Ephesians

Ephesians 1:7-10 – Introduction

EPHESIANS 1:7-10.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

OUTLINE OF v 3-14:

 

Facets of salvation.

  1. 1:3-6. Past. The Father’s electing – (adoption)
  2. 1:7-11. Present. The Son’s redeeming – (forgiveness)
  3. 1:12-14. Future. The Spirit’s sealing   – (inheritance)

 

Last time we looked at Election – the divisions of these verses and the subjest matter are very lose; there is much overlap.

 

The issue of election was the cause of much discussion – that’s good – Two issues I want to clarify – 1) How do I know if I am elect?

-2) What about those God hasn’t elected?

 

1) If you have repented of your sin, asked God’s forgiveness, if you know Jesus as your saviour then you are elect!! The point is the salvation is God’s work and you chose him only because he first chose you! If you are elect then you believe and trust in him; if you believe and trust in him then you are elect!

 

2) Any one who knows God does so because God has elected him/her. If any one does not know God it is NOT because God has elected them to comdemnation BUT because they have not yet responded to his offer of salvation. We can never say that God elects some to salvation and others to condemnation.

1 Timothy 2:4 ……God our Saviour, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (NIV)

Romans 10:9-13 9 … if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10
…………. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” ………….., 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NIV)

The flip side of “God elects to salvation” is not that God “elects others to condemnation” BUT rather that “Whoever will may come”.

 

Paul having talked of God’s electing now goes on to speak of the basis upon which it is possible for God to elect any sinner, viz. the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.

 

  1. REDEMPTION: A PICTURE.

 

It is a word that is use with reference to buying / purchasing in the marketplace.

It is also used when speaking of release from captivity. On this 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe we have seen and heard many people speak of their release from Prison camps – they are remembering they release [redemption] by the Allied Troops.

More than just release, though, redemption carries with it the concept of a price paid in order for the person or object to be released.

The price for Europe to be liberated from Nazi Tyranny was the 1000’s of lives lost in the fight – besides the economic cost.

 

Redemption is also the language of the slave market – not part of our every day but very much part of the everyday lives of the Ephesians to whom Paul was writing.

 

The only way a slave could be freed in the Roman Empire was if his/her owner gave him/her freedom as a gift to if someone else paid a ransom price and gave the slave freedom – either way it was a gift.

 

That is the picture of redemption that the early Christians would certainly have understood. They would have understood that release from slavery was only possible through the kindness of person.

 

And so, too, with Christian redemption – it is only possible through a person.

 

 

  1. REDEMPTION THROUGH A PERSON.

 

………which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption …………..

 

Jesus is God’s “Beloved”

Matthew 3:17

17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (NIV)

Matthew 17:5

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (NIV)

It is only because God the Father loves Jesus His Son that he also loves us because when we have come to faith “in him” we are accepted “in Him”.

 

ILLUS.: Muslim friend – Jalal – the patriarch of the family – accepted by him and was thus able to visit and be accepted by all the family. I was “accepted” in him.

 

There are three criteria that a redeemer need to fulfill in order to be able to redeem someome.

 

ILLUS.: Remember the story of Ruth in the OT. How after Ruth [Moabitess] returned with Naomi her mother-in-law, to Israel she was gleaning barley in the field belonging to Boaz. He was her kinsman-redeemer and in order to marries Ruth the land belonging to her through her deceased husband needed to be redeemed.

In order to be eligible Boaz had to be related to Ruth, He had to be able to redeem the land, He had to be willing to redeem the land — He fulfilled all three requirements.

 

This was a picture of redemption through Christ –

– he is related to us – he became like us – took on humanity.

– he is able to redeem because he is perfect

– he willingly redeemed – it was something that he wanted to do.

 

Which brings us to the next thing about redemption – it is always at a price.

 

  1. REDEMPTION AT A PRICE.

 

Redemption might be free but it costs a lot!!

 

………….7 In him we have redemption through his blood,

“through His blood” must not be disassociated from the entire life of Christ and his voluntary sacrifice. This phrase is synonymous with “He gave himself” – “he laid down his life”.

 

The whole sacrificial system of the OT pointed to Christ’s death as a redeeming sacrifice for sin. In order for redemption to be possible sin had to be overcome. Sin was the prison that held sinners capture – The over-arching purpose for which Christ came was to seek and to save that which was lost and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Matthew 1:21 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (NIV)

………… redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, These two things go togetherRedemption would be incomplete if there was no pardon / forgiveness.

 

ILLUS.: THE DYAKS OF BORNEO. The people watched as the village elders took the minature boat that had been made and placed it in the river. Two chickens were selected – both had to be healthy. One chicken was killed and the blood sprinkled along the river bank. The other live chicken was tethered to the front of the boat and a light was lit at the stern. The villagers one by one appraoch the boat and place an imaginery object on the boat between the chicken and the light. He / she has placed “Dosaku!” {My sin}. All wait anxiously while the elders wade chest-deep into the river and release the boat downstream. If it capsizes they will live in aniety until the ceremony is repeated next year. If the boat disappears round the bend in the river they all shout “Selamat! Selamat!” [We’re safe!!]

