We have been redeemed! ~ Ephesians 1:7-8
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 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 in all wisdom and insight. Ephesians 1:3-8
I. The Meaning of Redemption
a. Greek Word - There are basically two Greek words used in the New Testament for redemption.
i. Agora – marketplace. From this root word come other nouns and verbs that refer to buying and trading in the marketplace.
1. In the New Testament this word is used to denote spiritual purchase or redemption.
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Revelation 5:9
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” Galatians 3:13
The word that is used in our passage this morning is…
ii. Lutroo – to release from captivity. This word was used to refer to paying a ransom in order to release a person from bondage, especially that of slavery.
1. During the time when Paul was writing this letter the Roman Empire had as many as six million slaves. The slave market was huge and the buying and selling of slaves was a regular part of the culture. MacArthur says, If a person wanted to free a loved one or friend who was a slave, he would buy that slave for himself and then grant him freedom, testifying to the deliverance by a written certificate. Our word lutroo was the legal word designating freeing a slave in this way.
2. this is how the word is used in vs. 7 where Paul says, “In Him we have redemption…” Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross purchased our freedom from slavery to sin.
1 Corinthians 6:20 sums up the definition of redemption quite clearly, it says…For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
There are several elements of redemption that I want us to look at today that will help us understand this great gift.
II. The Elements of Redemption
a. The Redeemer - It is not a mystery to us who the redeemer is. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously if we have no redeemer we have no redemption.
At the beginning of vs. 7 Paul reminds us that it is in Christ that we have redemption. This is a point that is made throughout this passage. Every spiritual blessing is given to us in and through Christ.
Listen to what the scriptures say about our redeemer.
i. Became a curse
1. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—Galatians 3:13
ii. Became an imperishable sacrifice
1. knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21
iii. Became the final sacrifice
1. and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12
We have considered the redeemer for a few minutes let’s now consider the redeemed.
b. The Redeemed – Who are the redeemed? That’s us!
I cannot speak of redemption without thinking about what we were when we were so graciously redeemed. Look at what Paul says about us in Ephesians 2:1-3
i. We were dead
1. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3
ii. We were without hope
1. remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12
a. We were so far removed from Christ that we had no hope. See what Paul says? We were excluded from the commonwealth of Israel…we are not Jews, we were not part of God’s chosen people and because of that we had no idea of the covenant promises. No wonder we were without hope!
b. Paul says later in Ephesians 4 that we were darkened in our hearts and excluded from the life of God.
c. At that point, we had no helpful understanding of God, no desire to know Him, no desire to pursue Him. That’s trouble with a capital ‘T’. We did not know that we needed a redeemer.
d. You realize, don’t you, that people who don’t know that they need redemption have no desire to know the redeemer. If we don’t know we are slaves to sin what need do we have to be free? But God knew we needed redemption and that’s exactly why God redeemed us through Christ’s work on the cross.
That’s the good news isn’t it? That God did send his son to redeem us. But at what cost, what was the redemption price?
c. The Redemption Price – Simply put, the cost of our redemption was the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus bought us back from slavery to sin.
We know that the Old Testament sacrifices included…
i. The blood of bulls and goats
1. But listen to what the writer to the Hebrews says about that.
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:4
a. You see all the bloody sacrifices of the Mosaic Law were a picture of a greater sacrifice to come, that of Jesus Christ.
ii. The blood of Christ
1. Because he shed his blood, the writer goes on to say, “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” Heb 10:10
2. Jesus himself tells us that his blood is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. And God accepted Jesus sacrifice as a fragrant aroma.
a. What this means is that the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary was sufficient to wash away our sins.
3. Peter reminds us that Jesus blood is not like the perishable things offered up as sacrifices.
a. knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19
b. I want you to think for a minute about what Jesus blood means to you as a believer.
i. It means you are no longer in bondage to sin because Christ has paid the redemption price buying you out of slavery.
ii. It means that you have union with him. You have a relationship with him. We sons of God free to enjoy the benefits of being part of God’s family.
iii. That freedom includes freedom from the guilt of sin, from its bondage, condemnation, penalty, and some day – even from the presence of sin.
We who believe are the recipients of the wonderful results of redemption. Our passage gives us two great results.
d. The Redemption Results
But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.” Romans 4:5-8
1. Did you notice what forgiveness does for you? At the end of this Romans 4 passage Paul says, Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account. He will not hold that sin against you any more. No judgment will be brought against you regarding your sin because Jesus satisfied God’s wrath against sin when he died on the cross. That is forgiveness.
2. As a matter of fact, that is our example of forgiveness. Because Jesus paid the price of redemption for your sin he no longer takes that sin into account.
a. That is just what forgiveness should look like in our lives. When someone sins against we are to forgive them for the same reason God forgave you. Because Christ redeemed them!
b. Now if your forgiveness is heartfelt toward the person who sinned against you then you will no longer hold that against them or as Paul says, “you will not take it into account.”
c. You all know that is a battle. Because if Satan can keep you focused on what that person did in the past you are not able to truly forgive. That creates a whole slew of problems in a relationship. But our example is that of God’s no longer taking into account our sins.
In addition to forgiveness which God has given according to the riches of His grace he has also lavished upon us, or super abounded to us, wisdom and insight.
ii. Wisdom and insight
1. These two words complement one another and mean that by God’s grace he has given us wisdom. John Armstrong defines wisdom this way, Wisdom is the power to judge rightly and then follow the soundest course of action, action that is based upon knowledge, experience and understanding. In the context of what Paul is talking about here God gives us the ability to follow the soundest course of action.
There is a song that has been running through my mind all week.
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am.