Ephesians 1:7-10 The Blessing of Our Redemption

Ephesians 1:7-10

The Blessing of our Redemption

We have been seated with Christ in the heavenly places. We have been transformed by, are with and we know in personal relationship the cosmic Christ who rules the spiritual dimensions and has given us the glorious mission of advancing his rule in the establishing of his kingdom through the church by whom proclamation of Father’s manifold wisdom is made to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This is a grand thing!

Our exaltation to be in and with Christ is huge. Our mission of Kingdom come and his will being done through the church among all nations is glorious.

Our state was fallen and yet Jesus saved Sauls and made them Pauls. Jesus took pagans and made them saints and faithful.

The blessing of Father’s election to sanctification and adoption as children to his praise tastes good and gracious and kind. We raise empty hands and bring filthy rags as our best offering of our self-righteousness, but trust in the justifying work of Jesus Christ in the place of sinners and we wear his righteousness as our own through faith in Christ.

We remember that Ephesians explains what the Church’s cosmic role is as the Body of the Cosmic Christ. Ephesians reveals the position and job description of the church in effecting God’s new order (kingdom of God)[1]. It answers the question, what does it mean to be in Christ, and what does this demand of us?[2]

Chapters 1-3 are going to tell us what we need to believe about the glorious riches of Father’s grace to us in Christ Jesus and our exalted position with him. Chapters 4-6 are going to tell us the implications / actions required of this grace for the church.

Before we get into our role we get to keep unpacking our spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus in this blessing song Paul has written to the Ephesians. We get to keep discovering our spiritual position that does and will affect our physical position in the advance of the kingdom.

Today, Paul continues to list our blessings in Christ, and these blessings are of magnificent glory.

It is vital to remember who we are determines what we do. Our identity as “in Christ” affects everything. We are not our own. We have been bought at the cost of Jesus’ life. So, before we go rushing off into “what” to do (chapters 4-6) let’s drink deeply of our identity and bask in the glory of whose we are and ask for the power of the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit to prepare us to advance the kingdom through the work. Don’t look past the “why” to the “what”. Enjoy the “why” as the fuel of the “what”.

7) In him we have redemption (release) through is blood, the forgiveness (pardon; liberty) of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8) which he lavished (have more than enough; abundance) upon us, in all wisdom and insight (wisdom and insight together form the idea of discernment – the application of truth together with seeing past the obvious) 9) making know to us the mystery (secret) of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10) as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

What do verse 7-10 tell us about our continued blessings in Christ?

  1. We have been redeemed according to the riches of his grace (which he lavished on us)

After the blessing of Father’s election of a people rescued from the rebellion as a gift to the Son, Paul then expounds on the status of these holy, blameless and adopted children with the fact that we have been redeemed. What is redemption? What is it to have been redeemed?

A story I’ve heard before to illustrate redemption will be of help here.

“In a city on the shore of a great lake lived a small boy who loved the water and sailing. So deep was his fascination that he, with the help of his father, spent months making a beautiful model boat, which he began to sail at the water’s edge. One day a sudden gust of wind caught the tiny boat and carried it far out into the lake and out of sight. Distraught, the boy returned home inconsolable. Day after day he would walk the shores in search of his treasure, but always in vain. Then one day as he was walking through town he saw his beautiful boat in a store window! He approached the proprietor and announced his ownership, only to be told that it was not his, for the owner had paid a local fisherman good money for the boat. If the boy wanted the boat, he would have to pay the price. And so the lad set himself to work doing anything and everything until finally he returned to the store with the money. At last, holding his precious boat in his arms, he said with great joy, ‘You are twice mine now – because I made you and because I bought you.’”

This is just like our redemption!

“Redemption is payment of a price or ransom. The price was Christ’s own blood, and object was our souls. All of humanity was in the slave market of sin and thus powerless to affect self-deliverance, but Christ has purchased his Church with an infinite price as the Scriptures repeatedly attest…”[3]

1 Peter 1:18-19

“…knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

Hebrews 9:12

“[11] But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) [12] he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”

Because we have been chosen in Christ as a gift from the Father to the Son that we may praise him for his glorious grace he has redeemed us from the slavery that Adam sold us into through the rebellion against Father.

We must remember, apart from Christ we were slaves of sin and following the course of the world system that is ran by the prince of the power of the air (2:2), but Christ Jesus has come and bought us back so that we are twice his, created by him and rescued by him from our slavery to the rebellion and now rebelling against the rebellion.

And to be faithful to the text, we have not just been redeemed, but lavishly redeemed. I was not just rescued from the slave market of sin and allowed to go wander off on my own to figure things out. I was redeemed from the slave market of sin and adopted into the family of my redeemer and made a son and with that redemption I have gained access to an inheritance and purpose that is far above what I could imagine. Our redemption is lavish, more than enough and abundant.

We have been redeemed and that carries implications.

One, I am no longer my own. I belong to Christ Jesus. I’m part of the redeemed, the church, and I exit to praise him for his grace with the church on the mission of making his name great.

Two, I now have a mission that transcends a mere job. My job now becomes the means of (now this is more than the text tells us, but is a theology of the kingdom and created purpose for man in Genesis 1:26) renewing the whole world from its broken state through the supernatural work of the kingdom through the gospel and bringing all things back under the rule of Jesus Christ as they are restored to health, beauty and freedom.

Our redemption is deep and rich and we could spend an eternity on understanding all of it, and we will some day.

