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Redeemed and Forgiven

A Word for Today | Ephesians 1:7

As Paul’s hymn of praise to the Trinity enters its second section (you can read the first here), we advance from eternity into history.  God the Father chose us in Jesus Christ, adopting us as children, before there was any time.  Now Paul sings his praise to God the Son, entering into history to tell of Jesus as our Redeemer.  If you asked people on the street about Jesus Christ, most would say he came as a great moral teacher and example.  But the Gospels make it perfectly clear that Jesus came to save us from our sins.  As the angel to Joseph: “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21).  Jesus explained, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:28).  Jesus was born into this world in order to die for the world; as Paul tells us here, Jesus came to give us “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7).

Sin is the great problem facing this world, especially as it makes us guilty before God.  Psychologists may deny the idea of sin and guilt, saying that we cannot be held responsible because our actions are the result of our genes, environment, parents, or something else external to us.  But the Bible flatly declares that God holds us responsible for our sins.  Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” Our great need today is not therapy, not stress management, not social reform, but forgiveness.

The biblical idea of redemption involves the payment of a price to set us free from the guilt of our sin.  Paul says of Jesus, “We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph. 1:7).  John Murray explains that our redemption consisted in Jesus’ “substitutionary blood-shedding. . . with the end in view of thereby purchasing to himself the many on whose behalf he gave his life a ransom.”[1]  Romans 3:24-25 gives the grand statement that we are redeemed by Christ paying the debt in our behalf, through faith in His cross: we “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

Is it possible that by believing and trusting in Jesus as our Savior, God forgives all our sins and makes us His redeemed people?  Yes!  This is God’s will and desire for sinners to be saved.  Does this mean that all our sins are forgiven?  And what about God’s ability to forgive?  Is He like us, in that he may want to forgive, but the pain and horror of what we have done is simply too great for Him fully to put away?  The Bible answers all these questions emphatically.  Paul says, “He forgave us all our sins” (Col. 2:13).  God promises, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Heb. 8:12).  The psalmist therefore exults, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).  Christ’s redeeming work completely removes all our sins forever from God’s sight.  John thus writes: “the blood of Jesus [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).

Trusting in Jesus, may you experience today as a child of God freed from all debt of your sins – and also free from the power of sin to live for His glory and praise!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Phillips

[1] John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1955), 47.

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