Ephesians Lesson #024
April 28, 2019
“Our Father, we’re thankful that You have revealed Yourself to us. As we come to the Scriptures, we are mindful that this is not a book written by men about their experiences with the divine. It is Your revelation, Your disclosure of Yourself through human beings writing to us, and You overseeing the process, so that they recorded exactly what You intended and that it is infallible and without error.
“Father, we are thankful that You have disclosed so much of Yourself to us and that we can come to understand Your perfect plan in history as it is grounded on the redemption of our sins, which took place on the Cross of Golgotha.
“Father, we’re thankful that we have so many ways that You have given us to understand what this means, that we can have a greater appreciation for the love that You have displayed to us and for the riches of Your grace that are manifested there.
“Father, as we continue our study in Ephesians 1, help us to understand the significance, the meaning, the value of what we are studying.
“We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”
This morning, we come to the next section within this opening prayer or statement of praise. Eulogy is another term that I’ve used, meaning a good statement, a statement of praise to God. It is broken down into three parts, one part to the Father, one to the Son, and one to the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:7 begins the second section within this eulogy, which focuses on redemption and forgiveness, terms that, especially redemption, will show up again. Grace words related to God’s plan, words related to His will and His pleasure are all present in this section as they are in each of the sections.
As we look at these concepts of redemption and forgiveness, we should be mindful that a lot of people struggle with words like redemption because they are not used a lot in our current generation. Redemption is a term that we have to take some time to understand and to see what the Scripture teaches about it because it’s a foundational concept from the Old Testament through the New Testament for understanding that which was necessary to secure our salvation.
The other word is even more difficult for people. We have an easy time understanding why and how somebody might forgive us. After all, we’re basically good, and we didn’t really mean whatever it was that we did, and certainly we’re of a great enough stature and nice enough people that we should be forgiven. When we flip that around to forgiving other people, maybe not so much. We have a difficult time with the concept of forgiveness. Yet, the picture of forgiveness for us as believers happened on the Cross and happens in our individual salvation. We’re going to take a little time to go through what the Scripture teaches as we focus on redemption and forgiveness.
First of all, we have to look at this concept of redemption. As we look at the opening verse, Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins …,” we see that redemption is explained through this second appositional clause, that redemption is in some way equivalent to or synonymous with forgiveness. We have to understand that, so I thought I would start with a statement by our Lord on the Cross in Luke 23:34.
This is a verse that many of us have not paid sufficient attention to. Jesus was on the Cross. He was looking down on the Roman soldiers on the one hand. Probably religious leaders of Israel were there as well, those who were responsible for His arrest, His illegitimate trial, and His execution. He prayed, “ ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ ” Think about that a minute.
The word that we have translated forgive is one of two words translated as forgive in the New Testament. It is APHIEMI. We have the noun in our verse in Ephesians 1:7, and it has the idea of canceling something, releasing something, letting it go, remitting. The noun means the remission of sins. Several times, the gospel is expressed in terms of gaining the remission of our sins. As another word for forgiveness or canceling our sin, it also has the idea of releasing someone. Often in the Scripture is the picture of captives, slaves, being released from their captivity or released from bondage. We have this word at the very beginning, and it’s not used a lot in the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
It was used a couple of times. In Psalm 25:18, the psalmist prayed, “Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.” Actually, APHIEMI was only used a few times translating various Hebrew words related to forgiveness.
Isaiah 61:1 is a verse we looked at on Tuesday night in relation to its messianic implications, “The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has chosen Me …” The speaker here was the Second Person of the Trinity, who is the Servant of the Lord, who was the Messiah who would come. Part of what He stated would be accomplished in the “release of captives.” That’s another way in which redemption is applied. It’s the release of something.
When we look at what Jesus said on the Cross, I want you to notice a couple things. First of all, Christ asked the Father to cancel the debt of their sin, their hostility to Him, their unjust treatment of Him, their beating of Him, the torture, the illegal trials, the illegal arrest, all that were done, culminating in His crucifixion. He asked the Father to cancel the debt of their sins, and what they were doing to Him on the Cross.
I want you to notice that there is no mention of the perpetrators doing anything. They didn’t have to repent. They were not said to have committed any works, any good works, anything moral. They didn’t even express any faith in Him as the Messiah. There was no ritual involved. Jesus prayed that God would forgive them at that time. Isn’t that interesting?
