Every Christian possesses abundant fuel to stoke the fires of worship in their heart. Paul reminds us of this throughout the first part of Ephesians 1. He is praising God, and he is reminding us of the reasons we have to do the same. If you are a Christian, God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Christ. In Ephesians 1:4-6, Paul speaks about the blessing of election. Today, we will look at the next blessing Paul highlights: redemption. Not only did God choose us before the foundation of the world, He also set us free from our sins.
Ephesians 1:7 tells us: “In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.” Redemption is a word that is full of incredible meaning. In general, it refers to the act of setting someone or something free – usually through the payment of an appropriate price (Ruth 4:6; Ps. 111:9). Here in Ephesians, Paul immediately explains the term by saying it is the “forgiveness of our trespasses”. This makes sense because the Bible is clear that apart from Jesus, we are “slaves” of sin (Rom. 6:17) because we are under its power (Rom. 3:9). Because all humans are sinful, sin (and Satan) claim ownership of us because justice demands punishment for disobedience. Because we are sinners, we are slaves – and there is nothing we can do to change that.
But Paul’s glorious proclamation is that Jesus changed it for us. We have redemption “through His blood”. Jesus breaks the power of sin and sets us free from our bondage. Instead of being judged for our sins, we can be forgiven. Instead of pouring out the wrath we deserve, God removes our transgressions and does not deal with us according to our sins (Ps. 103:10-12). Just as He promised, God remembers our sins no more (Jer. 31:34). They are no longer held against us – it is as if they never happened. What in incredible blessing (Ps. 32:1-2)! And the reason for this blessing is because Jesus died in our place. We have redemption because God made Jesus our substitute and poured out the judgment on Him instead of us (Rom. 3:23-35). Jesus’ blood has set us free (Heb. 9:15,22; 10:4).
And just as Paul grounded election in God’s love, he says this redemption has come to us “according to the riches of [God’s] grace, which he lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-9). Why did God choose to set us free? It was yet another example of God’s free, unearned favor. We did not deserve it, and God was not obligated to give it. Yet, God has shows us grace – which means He has given us a good thing when we deserved a bad thing. And this grace is not just sprinkled but “lavished”. It is poured out abundantly so that there is no shortage or lack of it. God’s grace is a torrential downpour that soaks us to the bone. Ultimately, we do not deserve this, but God freely gives it, and that realization should fill us with humility and cause us to sing God’s praises even more – just like it did for Paul.
But, again, why would God do that? Why would He choose to give sinners such abundant blessings? Paul says this all happened as part of God’s wisdom, because He was “making known to us the mystery of His will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him [in Christ], things in heaven and things on earth” (1:9-10). God had a plan in place before this world was ever made, and that plan was to bring all things together under the rule and authority of Jesus. The only way this could happen is for Jesus to come rescue everything that was lost when Adam and Eve sinned. That is the reason He came and lived and died.
Ultimately, our redemption is part of God’s glorious plan. He is making all things new, and our salvation is part of that. God has blessed us with incredible spiritual blessings – one of which is the fact that He has forgiven our sins and set us free from slavery to sin. If you are a Christian, this is true of you today. Do not forget the privileged position in which you stand. Regardless of present situations or circumstances, it is a fact that God’s grace has been lavished upon you. How do you know that? Because you are no longer a slave of sin – your sins are forgiven. You are redeemed – bought with the precious blood of Christ.