Forgiven and Free
- Read Eph.1:3-14
- God, the first part of the Trinity has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, He has chosen us to be a part of His family.
- That is His Plan, now we see it's through the Sacrifice of the Son that we see what the work of Jesus gives us.
- Today is about sin, not about specific sins because I don't want you to look around thinking about someone else. This is about you individually and the sin that separates you from God. Unbeliever, what you hear today could be the most important thing you've heard in your life.
- The only way to get to heaven, to have a relationship with God, to be forgiven... is through the work of God through Jesus Christ.
- What does God promise us through Jesus?
In Christ We Have Redemption
- Not many of you think of yourself as being in bondage. Less of you would consider yourselves being held for ransom.
- Did you know that in Mexico the number 1 crime is kidnapping for ransom? It's so common that they offer KRE insurance - Kidnapping, Ransom, and Extortion.
- But we think of ourselves as free. But the Bible is very clear on something - sin holds you in bondage.
- Paul writes in Rom 7:14 "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold into bondage of sin"
- If you are living your life apart from Jesus Christ you are living your life in bondage to sin and there is no amount of ransom that can be paid by anybody that will get you free.
- Paul says that in Christ we have "redemption" απολυτρωσις.
- The word literally means to "buy back" or to pay a ransom.
- Picture the parent on tv pleading for his child to be returned from kidnappers. They gather up every bit of money they can to try and pay a ransom. They will stop at nothing to get what they can to have their child released.
- Your Father in heaven who created you knows you have kidnapped by sin. Rom 3:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death - the ransom for your release is death - God knew that and through Jesus Christ God paid that ransom.
- In Jesus Christ we have been released from our captive condition. Non-believer if you have never accepted Christ you are sitting in that pew being held captive to sin. Was your computer browser on a pornagraphic website last night? Were you drunk with alcohol? Were you plotting ways to cheat on your husband or wife? Were you scheming ways to get ahead of someone at work? Are you struggling with addiction?
- To be freed from captivity you need Jesus Christ
In Christ We Have Forgiveness
- Standing in apposition to απολυτρωσις is the word αφεσις. This is what is translated the forgiveness of sins. It's another layer to redemption.
- If redemption frees us from the bondage of sin, then forgiveness does away with the guilt that comes as a result of our sin.
- In other words, we are not just freed but rather we are freed and forgiven, with our sins being completely atoned for in Jesus Christ. It's what Harold Hoehner says is the permanent cancellation of or release from the punishment for sin because it has been paid for by Christ's sacrifice.
- (Kidnapping victims developing relationships to captor) after 15 years they can still feel held captive.
- Unless we feel a complete break or forgiveness our freedom does not mean as much
- But that's exactly what God did through Jesus Christ freed us and gave us complete forgiveness.
- Redemption is the cause / Forgiveness is the effect. Do you feel forgiven today? You can, it's what God offers through Jesus Christ.
The Price Required For God's Grace
- The Bible tells us in Romans that the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. That verse has led many to develop a theology of "free grace". Yes, grace is a free gift from God but it cost Him everything.
- In Him...through His blood...according to the riches of his grace
- The ransom that was paid required a blood sacrifice, not just the death of Jesus but the blood of Jesus and you were bought back from sin by the blood of God's Son. Let that sink in.
- The greek does not indicate that it was "out of" the riches but rather "according to" the riches. In conformity with the riches - this is everything. If you have 50 mil in the bank and someone kidnaps your child and asks for a million that's no big deal. That's "out of". According to means God gave through His grace the life of His son. God's resources are infinite and the infinite Son is what He gave as a ransom. Jesus is the standard of what God has to offer.
- Where do you stand today? You really only fall into one of two catagories - you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and allowed God to pay your ransom, or you haven't. And if you haven't that means if you die today you will spend eternity apart from God which we call hell. And it can be hell on earth for you if you are confined by sin and the guilt that comes with. God offers you redemption and forgiveness by Jesus through His blood according to the riches of His grace. Accept that today.