That brings out a facet of forgiveness that I think is often overlooked. It’s easy for us, as we read through the Scriptures, to see that forgiveness from God is related to our faith in His promise of deliverance, faith in the Messiah, faith in Christ’s payment for sins. It is related to confession. It was related in the Old Testament to certain rituals and sacrifices. It is related in the New Testament to a trusting in Christ as Savior and to confession of sin. Often, we may reach the conclusion that to forgive somebody, we need to base that on their confession of sins, their admission of wrongdoing, something of that nature, yet Christ was asking the Father to cancel the indebtedness of their sins apart from anything that they had to do.
He told us that there is more than one aspect to forgiveness. I just described one aspect of forgiveness, but another aspect of forgiveness that I have described in the past is the legal or forensic aspect of forgiveness. It is an objective aspect, where the one against whom the wrong has been committed will release the one who commits the wrong for various reasons.
On the one hand, we put it in the Lord’s hands to take care of it judicially on His terms in His way. Another way we release it when somebody commits a wrong against us and we are hurt, harmed, offended, maybe we suffer serious and significant loss, our standard reaction is one of anger, of vindictiveness, of revenge. We want and demand justice. People who succumb to that way of thinking frequently let it fester in their souls. It is a product of their sin natures. They are demanding justice. They are focusing on themselves and their own hurt. It is a form of self-absorption, and it is a form of arrogance because all sin comes out of arrogance. When we are bitter or angry, when we are filled with hate and a desire for revenge against somebody, often that comes from arrogance in our own sin natures.
When we can forgive them objectively and release that, our minds are no longer going to be dominated by these mental attitude sins toward somebody, and we in turn can treat them objectively in love as the Scripture says. Not only do believers need to do this, but in some sense, it can be imitated by unbelievers.
Last Monday night, a one hour show on PBS was about a Holocaust survivor named Eva Mozes Kor. I had not heard of her before. Maybe some of you saw that last week. Fascinating story, a rather lengthy story, but I will try to summarize it quickly.
She had been born in a village in Romania to a family with two older siblings and an identical twin sister. Her father was a farmer, and they were the only Jewish family in their village. The Nazis came and took control when she was five to six years of age in about 1940. It was not until 1944 that the family was deported and eventually ended up at Auschwitz. The standard practice for children of her age was to be executed immediately, but she was not because she was an identical twin. She and her sister were taken and put with another very large group of identical twins that came under the torture of Dr. Josef Mengele.
If you have not read much about the Holocaust, Mengele performed many heinous experiments in the guise of medical investigation on a lot of different people with different maladies, but he was also infatuated with identical twins. They were injected with different things, and this impacted their health at that time and much later.
Both sisters survived and went back to their original village at the end of the war. She was ten or eleven years old at the time. She found an aunt who had survived also. When she was in her late teens, she was able to make aliyah and go to Israel along with her twin sister. Later, she married a US citizen who was also a Holocaust survivor. They came to the US. Once she got past that survival mode, her life began to exhibit buried anger, resentment, and bitterness that came out in many different ways. By the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, she had become an activist, an angry, hostile activist for Holocaust survivors.
She angered many other Holocaust survivors because of the way she handled various situations. She was responsible for starting an organization specifically for the investigation and search for Mengele to see if he was still alive. She did a number of other things, but she got herself in a lot of trouble because of this anger, resentment, bitterness that she held in, this desire for retribution and for justice, which we can all understand with all the torture and everything that she’d gone through.
One day after some things happened, she realized she had angered and alienated almost everybody in her life because of her own anger. She came to the point that she said, “I just have to forgive him.” She did. This angered a lot of Holocaust survivors because they could not understand how she could personally forgive him. This made the news. This was well known in the Holocaust community, and it transformed her life.
I was watching this the other night, and I said, “If we see an unbeliever who reaches this, why don’t we find believers who realize this in a far, far greater way because we understand the basis for forgiveness of sin.” It is not just an imitation of it, which is what an unbeliever does purely from selfish motives. In her case, she wanted to stop alienating everyone. She is still alive today. She’s about 84 or 85 and has had a tremendous impact on people who have gone through a lot of unjust abuse and mistreatment and things of that nature. [Note: she passed on July 4, 2019, shortly after this message.]
