The Book of Ephesians Series
Redeemed by the Son
Last week we began a new series on the book of Ephesians. The Apostle Paul established the church during his third missionary journey when he spent over three years teaching God’s Word publicly and from house to house to both Jews and Greeks establishing the church at Ephesus. The Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Ephesians while a prisoner in Rome for preaching the gospel in 59-61 A.D. to give insights to God’s people to the wonders of God’s grace and instruction in how they should live their lives to glory of God.
Doxology of Praise
The letter begins with a brief greeting or salutation in verses one and two and then the Apostle immediately bursts out in a doxology of praise in verses three through fourteen. In the original Greek this doxology of praise is one continual sentence. It seems that the Apostle starts describing God’s sovereign grace and he just can’t stop. This doxology of praise has three stanzas. As God’s called out people, we are to give praise for the adoption we have received from the Father (1.3-6), the redemption we have received through the Son (1.7-10), and the inheritance we have received by the Spirit. (1.11-14)
Brothers and sisters, God views us as His adopted children, His redeemed, and a people for His own possession so that we would proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. (IPt.2.9) This doxology of praise has some of the weightiest doctrine found in the New Testament, but I believe one of the best ways to look at the portion of Scripture is to understand that this is how God sees us in Christ. God sees us as His children, the redeemed, a people for His own possession.
Last week we considered that in love the Father predestined us to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will. (1.5) I stressed the point that God sees us as His kids! From all eternity the Father has always seen you as His child. There never was a time in the universe when the Father didn’t consider you as His child.
This reality should keep us from discouragement. This reality should keep us from being deflated. This reality should keep us from being downcast. Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? (Ps.42.5a) We are God’s kids! God is our Father! See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. (IJn.3.1a)
I love to tell the story about one Friday morning more than twenty years ago when I picked up “old man Joe” for the men’s Bible study. Old man Joe had spent most of his adult life in prison but by God’s grace Joe surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. I picked Joe up from his trailer in Davie and as we traveled down 136th Avenue, near Western High School. As we went down the road Joe asked, “Pastor, why does God love me?”
Knowing Joe’s background, I could understand why he was surprised by God’s grace. I responded, “Because He does, Joe.” Joe sat in silence and then he asked again with a little more passion, “But why does God love me?” “Because He does, Joe,” I responded once more. But then with some frustration in his voice Joe asked, “But why does He love me?” “Joe,” I said, “you can ask me that question all the way to the church and my answer is going to be the same. Joe, even though you may never know why God loves you it is extremely important that you know that He does and to embrace His love.”
Joe didn’t say a word the rest of the way to the church. Brothers and sisters, it is normal be surprised by God’s grace. It is normal to never understand why God would love us. But it is extremely important that we know that God does love us, and that we embrace God’s love through Christ. “He loves us, O how He loves us, O how He loves us, O how He loves.” (How He Loves – David Crowder)
After exclaiming the beauty of our adoption by the Father in the first stanza, Paul continues his doxology of praise focusing on our redemption through the Beloved, our Lord Jesus. Christ. Hear now the Word of God.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 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. (1.7-10)
To gain a clear understanding of the text lets identify the pronouns:
In (the Beloved) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of (the Father’s) grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 (the Father) made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in (Christ) 10 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. (1.7-10)
The Eternal Love Between the Father and the Son
Before we get into the details of today’s text, I want to highlight the eternal love between the Father and the Son that is clearly seen in this doxology of praise.
The infinite relationship between the Father and the Son is mentioned over thirty times in these fourteen verses. We see that the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (1.3) The Father chose us in Christ. (1.4) The Father predestined us to adoption through Christ. (1.5) The Father freely bestows His grace on us in Christ. (1.6) And this is just the first stanza of the doxology of praise. It makes perfect sense that the grace of the Father would center on His Son, the Beloved. It is Christ in whom the Father delights. (Is.42.1a) It is His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. (Mt.3.16-17; 17.5) Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the Father would gladly grant eternal redemption to us based on the Son’s love for the Father and the Father’s love for His Son.
What I want you to see first this morning is that the eternal love between the Father and the Son is the basis for our redemption. Our text begins, “In Him we have redemption.” Of course, we understand that the “In Him” is “in Christ.” But a closer reading shows that the “In Him” is really “In the Beloved.” Let’s back up and start reading verse six into the beginning of verse seven, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him, that is “in the Beloved” we have redemption . . .”
Instead of using the Messianic title “Christ” the Holy Spirit inspires the Apostle to use the title of endearment “In the Beloved.” I believe that the Spirit inspired the Apostle to use this title of endearment so that we would understand that the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son is the basis of our redemption. Yes! in (the Beloved) we have redemption.
The point is that the eternal love between the Father and His Beloved cannot be broken and therefore the eternal purposes of God to redeem us unto Himself through the work of His Beloved cannot be broken either. The eternal love between the Father and the Son is why we can confidently say that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom.8.39)
Our Salvation is Secure
Brothers and sisters, the Lord wants us to know that our salvation is secure because of the eternal love between the Father and the Son. The Father will not divorce Himself from His Son therefore He will not divorce Himself from us. The Father will not separate Himself from His Son therefore He will not separate Himself from us. If we are in Christ, in His beloved, we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (1.7-8a)
This truth should bring enormous security and reassurance to our lives. Just like a child seeing the loving relationship between his parents gives him confidence to face the future so the child of God recognizing the eternal love between the Father and the Son gives the believer confidence that nothing will separate him from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. I believe that the Lord wants us to know that our salvation is secure because of the eternal love bond between the Father and Son.
