Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ephesians 1: Created for redemption

Verse 7 starts: “In him we have redemption…” I think we’ve grown used to the idea that we’ve been redeemed, saved, rescued. It doesn’t hold enough wonder for modern American Christians. I pray that this idea will grab hold of us as it deserves because, as Oswald Chambers put it, “once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vice, constrained by the love of God.” (1)

This is the gospel: We were in rebellion against our King. We deserved destruction, and yet we were redeemed. When we had nothing to offer and nothing to make us attractive, we were bought with a price – and what a price! We are redeemed “through his blood.” God became a man for the sole purpose of shedding His blood for us. In all of human history there was only one who did not deserve death, and He died for us.

There is a trend these days to talk about how the cross was not (or was not merely) about God forgiving us our sins; instead they want to talk about God repairing the relationship, or adopting us, or freeing us from spiritual bondage. All that is true, too, but we must never minimize the truth that we had rebelled against a righteous God and deserved destruction, but God, who is rich in mercy, paid the debt we owed so that He could be both just and justifier of him who believes. They seem to think it makes God small to hold our sins against us, but this beautiful truth makes God big.

The great Judge knew we were guilty and still went to great lengths to create for us a way out. This was not an afterthought or damage control – He created us knowing this would be necessary. He made us to redeem us. This does not make God small; it makes God huge!

More on Ephesians 1

(1) My Utmost for His Highest, November 20

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