Ephesians 1:7 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
The long sentence continues as Paul reflects on the source of our redemption. Redemption is a word that is used in the market place for purchasing an item in trade or with money. In our spiritual case, we have been held in slavery by sin and in condemnation for our rebellion against God. There is nothing we can do in our own power or effort to redeem ourselves from this enslavement. The only remedy is the sacrifice Jesus made with his blood. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross redeemed us from the consequences and judgment of God. This idea is known as the atonement. There are many ideas about how to interpret the atonement. The concept is so rich that no one perspective can capture the depth and significance of what Jesus did for us on the cross. This statement in v. 7 assumes much history and theology found in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
The result of this redemption is the forgiveness of our sins. The word for “sin” used here covers may forms of wrong doings and trespasses against God’s laws. Paul later writes in 2:5 that we were once spiritually dead in our trespasses. Our disobedience is what puts us into slavery to sin. God’s answer for those who believe in Jesus and acknowledge him as Savior is forgiveness. Forgiveness is how God cancels our sins and treats us as innocent and righteous. Our past rebellion against God’s commandments is pardoned. This qualifies us to be in God’s holy presence, thus, we get to go to heaven.
This is all done according to the riches of his grace. These riches cannot be fathomed, imagined, or quantified. The infinite Creator approaches our awful sin with love and the offer of forgiveness and cleansing. Paul uses two words of wealth and extravagance: riches and lavished. Few people in Paul’s day had any kind of riches or even creature comforts. This statement would blow their minds with imaginative dreams of how wonderful God’s gift of salvation is.
The key idea is God’s grace, which is an important concept in this letter occurring 11 times. This grace comes through what Jesus has done for us by shedding his blood. God created us for the purpose that we come to know and experience his grace. One possible reason for this is that this is one way we can come to know who God is, for the grace of God reveals God’s character and love. If we want to know what type of being God is, we can look at grace. Grace reveals the wisdom and insight of God. Insight has a sense of intelligence, knowledge, and understanding. Paul told the Corinthians that Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). To the world, this whole plan of redemption looks foolish and weak, but for those who believe, it makes wondrous sense. The logical of biblical salvation is a wonder that we can ponder all our lives and never reach the depth of what it means.
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