The bottom line is that this illustrates a principle in Scripture, that without the recognition of guilt or punishment on the part of the one who committed the offense, when the individual lets it go in that sense of forgiveness, then, practically speaking, that releases them from those additional sins that war against the soul. We see in the illustration with Jesus on the Cross what I have always called this first sense of forgiveness, and that is the sense of an objective, legal, forensic forgiveness, where they are objectively released from that sin or that crime or whatever. It doesn’t absolve them of consequences.
The other problem Americans have with forgiveness is they think that forgiveness means the other person is absolved of consequences. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that if someone is a murderer on death row, and he comes to trust in Christ as his Savior, that the death penalty should be removed just because he is now a believer. He has committed a crime, he has been found guilty of a crime, and the punishment should fit the crime. It has nothing to do with his spiritual standing before God. It has to do with his legal standing before the law of the land.
A family can have a loved one murdered and have all sorts of anger and bitterness and resentment toward the murderer. They can let that go, forgive the person in this sense, but that does not mean they are releasing the murderer from the legal penalties and consequences that may come his way.
This is a complicated subject, and to start understanding it, we have to understand its connection to redemption, which is stated not only here in Ephesians 1:7 but also identically in a parallel passage in Colossians 1:14.
Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness …” That’s the noun form of the verb we looked at earlier, APHESIS. “… the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” I tell you this isn’t talking about the kind of forgiveness I was just mentioning. This is the realization of the legal forgiveness in the individual life of each of us who has trusted in Christ as Savior. This second aspect, this second way of forgiveness, is realized in an individual’s life.
The context to understand this phrase “in Him” comes out of Ephesians 1:5–6. It is interesting. As I have read through the entire Greek text of Ephesians a couple of times, I have marked all of the phrases that have the preposition EN with any kind of object. It is used a number of different ways. At times, it has the sense of instrumentality or “by Him,” and it might be such that we would look at “in Him we have redemption” as “by Him.” We have the instrumentality mentioned in the next phrase “through His blood.” “In Him” relates back directly to the last phrase in Ephesians 1:6, “to the praise of the glory of His grace by which”—that is by grace—“He made us accepted in the Beloved”—that is in Christ.
Then, he said, “In Him.” There are a couple more places, as we read through Ephesians 1:3–14, where one verse ends with “in Christ,” and the next verse begins with “in Him.” This is a standard approach for Paul to keep reminding us of the reality that we have in Christ. “In Him” is talking about our present reality in Christ.
This is brought out further in the verb “we have.” It is a present active indicative of ECHO, which means to have, and it emphasizes a present, ongoing state that is the reality of every believer from the instant of his salvation until the time that he is taken to be with the Lord in the air. We are in Christ. We will, as Church-Age believers, always have that identification with Christ because the church doesn’t lose its significance when we go to Heaven to be face-to-face with the Lord. We will continue to be members of the church and continue to have that close association with Christ. “We have redemption.” It is our present, ongoing reality and will continue forever. This is our position, even if our experience is different. If we are in sin, if we are in rebellion against God, we are still in Christ legally and positionally.
What we have in Christ that is brought out in this verse is redemption. It is the Greek word APOLUTROSIS, which emphasizes a payment. All eight different words that are translated redemption emphasize the payment of a price; therefore, one thing we can say before we get any further is that at some level, it always refers to a substitutionary payment. The price is paid by someone else, and the price was paid here by Jesus Christ for the believer.
It has the idea of being released from bondage, from servitude, from slavery due to the payment of this particular price. The word, we will see, has to do with that APO preposition, being released from something. That is always indicated there, but it always comes back to the payment of a price.
When we look at the rest of this verse, “In Him we have redemption,” the next phrase, the appositional phrase, is “the forgiveness of sins.” It’s important for us to truly understand what’s going on here. Both of these terms, forgiveness and redemption, are critical for understanding what is being said here. I have known people and have read authors and commentaries where people can veer off course a little bit because they misconstrue the core relationship between these two terms.
Often, when we think of forgiveness, we think of it in very personal terms, in somebody telling us it’s okay and that they have forgiven us for some infraction. We think of redemption in a completely different sense. It may come close to the payment of a price. If you are old enough to remember back in the day when you used to get different kinds of stamps if you purchased something somewhere, then you remember collecting those stamps. You could take them to a redemption center, and you could purchase everything from household appliances all the way up to school buses.
