Ephesians 1:7-10 Redemption accomplished

The plans of an infinite, eternal God are big plans, embracing the entire creation.  It is good for his people to think often about the greatness of this work, to deepen our appreciation of the grace of God and the scope of the salvation which has been provided for sinners in Christ.  We need to see that our personal salvation fits into the ‘big picture’ of the redeeming work of the Lord.  Consider Ephesians 1:7-10 Redemption accomplished.

1. The sacrifice Christ offered

Note v7 ‘In him we have redemption through his blood’.  God’s plan to provide a people for himself necessitates the death of Christ.  Sin has to be dealt with, not trivialised or ignored.  Sinners stand under the righteous wrath and just condemnation of a holy God (Romans 1:18).  The demands of his law must be satisfied if there is to be peace between God and sinners.  Hebrews 9:22 states the spiritual law that is based in God’s holy character: ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’.  The OT sacrifices were temporary until the coming of the Son of God ‘to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45).  That sacrifice deals with the wrath of God, providing ‘a propitiation in his blood’ (Romans 3:25).  All of this flows from the grace of God – ‘in accordance with the riches of God’s grace’ (v7).

2. The salvation we receive

What results from the death of Christ for sinners?  We have ‘redemption’ (v7).  The root meaning is a ‘buying back’ – from imprisonment or slavery.  Sin is like a slave owner who holds sinners fast in a bondage we cannot break.  The blood of Christ secures our release and we are set free: ‘[Jesus Christ] who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness’ (Titus 2:14).  This is explained further as ‘the forgiveness of sins’ – our debt is cancelled, the penalty due to our sins has been taken by Christ.  Pardon has been secured for every Christian and there is ‘no condemnation’ (Romans 8:1).  Full provision is also made for our life in Christ – ‘all wisdom and understanding’.  We have insight into God’s truth and the ability to apply and live out the truth.  Salvation involves a whole life to be lived for the Lord’s glory.

3. The supremacy God decrees

All is ultimately for God’s glory (v6).  Graciously he has revealed to us ‘the mystery of his will’ (v9), showing us the sweep of his eternal purpose.  Formerly hidden, it has now been revealed in Christ – ‘his good pleasure which he purposed in Christ’.  It is a great privilege to have such an insight into the mind of God.  The awe-inspiring, over-arching purpose of God is described in v10.  This shapes all that he does in his creation.  Note ‘the fulness of times’ (v10, lit).  With the death and resurrection of Christ, that fulness has arrived.  Step by step God has worked towards this point.  Satan’s best efforts have failed to thwart him.  God’s plan is for cosmic restitution under Christ – ‘to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ’.  All things will be placed under him, either in joyful union or by unwilling subjugation.  This is already under way – v22 – Christ is over all, but God’s purpose involves the redemption of citizens for the kingdom.  When Christ returns, all enemies will be subdued, and the saints will rejoice in the King’s presence eternally.