  1. We have been forgiven according to the riches of his grace (which he lavished on us)

We have been pardoned. Forgiveness is the idea of a debt being wiped out.

Justification is the next level of the salvific work of Father where he not only forgives us but credits us with the righteousness of Christ.

But often we forget the glories of justification and hang on ourselves guilt that is truly not ours, although we still sin, forgetting the complete nature of Christ’s work. Not only do we forget we have been credited with the righteousness of Christ, but we forget even the front-end work of salvation, forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the pardoning work in the removal of sins. Justification is the crediting with the perfection of Christ.

Again, it’s easy for the believer to not only forget the justifying work of Christ, but also to hang on themselves their past and present sin.

The text says that he has forgiven us of our trespasses. Those past sins are gone.

Listen to some of what Scripture tells us about our sins:

Psalm 103:11-12

[11] For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; [12] as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 44:21-22

[21] Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. [22] I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. [23] Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.

Jeremiah 31:34

[34] And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Not only have we been forgiven, but also we have been forgiven lavishly. Our sins have not just been pardoned. Our sins have been done away with to such a degree that the eternal weight of them will never touch us again. Jesus’ payment for them is so complete that we can cry out with Paul in Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation is Christ Jesus.”

  1. We have been given wisdom and insight (discernment) (which he lavished on us)

There is a sense in which we have wisdom and insight that we didn’t have because we have been made alive, but there is a sense that we have these and need to continually train the lavished blessings of wisdom and insight we have been given.

Listen to 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 and Hebrews 5:14:

1 Corinthians 2:14-16

[14] The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. [15] The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. [16] “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

We have the mind of Christ. We can think as Jesus does. This is due to the precious gift of the Spirit

Hebrews 5:14

[14] But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

We live in a body that is racked from the fall and yet we have the blessing of wisdom and insight, and somehow we must train that wisdom and insight.

How do we train these? We train our wisdom and insight through constant practice in the source of wisdom and insight in the knowledge of Father, Son and Spirit…the Bible.

As we search Scripture and as we live in the spiritual blessing of being alive in Christ we must ask why we have wisdom and insight.

We know we can possess wisdom because we are told to ask Father for it in James and the Proverbs assert that we can get wisdom because the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

We can have spiritual insight because we have the mind of Christ and can discern spiritual truths.

But Paul says in this passage that he lavished on us wisdom and insight for a very specific purpose. What is that purpose?

To know the mystery of his will

According to his purpose which he set forth in Christ

As a plan for the fullness of time

To unite all things in him, things in heaven and on earth

In other words, we have been blessed lavishly with wisdom (the right application of truth) and insight (discernment) to know Father’s past hidden (mystery) will of great purpose in Christ at just the right time to unite all things, physical and spiritual, in Christ Jesus.

This is another way of telling the Ephesians and us that we have been blessed with the ability to know the kingdom, know the kingdom has come and what Father is doing in the kingdom. We know, as a blessing in Christ, that the rebellion against the rebellion has begun and we know the orders of the Father and we know what the orders will achieve and we know this truth lavishly.

There is nothing hidden from us about the uniting of all things in Christ in the kingdom.

We know that “the kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through the entrance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty and freedom.” (Tim Keller)

Father has graciously blessed us with the inside information and power of his kingdom to subdue creation and bring all of creation in the heavens and on earth back under the rule of Christ in complete unity with the curse of the fall reversed. That is what is happening in the advance of the Gospel and the taking back of all things for Christ and by his power.

Jesus taught us this truth that he had given us wisdom and insight into his plan in the kingdom parables. “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled…But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:13, 14, 16-17)

And is this not how Jesus taught us to pray? “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

We have been lavishly blessed with wisdom and insight into the mission and given the tools to achieve the mission and the command to go to the mission.

Conclusion:

What can we do with these blessings of being in Christ that we have learned today?

  1. We can rest secure in our position of being created, sought and rescued.
  1. We can leave the guilt of our past sins in the past
  1. We can abandon our current sins and the guilt of current failure because the kindness of God to not remember my sins leads me to repentance (Romans 2:4)
  1. We can grow our wisdom and insight into the mission of the Father and can increase our work in the mission.

As we grow in seeing the fine tuned way in which all things are being brought back to submission to Christ Jesus, including the way we pursue daily work and thought. We take back every domain of society by leading, repairing, subduing, transforming and teaching and making disciples in every domain.

We have wisdom and insight into doing this work.

Have you ever viewed your job like this: my job exists because I am a part of repairing this portion of what was broken at the fall, and as an agent of the rebellion against the rebellion I will reclaim this ground for King Jesus and seek kingdom come and Jesus’ will being done here as it is done in heaven.

Try that on. It’s not mind hocus-pocus. That is real kingdom mentality in approaching the domains of society.

  1. We can sing with all of creation because he has redeemed us and will be glorified in us in spite of what it may look like in the moment. Father will win the day!

Isaiah 44:21-23

[21] Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. [22] I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. [23] Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.

Creation is personified as singing over the salvation work of the Lord. And I’m not so sure it’s personification. I have too much Tolkien and Lewis in me. Jesus may cause creation to sing when it’s fully restored, and I am not going to be out-sung by no tree. Let’s worship the Lord Jesus with gusto!

[1] Parenthesis mine

[2] Kent Hughes, Preaching the Word: Ephesians, (Wheaton; Crossway, 1990), p. 15.

[3] Kent Hughes, Preaching the Word: Ephesians, (Wheaton; Crossway, 1990), p. 30.

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