That’s how Camp Peniel got its original school bus. They got enough bonus stamps and people donating their bonus stamps so that they collected enough to buy a school bus, and that was their first bus. You could do all kinds of things with the stamps, but you had to go to a redemption center to pay the price, the price of those stamps, to purchase something. That is the core idea, but often we don’t see the connection between the two. The reality is that the word for forgiveness has as its core meaning the canceling or being released from a debt. Wow! That’s a financial concept. That’s a banking term. That’s an economic reality.
Redemption has to do with paying a price to pay off a debt, so the core meanings of both redemption and forgiveness are very, very close to one another. What we see in any kind of appositional phrase is that the second phrase states the same thing again in a slightly different way that will bring out a few additional ideas or nuances.
We could truly translate this “in Him we have payment through His blood, the canceling of the debt of sins.” That’s important to understand because it is not talking about personal forgiveness. It’s not talking about the forgiveness that comes in our daily spiritual lives when we confess sin and God forgives us. It’s talking about the present reality and realization of the canceling of this debt personally in our Christian lives.
What does the Bible teach about redemption? Like anything else, we have to start with the Old Testament because redemption didn’t just show up in the New Testament. Redemption began to be talked about and demonstrated back in the Old Testament.
One of the things I try to communicate, especially to those who aren’t here right now because they’re back teaching Sunday School, is that one of the ways to teach kids about these abstract ideas like redemption and forgiveness is go to episodes in the Old Testament that illustrate them. What we find with both Hebrew words for redemption is that they came out of the Old Testament Exodus event and especially what transpired at Passover. We just talked about that recently in our Thursday night Bible class, as well as the series I did on the last week of Christ leading up to Resurrection Sunday last week.
We’re going to look at these keywords in the Old Testament, first of all, padah, and, second, the verb ga’al and noun goel. I don’t have a slide for that. I just have the slide for padah, and it means to purchase or to redeem. It has the idea of the payment of a price to free from some state such as slavery, death or destruction. From the very beginning of the Bible, when it started talking about redemption, it always emphasized the sense of the payment of a price. The thrust was to remove somebody from a state of destruction, a state of slavery or captivity, so it was moving them from bondage to freedom. That was always part of the nuance that we see in its usage in the Scripture.
In Exodus 13, which followed the Passover event, God was giving Moses instructions, and He was talking about the fact that once they left Egypt, they would have to have a sacrifice in relation to the dedication of the firstborn. Exodus 13:13. “ ‘But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb’ ”—there would be a sacrifice—“ ‘but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.’ ”
The first of everything belonged to God. That first illustration was when they had a new birth, the firstborn of a donkey. They had to offer a sacrifice to God. Because the firstborn belonged to God, it had to cost them something, and that was the lamb. If they didn’t do that, then they broke the neck of this newborn donkey. In other words, that donkey was not for the owner’s pleasure because that donkey belonged to the Lord. There was a whole series of similar teachings in the Old Testament. The first of the crops, the first of everything belonged to the Lord because God was the One who gave it to them.
In the feasts of Israel, the feast that honored this or focused on this was called The Feast of Firstfruits. That was the first of the crop. The very first, the beginning, the best went to the Lord, and that was considered to be the first Sunday after Passover. That was last Sunday. Firstfruits was a picture of the resurrection of Christ. He was the first of those raised from the dead. All of these images had something to do with teaching us about the work of salvation for us.
Exodus 13:15. “ ‘And it came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beasts. Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ ” In other words, a sacrifice was given when a firstborn son was given because that was what happened at Passover. God passed over those who applied the blood to the doorposts. Otherwise, He took the life of the firstborn. In Israel, no lives were taken, but in Egypt, there was great mourning because the firstborn in every household was taken.
The second word, go’el is translated “redemption.” Ga’al is translated “to redeem.” Goel as the redeemer emphasized the fact that the one who redeems has to be in relationship to the one who is being redeemed. The best story for that in the Old Testament is the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman who was married to one of two Jewish brothers. The family was living in Moab due to a famine in the land of Israel. That always reminds us that Israel at that time during the period of the Judges was under divine judgment, but later the famine ceased.
