I am going to ask you a question and then answer it for you. How about that? According to God’s Word, what is your greatest need today? The greatest need of every person here today, whether he recognizes it or not, is to have God forgive his or her sins before he or she dies in order to avert God’s eternal punishment. That forgiveness of sin is more important than anything else was clearly revealed when Jesus forgave the man sick of the palsy before He healed him physically.
Any needs for health, finances, or any of the many other personal or family matters are important indeed, but if you die without God’s forgiveness, these blessings are only temporal but eternally useless. Your greatest need is to know that God has forgiven your sins and that you are reconciled to the holy Judge of the universe.
Vs. 1.7 In whom we have redemption (how?) through his blood, the forgiveness of sins (this is what His blood accomplishes), according to the riches of his grace (the source of our redemption is the grace of God);
- In Whom we have redemption– let’s not allow the necessary, but heady and academic discussions regarding the doctrines of predestination and election that we have looked into over the past few weeks overshadow The Person and work o Our Lord Jesus Christ. Our redemption is in Christ. The volume of the book is written about Jesus, Who took upon Himself human form to become our Passover Lamb.
- It is in Christ that were are chosen (v. 4), adopted (v. 5), redeemed and forgiven (v. 7).
1.8 Wherein (his grace) he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
1.9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
- A mystery in the bible is something that was “hidden” in the OT that has been revealed in the NT. That the Gentiles should ever be received into the Church of God, and have all the privileges of the Jews, without being obliged to submit to circumcision, and perform the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish law was a mystery hidden in ages past, but now revealed to the apostles (Eph 3.5).
- This is the mystery spoken of in chapters 3 and 5. Jew and Gentile joined together in the body of Jesus Christ, Messiah.
- It is by the grace of God that we have been made known he mystery of His will concerning the redemption and salvation of poor lost sinners, both Jews and Gentiles by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone.
1.10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
- Even in Him- Paul uses the language of “in Christ” or “in him” or “in the Lord Jesus” roughly 40 times in Ephesians. The whole of our salvation can be summed up with reference to this reality that we are in Christ. It is in Christ that at the end of the ages, all things will be gathered together (v. 10).
1.11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
1.12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
- To the praise of his glory. God’s glory is the supreme purpose in Christ for those who trust in Him (cf. vv. 6 14). Our entire blessedness—our victory, our happiness, our hope—is to intended to manifest the greatness, wonder and grace of God in and through our lives.
- 1 Cor 6.20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
- 1 Cor 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
- As we hold the bread and the cup, our hearts are to remember that the measure of God’s forgiveness is according to the riches of His grace, which He has lavished on us in and through Jesus Christ.
Redemption – Gr. Apolutrosis refers to a releasing, deliverance or liberation that is obtained by the payment of a ransom. So the forgiveness of sin that we have in Christ Jesus is a legal payment or remission of that debt that each one of us owe to God on account of our offences, because of which our liability to punishment is cancelled.
- 10 uses of apolutrosis in the NT. Let me read to you a few of them so that we get a biblical understanding of how this word is used. idea or
- Rom 3.24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
- Col 1.14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
- Heb 9.12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
- So this redemption that we speak of is a once and for all sacrifice that is free, it is by God’s grace, it is through His shed blood on the cross that has been brought by Jesus into the very holy place in heaven and it is eternal.
- Isa 60.16 I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
- Job prophesied the Incarnation of Jesus Christ when he declared, For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. Job 19.25
- You and I use words such as “redeemer” or “redemption” as religious terms. But when a person back in the first century heard these terms, he or she immediately thought in non-religious terms. It brought to mind the common picture of a slave being purchased and then set free. Redemption meant that I was released from bondage by the payment of a price made by someone else.
- This precious word redemption is a word that has roots in the Old Testament. For example, it is a word that refers to a “kinsman-redeemer.” In the Book of Ruth, Naomi’s family property, due to debt, had fallen into other hands. Because she had lost her husband, she could not afford to recover it. Boaz was a near relative who had the right to redeem the property by paying the price, which he did.
- In another Old Testament context, God is seen as the one who redeemed Israel from bondage in Egypt (Exod. 6:6). As you know, the Jews had to put the blood of the Passover lamb on the lintel and doorposts of their homes. God then said, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.
- Both the Exodus out of Egypt and the Boaz’ redemption of the property of Naomi and Ruth were OT pictures of our redemption through the blood of Christ.
Why blood, one might ask? Hebrews 9:22 states plainly, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sin.”
- This of course takes us back to Leviticus 17:11, where God explains, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
- All of those animal sacrifices pointed ahead to Jesus, the Lamb of God, who by His death redeemed all who come to the Father through Him. Thus, God can be “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).
Satan is the master of sowing confusion about God’s forgiveness under the guise of religion. Every single non-Christian world religion, every cult and every alleged “Christian” church that teaches that we must do something—fasting, prayer, penance, self- denial, good works—to help pay for our sins and to earn God’s favor is accursed.
- Gal 1.6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 1.7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 1.8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 1.9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed
My friend, if you try to seek God’s forgiveness in any way other than through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, you will remain unconverted and your eternal soul is in grave danger. If your hope of heaven rests on anything that you must do to earn it, than you today are as lost and lost can be no matter how many good works you perform.
Likewise, if you are claiming to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, but there is no evidence of the fruit of a new birth in your life, you may very well be one of those people to whom The Master will say, “I never knew you; depart from Me.”
According to Scripture, each and every person was born into this world helplessly, hopelessly enslaved to sin and under God’s just condemnation. But with the shedding of His own blood, Jesus Christ, by the gracious plan of God, tasted death for every man. Implicit in the biblical doctrine of redemption by grace through faith is that God does something for us that we could not do for ourselves. We were enslaved to sin and like the debtor in Matthew 18; we have no power or means to free ourselves.
The gospel of the grace of God reveals that God does not require or need our help in paying the price. In fact, it is an insult to Christ if we think that we can add anything of our own to the great price that He paid. Remember that Jesus said on the cross, it is finished (John 19.30).
Would you please note that in verse 7 Paul does not say, “In Him, someday we hope to be redeemed.” Nor does he say, “We’re working at obtaining redemption, but we don’t know yet if we’ll get it until we see whether our good works tip the scale.” Rather, he says, “In Him, we have redemption.” In other words, biblical redemption is our current possession and experience. True, we await the future redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23). True, the finalization of our redemption will not occur until Jesus returns (Luke 21:28). But those glorious promises only apply to those who are in Christ today.
There is no redemption anywhere outside of Jesus Christ. There is no redemption in either Protestantism or Catholicism. There is no redemption in Calvinism or Arminianism.
There is only redemption by grace, through faith in Christ Jesus because redemption means that Christ and Christ alone had paid the price to free us from the penalty and power of sin.
What is salvation? Not a creed. You say, “Well, I believe the plan of salvation.” You can believe the plan of salvation and go straight to hell. You’re not saved by the plan of salvation, you’re saved by the man of salvation.
Salvation is not a creed. It’s not a code. You say, “Well, I believe if you live right you’ll go to heaven.” If you could be saved by living right, then Calvary was a blunder. It’s not a cause. You say, “I’m a member of a good, fundamental, Bible believing church.” It’s not any of these things. It’s Christ.
Salvation is not believing something, it is receiving Someone. The true gospel is one that centers in Jesus Christ.
So as we come to the Lord’s table, we can say in a sense that today is a day of reckoning for each person here in this room. Make your calling and election sure.
- Acts 20:28 Take 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.
- 1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
- Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.