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. (1.7-8a)
In the Beloved We have Redemption
This word “redemption” means, “to provide deliverance because of the payment of ransom” or “a price being paid for freedom that is purchased.” Jesus told us that He came . . . to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mt.20.28; Mk.10.45) The Beloved gave Himself to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Tit.2.14) The Beloved humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil2.8) As I shared last week God’s holy law had to be satisfied and only Christ could satisfy the law perfectly. There had to be a sacrifice for sin and only Christ’s sacrifice would be pleasing to the Father. So, the Father’s Beloved offered Himself to redeem His people. The Beloved came into this world to do many things, for example, to still the boisterous waves, cast out demons, cleanse lepers, open the eyes of the blind, unstop the ears of the deaf, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and even raise the dead, yet the one overarching purpose of His coming was to seek and to save the lost, to give Himself a ramson for many. (William Hendriksen)
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (IJn.4.9)
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (IJn.4.10)
But how would the Beloved redeem us? What was the price paid for our freedom?” His blood. “In Him, in the Beloved, we have redemption through His blood.”
In the Beloved We have Redemption through His Blood
In the Beloved we have redemption through His blood. What we learn through the pages of the Old Testament that God instituted a sacrificial system of signs and symbols that pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. This system of sacrifice was so detailed and elaborate that one could almost say that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. (Heb.9.22) But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, so by His blood He would ransom for God people from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Gal.4.4-5; Rev.5.9b)
In the New Testament we see that after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, Christ ascended to the Father. As Christ ascended to the Father, He entered the perfect tabernacle not with the blood of goats and calves, symbols, and types, but with His own blood. He entered the holy place once and for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Heb.9.11-12) Brothers and Sisters, we are not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold. We are not redeemed by symbols or types. We are redeemed by precious blood of Beloved, as a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (IPt.1.18-19)
And the purpose for this redemption in His blood was to provide freedom from sin.
“In Him, in the Beloved, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.”
In the Beloved . . . We have Forgiveness of our Trespasses
Last week I stressed that fact that this doxology of praise is describing the way God sees us. We were told in verse four that due to the Father’s sovereign choice to place us in Christ, He no longer sees us as unholy and blameworthy but rather He sees us holy and blameless. And now in verse seven we are told that in Christ our trespasses have been forgiven. Due to the Father’s sovereign choice to place us in Christ, we are forgiven. God sees us as forgiven! The blood of Christ, the blood of the eternal covenant, was poured out for the forgiveness of sins. (Mt.26.28; Heb.13.20)
Because of the Beloved, because of Christ, God sees you as forgiven. Though your sins are as scarlet, because of Christ the Father sees you white as snow. Though your sins are red like crimson, because of Christ the Father sees you white as wool. (Is.1.18) That’s how the Father sees you in Christ! Through the blood of Christ, the Father has wiped away the thick cloud of our transgressions and the heavy midst of our sins. (Is.44.22) Through Christ our transgressions have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west and He remembers our sins no more. (Ps.103.12; Mic.7.19)
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. (1.7-8a)
Redeemed by God’s Infinite Riches
Brothers and sisters, we are redeemed by God’s infinite riches. The Father is not stingy with His grace! Notice that the Father does give “of His riches” but rather He gives “according to the riches of His grace.” The illustration is often given of two wealthy men who are asked to contribute to a charity. The first one donates a small sum, far less than what was expected due to the status of his wealth. This man gave merely “of his riches” not “according to his riches.” However, the second man was very generous and gave an overwhelming amount. This man gave “according to his riches.” Brothers and sisters, our God give according to His riches.
But what are the riches of His grace? Paul uses the phrase the riches of His grace five times in the book of Ephesians (1.7, 18, 2.7, 3.8, 16) and many times within the New Testament. (Rom.2.4; 9.23; 10.12; 11.33; Phil.4.19; Col.1.27) A fuller study of the New Testament will show that this phrase “the riches of His grace” is one of the Apostle Paul’s favorite phrases. But what are the riches of His grace? I believe that a study of this phrase reveals that the riches of God’s grace are His kindness, His forbearance, His forgiveness, along with all the many mercies He gives to those who are in Christ.
The point is that when you and I begin to praise God for His kindness, His patience, and His mercy this is when we will cash in on the riches of God’s grace. When we begin to praise Father for loving us with the same eternal love that He loves His Beloved that is when we will begin to cash in on the riches of God’s grace. When we begin to praise God for always seeing us as His child that’s when we begin to cash in on the riches of His grace. When you allow yourself to swim deep into the waters of God’s amazing grace then, and only then, will you begin to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the riches of God. Only then will you begin to realize that from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen! (Eph.3.18-19; Rom.11.33, 36) Only when you experience the vastness of God’s grace through Christ can you ever really know the riches of God towards you.
Showered with Grace
Our heavenly Father is not only abundantly generous with His grace, but He also desires to shower you with His grace. This word “lavished” means to cause an overflow. Our Father doesn’t drizzle grace on you – No! He causes a downpour of grace to come upon on you. Our Father doesn’t trickle grace on you – No! He causes a waterfall of grace to come upon you. Our Father doesn’t dribble grace on you – No! He causes an avalanche of grace to come upon you. Our Father doesn’t sprinkle grace on you – No! He causes a tsunami of grace to fall upon you. He lavishes the riches of His grace on you.
Brothers and Sisters, we are redeemed by the Son. This is the way God sees us. God sees us as the redeemed. God sees us as forgiven. God sees us blessed! Our salvation is secure. We are redeemed by God infinite riches. God’s grace is continuously poured on our lives through Christ.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary And gathered from the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. (Ps.107.1-3)