After the death of Ruth’s husband and his brother, the two widows had a choice to make. Ruth decided to stay with Naomi, her mother-in-law, and go to Israel with her, specifically to the family’s home, which was Bethlehem. They were poor, they had been left without any male support, and the practice in Israel that God had devised was that if a man died and was without child, the brother of that man had the responsibility, if he wasn’t already married, to marry his widow and to have children who would be heirs of that brother. That was called levirate marriage.
When Ruth and Naomi moved back to Bethlehem, there was a near kinsman. You will read that in the text. It’s this word go’el, and the go’el’s name was Boaz. Ruth was to go to Boaz, and as the story developed, Boaz realized his responsibility as the go’el, the near kinsman, and he married Ruth and their great grandson was King David. That was part of the purpose there, but it typified or was a picture of this plan that God had to provide redemption for those who are in a state of being lost.
In the New Testament, eight different words in the Greek were used to communicate this idea of redemption. The first set was based on the verb, LUTROO and the noun LUTRON. The noun LUTRON means the payment of a ransom in order to set free, the price paid for letting loose. It has that idea of a price being paid, the payment of something. The verb has that same idea. It is the action of paying the ransom price to liberate, to free from ransom. Both of these words were enhanced a little bit through the use of prepositions.
You have the word ANTILUTRON. ANTI is not anti, against; it is a substitution. It’s the preposition for substitution in Greek. It emphasized that this payment price was a substitutionary payment . It still had the idea of paying a price, paying a price for or in the place of someone else.
APOLUTROSIS, which is the noun form, emphasizes the deliverance. That prefix APO means from something, so it’s emphasizing deliverance from something, that aspect of it. It’s emphasizing that the payment had been made to release a slave or to release a captive upon the receipt of the ransom. Verses for that word are Romans 3:2, Romans 8:23, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 1:7, our passage, Ephesians 1:14—it was used twice in this section—and in Ephesians 4:30.
LUTROO was used in 1 Peter 1:17–19, which again borrowed on that imagery from the Exodus event. It is so important to teach that over and over again because that’s the background for understanding New Testament teaching.
Peter said, “… knowing that you were not redeemed”—You were not purchased; you were not bought—“with corruptible things, such as silver or gold, from your empty manner of life received from the tradition of your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” A lamb without spot or blemish was the Passover lamb that was sacrificed for the firstborn. Now, we come to understand that substitutionary aspect, that it cost something. It cost the life of that lamb that was without spot or blemish.
A couple of other nouns related to this are
1. LUTROSIS, which emphasizes the act of redemption or deliverance. In some places, it’s even translated as liberty.
2. LUTROTES, refers to the redeemer or the deliverer.
The second verb is AGORAZO. AGORA, you may have heard that term. You may have heard someone referred to as an agoraphobe. That’s a person who has a fear of open spaces or the marketplace or going out in public. The AGORA was the marketplace in the ancient world. That’s the Greek word for it. The verb AGORAZO means to buy or purchase something in the marketplace. Again, we have the emphasis on the payment of a price, and it was often used in reference to the slave market, so you will hear the analogy by many different people of being purchased from the slave market of sin.
This word was used in a couple of different places. For example, in 2 Peter 2:1, Peter warned about coming false teachers. “But there were also false prophets among the people”—that was false prophets related to the people in the Old Testament. “… even as there will be false teachers among you …” They didn’t have false prophets in the New Testament era because they didn’t have prophets in the New Testament era. That was a temporary gift. Prophets were in the Old Testament, and teachers are in the New Testament era.
“… there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord, who bought them.” The reference here was probably to those who were unbelievers, but they had been purchased. They had been redeemed, just as I talked about those unbelievers at the foot of the Cross who were responsible for crucifying Jesus. Jesus said to forgive them. They were not saved; that was not a forgiveness for saving but a plea for a different kind of forgiveness for them—objective. It was not related to their salvation. We have that taking place there and also at the Cross. They were bought. It was not realized in their personal experience until they believed in the crucifixion of Christ for their sins.
These false teachers “… deny the Lord who bought them …” That tells us that all have been redeemed in one sense. That atonement—Christ’s death on the Cross—was for all. It was unlimited. It was not the Calvinist doctrine that Jesus died only for the elect.
We have an application in 1 Corinthians 6:20. “For you were bought …” You were redeemed. “… you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” We have been purchased. We don’t own ourselves. We have been bought with a price. Christ owns us. We are His; and, therefore, we are to live in obedience to Him.
