Last week we talked about how the story of redemption is completely about glorifying and giving attention to God. This time we’re going to focus on what that story, when centralized on God, really means for you and I. I’m not necessarily talking about what we get out of redemption but more of how it works.
So, as the great scholar will.i.am once said, “Let’s get it started in here.” We’re back in Ephesians 1.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery 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.
There are three verses here and only one sentence. Unlike the last set of verses, we are the subject of the sentence; whereas, God was the subject in the last ones. But if you look at verse 7, it starts with, “In him…” Then if you go on to verse 8 it starts the clause with, “he lavished…” Then the rest of the verses are a series of clauses of God acting upon us. This shows that we are dependent on God’s action.
In the last post, we got to talk about how the point of the redemption story is not to make our lives perfect and happy but to bring glory to The Father. So what we see from the phrases we just highlighted today is that not only is the goal to bring glory to God, but also that God does all of the work for us.
To put it in other words, when speaking of the redemption story, we are always the direct object, and we can never become the subject.
Confusing? I know.
We need redemption because we have disobeyed God, and since we can do nothing for ourselves, we need to know what God has done and how we take that. In verse 7, we find that we can receive redemption through his blood. When Jesus died for us, we received a perfect sacrifice for our sin – something we could never give.
“According to the riches of his grace,” is an important phrase. We know that we cannot do anything to pay for our sin debt, but sometimes we don’t realize or remember that Jesus did not have to die for us. We deserve the exact opposite of forgiveness! It took so much grace for God to even give us an opportunity to be forgiven by Him. (For an explanation on the difference between mercy and grace, click here).
Verses 8 and 9 are a beautiful imagery of what God did. He lavished grace upon us. “Lavished,” in Greek, means that something is given in abundance past the point of actual necessity. If you think about how badly we all disobey God, it’s insane to think about how there is still grace leftover.
The last set of verses (and the previous ones for that matter) are very complex and could be studied forever (literally), but instead of doing that, for now, it’s best to understand the general idea that Jesus died so that he could create the ability for us to be united to him. This story brings glory to God because it shows his great love, mercy, grace, patience, and many other great attributes of God. So while the redemption story of Christ’s death does directly affect us, it is still all for God.
For Him to Us.
Next week, we’ll get to talk about how we know that we are united with Him.