We Have Redemption!
This week’s devotion is a little special. It is a devotion I entered into a contest for Proverbs 31, a well-known Christian women’s ministry. Although my writing was not selected to be published for Proverbs 31, I decided to do some further editing and post it this week. I hope you are blessed by it.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,… Ephesians 1:7-8 (NIV)
Growing up attending Sunday School, I appreciated the guidance and wisdom from various Sunday School teachers. Coming alongside me, they taught me the truth and encouraged me from God’s word. Paul does this for a young church in Ephesus when he writes to them. In his letter, he tells them they are loved and chosen by God, adopted as sons (and daughters), predestined or marked out beforehand by God.
He encourages them further as we see in verse 7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
The Ephesians knew the common word for redemption, exagarazo, which means to “buy out of the marketplace or the buying of goods in exchange for a price to be used by the consumer.” However, the word Paul uses here is apolutrosis, which means “to buy back or purchase at a price to set free.” This was a term used when slaves were bought to be freed. While the Ephesians were familiar with and understood the Greco-Roman practice of redemption, Paul ties it with the redemption they have in Christ. Essentially, they are no longer slaves to sin and held in bondage by sin. Indeed, they are free, but at the cost of Christ’s blood, and ultimately, his life.
Redemption frees us as well. Providing us forgiveness and releasing us from guilt for every sin we’ve committed past, present, and future. 1 Peter 3:18a (NLT) says, “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God”.
This is done, verse 7, “according to the riches of his grace,…”. Out of God’s grace or unmerited favor and love for us, he redeems us. Redemption is all God’s idea; from the moment sin entered this world through Adam and Eve, God began his plan to get us back. God knew we couldn’t redeem ourselves, so he sent His son Jesus to die for us so that we can live.
Redemption reminds us that we matter to God. While enslaved by our sins and completely desperate, Jesus rescued us. Hallelujah! Praise God for what he’s done for us! Redemption means once estranged but now reclaimed! We can let go of our messy past and start living life with joy and purpose. Telling others the good news that they too have redemption!
One More Thing
Do you like mysteries? I’ve been reading Christian mystery novels by various authors. With settings in a beautiful part of the country, gripping storylines filled with danger, peril, and suspense keep my eyes glued to the pages. Because of my fondness for mysteries, I was intrigued when I read Ephesians 1:9. “Making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ.” Paul uses the word mystery 21 times throughout his epistles. The Greek word for mystery is “mysterion,” meaning “a hidden or secret thing.” Paul lets us in on what this mystery is in verse 10: “…to unite all things in him (which is Christ), things in heaven and things on earth.” One glorious day all the broken, dirty, and sinful mess here on earth and all of heaven will be brought under Jesus’ rule during the millennium. Sin will be removed, and universal peace will be established (see Colossians 1:19-20). All because of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Salvation couldn’t be any sweeter. We can look forward to a marvelous future.