Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Study in Ephesians: Pt. 3, Ephesians 1:3-14

Chosen, Redeemed, and Sealed

Ephesians 1:7-9 We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him

How often do you sit and contemplate the nature of your salvation? I'm not talking about predestined vs. freely chosen or anything like that, but simply where you would be and where you would end up if not for the blood of Jesus having redeemed you. Are you really a sinner saved by grace? Or do you see yourself as somehow, on some level, being worthy of the gift you have received? Do you look down on those who struggle with those "big" sins that you have never experienced? Do you forget the immeasurable value of your redemption when someone does something to you that is trivial in comparison to who you were in relation to Christ before you were saved?

"Redeemed" is a great word picture. The HELPS Word Study on this word gives us an idea of what Paul really meant when he said that "we have redemption in Him through His blood."

629 apolýtrōsis (from 575 /apó, "from" and 3084 /lytróō, "redeem") – properly, redemption – literally, "buying back from, re-purchasing (winning back) what was previously forfeited (lost)."

629 /apolýtrōsis ("redemption, re-purchase") emphasizes the distance ("safety-margin") that results between the rescued person, and what previously enslaved them. For the believer, the prefix (575 /apó) looks back to God's effective work of grace, purchasing them from the debt of sin and bringing them to their new status (being in Christ).

You were formerly lost, forfeited, and destined for hell. You were in a state of rebellion against God. Your sin was earning you the eternal wrath of God, to be justly poured out on you as everlasting torment and punishment. But by the blood of Jesus, "according to the riches of His grace that He lavished" upon you, you have been redeemed! You have been bought back from this path to eternal destruction! No matter how bad someone else may look, that person is no more a sinner than you. And no matter what tangible darkness that person was saved from, the grace God gave to you is no less amazing.

You have been forgiven much, given much, and loved much. Go, forgive, give, and love.