Another verb is EXZAGORAZO. That prefix EX has the idea of out from. Again, this is the idea of being purchased out from the slave market and of being completely and totally liberated from the slave market.
This word was used two times in Galatians 3:13. “Christ has redeemed us …” He has bought us out of the slave market. “Christ has redeemed us from slavery of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, (‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’)” Christ was judged for our sin as the Lamb who was our substitute for the purpose in Galatians 4:5, “… to redeem those who are under the law …” We have been bought out from slavery to the law, bought out from slavery to sin.
All of these words are important and go back to passages such as Exodus 6:6 and others which use this word redemption in relation to the Exodus event and understanding how that applies to our individual salvation. This is the Old Testament picture of redemption, Exodus 6:6, where God said, “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians …” Redeeming them from the slavery in Egypt was analogous to redeeming us from slavery to sin. “ ‘… and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you’ ”—This is the verb ga’al—“ ‘with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.’ ”
Another passage, Isaiah 41:14, also used the word Go’el, referring to God as our Redeemer. He was able to do that as a Kinsman Redeemer. “ ‘Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.’ ” When he used Go’el there, He was not talking about God the Father. That has to be God the Son because that implies the Kinsman Redeemer. Jesus became a man because a man, a human being, had to die in the place of other human beings.
Let’s just wrap up our study of redemption.
1. Redemption describes salvation from the viewpoint of a ransom paid on the Cross for our salvation. It always looks objectively in the payment of the price for our salvation. I’m not going to go into all the debates that have occurred over this, but that is the foundational and historic view of redemption.
2. Redemption is a picture of the human race as slaves born into a slave market of sin. The chains come off because Christ paid the penalty for sin. The chains come off of everybody. The issue isn’t sin; the issue is faith in Christ.
3. Redemption then describes the purchase of the sin-slaves’ freedom. We’re all born in slavery to sin. We are now purchased. There is freedom.
4. The payment price was the blood of Christ.
This gives us the emphasis that we come to in the next part of the phrase, “we have redemption through His blood.” That was the cost. The phrase “the shedding of blood” goes back to the Old Testament. I read one commentator who said shedding of blood always speaks of sacrifice. He made a mistake. The first time we have the phrase is in Genesis 9:6 in the Noahic Covenant, that “whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed.” That’s not a sacrifice. That’s talking about a violent act of murder, and it would include more than just the physical shedding of blood.
It became an idiom for a violent form of death, and this is why it described the death of Christ. His shed blood is not the physical blood that He lost during the process of the torture and the crucifixion, but it is an idiom from the Hebrew that refers to physical, and, in this case the physical death, and as a figure for His spiritual death. When He was separated from the Father during those three hours of darkness from 12 noon to 3 PM, the sins of the world were imputed to Christ, and they were paid for. That separation from God on our behalf paid the penalty for sin.
We’ve looked at the first part of the verse, “in Him we have redemption,” the payment price for sin, “through His blood.” That’s the payment price.
Next time we will look at the second part of the verse and how it relates to “the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
“Father, we thank You for this opportunity to look at this aspect of Christ’s work on the Cross. So many different words were used in the Scripture to describe different aspects of Christ’s work on the Cross, redemption, propitiation, all of these different terms, reconciliation, but they all describe the many different ways in which sin had to be dealt with. This deals with the payment of the price, the payment of the penalty, that penalty that was assessed on Adam and Eve (and their descendants) the instant they ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. At that instant, they were separated from You in spiritual death, and Christ paid the penalty in spiritual death on the Cross for us.
“Father, we pray that anyone who is here who has never trusted in Christ the Savior will come to a clear understanding of this great news of the Scripture, that our eternal salvation is not dependent on what we do, what we don’t do. It’s not based on our failures. It’s not based on our successes. It’s not based on any human factor. It’s just based on what Christ did on the Cross. He paid the price for us. The issue for us is are we going to trust in His payment or not? In the instant that we trust in His payment, we are given eternal life, and it is ours for ever and ever and can never be lost.
“Father, for those of us who are already saved, we are reminded that we have been bought with a price; therefore, we are not our own. We are Yours, and we are to live for You throughout this life to glorify You in every aspect of our lives.
“Father, we pray that You would drive home these truths. In Christ’s name. Amen.”