says it made the payment good.


The law provokes men oft to ill,

And churlish hearts makes harder still;

The gospel acts the kinder part

And melts the hard and stubborn heart.


“Run, run, and work,” the law commands,

Yet finds me neither feet nor hands;

But sweeter news the gospel brings;

It bids me fly, and gives me wings!


(Such needful wings, O Lord, impart,

To brace my feet and brace my heart;

Good wings of faith and wings of love

Will make the cripple spritely move.)


With these my lumpish soul may fly,

And soar aloft, and reach the sky;

Nor faint, nor falter in the race,

But cheerfully work and sing of grace.



          As Ruth’s nearer kinsman was unable and thus unwilling to redeem her, so these three nearer kinsman of ours are incapable of redeeming our souls.




          The Lord Jesus Christ is our one and only Kinsman Redeemer.


A.  The Son of God has made himself our kinsman that he might be our Redeemer (2 Cor. 8:9; Heb. 2:10-18).


B.  The Lord Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer, has willingly done the kinsman’s part for us.


1.     Christ is a willing Savior

Illustration: The Servant (Ex. 21:1-5).

2.    He is an able Savior (Heb. 7:25.

3.    He has done everything for us that the law of God required a kinsman to do.

·        He paid our debt!

·        He redeemed us from bondage!

·        He married the desolate!

·        He raised up children to the dead!




          The love of Christ for us far exceeds the love of any on this earth:


·        Jacob’s love for Rebecca

·        Jonathan’s love to David

·        Hosea’s love for Gomer

·        Boaz’s love for Ruth.


          (1 John 3:16 - 4:19)