Ephesians 1:7-8 – Grace, redemption & forgiveness

June 1, 2020 at 1:15 PM Leave a comment

Paul continues his lengthy spiritual blessing by writing about God’s grace, redemption and forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice.

v.7,“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” “He is” referring back to verses 3-6 speaking of God. Through God’s riches we receive both his “kindness and grace.” NLT uses the word “kindness” to highlight the kind of grace that was given by God.The “grace” that is mentioned is God doing for us that which we couldn’t do for ourselves and don’t deserve. Another way of putting it is unmerited favour—favour we don’t deserve. Paul uses the word “riches” to show how valuable the kindness and grace are. In the NIV the word “redemption” is used, here in NLT “purchased our freedom” is used. They both are speaking of Christ setting sinners free from slavery of sin. Redeem is the word in the Old Testament (OT) that is referred to when a person is being freed from slavery or prison (Lev 25:47-54). To redeem this person involved paying a price called a ransom which meant buying the person’s freedom. Jesus paid the sinners full ransom. That ransom was done “with the blood of [God’s] Son” which is Jesus Christ. So in Jesus we have redemption or freedom. Jesus became human so that he could free us from slavery to sin. And because of Jesus’ blood sacrifice, Jesus “paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin” AMP. “Sins” refers to sinful acts (daily sins) or transgressions. God’s forgiveness means that he no longer ever remembers believers’ past sins.

Why did Jesus have to shed his blood in order for my sins to be forgiven? In Heb 9:22 God made it clear that “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” In the OT forgiveness of sin was granted on the basis of the shedding of an animals’ blood (Lev 17:11). In order for sinful people to be spared, an innocent life (animal) had to be sacrificed in their place. The OT believers symbolically transferred their sins to an animal, which then was sacrificed. The animal died in their place (or made atonement for the sinner) to pay for their sins and to allow them to continue to live in God’s favour. God graciously forgave them because of this sacrifice. But it wasn’t until Jesus came to the earth and died for the sins of the world that real cleansing from sin happened. And these animal sacrifices were stopped because Jesus was the final and ultimate sacrifice, the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (Jn 1:29). Unlike the animal sacrifices, Jesus’s sacrifice paid the penalty of the sins of the world once and for all. And all who believe in Christ receive redemption and forgiveness.

v.8,“He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” This verse is a continuation of v.7, with Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice “He has showered his kindness on us.” The NIV says he “lavished on us” meaning there was no holding back (given in abundance) his kindness (or grace). Rom 5:20 emphasizes this well “people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.” Sin was no match for grace, even as we sin more and more God’s grace abounds even more! Along with God’s grace, believers are given two more gifts “wisdom” and “understanding.” “Wisdom” is the ability to see life from God’s perspective (the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Prov 9:10). “Understanding” is translated “practical insight” AMP. Referring to the ability to discern the right action to take in any given situation. To understand God’s will, people need both wisdom and understanding directly from God. So along with God’s grace we as believers are also given wisdom to see life from God’s perspective and practical insight to discern the right decision to make as they come along.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Because of God’s grace my sins have been forgiven and I have been redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice. Along with God’s grace I am also given two very important gifts of discernment: wisdom and practical insight.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  God’s grace is a theme in Ephesians. I need to remember because of God’s grace I am forgiven and redeemed. Also I am given wisdom and understand along with God’s grace. No matter what circumstance comes my way (good or bad) I need to see them from God’s perspective and choose to follow God’s lead in making a wise decision in that circumstance.

Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible. Tags: , , .

Ephesians 1:3-6 – Election, adoption & God’s grace Ephesians 1:9-10 – God’s secret plan

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