Monday, May 30, 2016

In Him we have - Ephesians 1:7-10

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth." (Ephesians 1:7-10)
Even the intervention of sin was not enough to derail the plans and purposes of God, that is to bring about our adoption and to deliver us to Himself in holiness and perfection. However, the remedy for sin would cost God greatly and dearly. Our redemption from sin was at such a high price that it meant the shedding of Jesus blood for our sins. Death was the just reward of our sins and our release from it required someone who would pay a like price for us, Our freedom from death required the death of the only begotten Son of God to free us from its grasps and to free us from our condemnation. Paul reminds us that our redemption was through His blood; a rare and exceedingly precious commodity which alone could pay the price for our release. Peter writes, "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." (1 Peter 1:18-19)

This redemption not only brought about our release from death but also the forgiveness of our sins and trespasses. God was under no obligation to save and forgive us. He could have left us in our sin to face our certain punishment and our just reward. However, out of love for His creation and through His super-abundant favor towards us, He set about a plan to redeem us, to forgive us, and to restore us back to His original plan to make us sons and daughters of God. Such love from God! Such grace and favor towards mankind.

Here is another case where it is hard to determine the correct sentence order; was it in all wisdom and insight that he lavished His grace upon us or was it in wisdom and insight that he made know to us His mystery? I am assuming the latter.

In former times, God taught mankind through religion and moral laws, yet all the time held in His own secret purpose a hidden plan which mankind did not discover until its coming to light. There were some here and there who came close to understanding it, but its full revealing was not made known until Jesus appeared to begin His public ministry here upon the Earth. Through His redemption and salvation, God had given us new wisdom and understanding that we might know and understand His previously hidden mystery that, one day, all things will be summed up in Christ. Christ is the end of all things for us, He is the end of all religion and all righteousness of men. Paul writes, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Romans 10:4) Christ is the end of all human works in an attempt to please and pacify God. In Christ we are invited to cease from our own human works and enter into His finished work which, on the cross, he declared, "It is finished!" (John 19:30) Jesus is the end of the tyranny of death, bringing to light the availability of eternal life to all mankind. Paul reminds us, "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death." (1 Corinthians 15:25-26) Finally, He is the end of all things of this creation and the summing up of all things unto Himself that He might deliver all things to God. "When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:28) Jesus is not the end of all things and the beginning of all things new.

This Jesus did, not begrudgingly, but out of His kind intentions of His heart towards us. Jesus was under no obligation to save us, it is not something He did because He had to, He saved us because He wanted us, He wanted us to be with Him when all things were summed up into Him. How great is the love of God towards us! How great are His kind intentions towards us!

David Robison

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