Only ’til next year.[“Eternity in their hearts” – Don Richardson. Regal. p115]

 

The Jews had a scapegoat. One a sacrificial goat paid for the sin – the other a scapegoat that carried the sin away!!

Jesus was two in one. BUT not repeatable! Once for all!!

 

When God redeems us our sin is forgiven and carried away forever!

 

Psalm 103:12

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (NIV)

We must not miss what Paul says to describe the measure of God’s forgiveness.

 

in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

 

ILLUS.: If I go to the piano and play with one finger “Baa, baa black sheep!” That is according to my ability. If Alan did the same thing that would not be according to his ability.

 

In a similar way if a multi-millionaire gave a beggar £10 it would be OUT OF his riches and not according to his riches.

 

God forgives according to the riches of his grace – lavishly!! There is no limit to God’s forgiveness.

 

Listen to the words of this hymn by Annie Johnson Flint:-

His love has no limit, his grace has no measure,

His power has no boundary known unto men;

For out of his infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

[Christian Hymns 801]

 

  1. REDEMPTION OF A PEOPLE.

 

we have redemption [v7]………..the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us [v8]…………And he made known to us [v9]…….

 

It is people upon whom the redemption of God has been bestowed. It is necessary because we were dead in trespasses and sin [Ch.2] and that without God people have no hope. In chapter 4 he describes the kind of people that we once were —

 

Ephesians 4:17-18

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. (NIV)

It is not good people who need a redeemer but sinners. Until a person comes to the realization that they need redemption they will see no need of a redeemer. Until there is acknowledgement that sin separates us from God and that we need his forgiveness – that we are slaves to sin – they will see no need for redemption.

 

The Behaviourists and those from other schools of psychology tell us that we cannot be blamed for our sin, it is as a result of our genes, our parents, our enviroment or some othert external force – I am not denying that these things have an effect on out lives – BUT, we can have all the excuses in the world BUT in the final analysis I am responsible for my own sin! I am NOT good, only God is good!!

 

If we were good we would not need a redeemer BUT

Romans 3:10-12 10 As it is written:

“There is no-one righteous, not even one;

11 there is no-one who understands,

no-one who seeks God.

12 All have turned away,

they have together become worthless;

there is no-one who does good,

not even one.” (NIV)

BUT there is a way to be good and rigtheous and that is ‘in him’ [Christ]

In Christ we are as close to God as we can possibly be.

 

 

Listen to this poem:-

Near, so very near to God,

Nearer I could not be;

For in the person of His Son,

I”m just as near as He.

 

Dear, so very dear to God,

Dearer I could not be;

For in the person of His Son,

I’m just as dear as He.

 

 

Forgiveness in Jesus Christ is undeserved but it is free and it is complete. This freedom is now and for eternity. Does that mean that we no longer sin – NO — that we no longer need forgiveness — NO — BUT we don’t need the continued forgiveness of redemption. Remember what Jesus told Peter: John 13:10

10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” (NIV)

At salvation a person’s sin is forgiven but that doesn’t mean that we no longer sin nor that we suffer the consequences when we do sin. So yes we need daily forgiveness to keep us in close unclouded fellowship with God BUT sin’s power over us to hold us as slaves has been dealt with and we are “in Christ”

 

  1. REDEMPTION FOR A PURPOSE.

 

9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment — to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

 

It was Shakespeare’s MacBeth who gloommly declared that History “was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

 

It was the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes who said that from an “under the sun” perspective, from an earthly, human perspective, live has no meaning. To live and to die!

 

Ecclesiastes 1:2-3

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”

says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless!

Everything is meaningless.”

3 What does man gain from all his labour

at which he toils under the sun? (NIV)

History is neither meaningless or purposeless! It is not bumbling along with no end. God is moving history to a climax – he has a plan!

 

This book of Ephesians tells us how God has brought Jews and Gentiles together in one new community of believers – the Church! But this present unity is simply a foretaste of what is to come in the future when ALL things in heaven and on earth will be unite in Christ!

 

At present the world is far from unity – there is division and strife – and Satan is still the “the prince of this World” causing havoc BUT the time will come [ kairos time not kronos time] [era] when God will draw everthing together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

 

Philippians 2:10-11

10 ………at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father. (NIV)

At the moment there is still discord in the universe, but in the fulness of time the discord will cease and the peace and unity we long for will come about under the headship of Jesus Christ. Tomoorow we celebrate VE day [Victory in Europe] then we will celebrate VU Day [victory in the Universe]

 

BUT we must avoid the trap that some have fallen into, that if thinking that this verse teaches universalism – that all people will be redeemed. That everyone will eventually be saved!!

 

You cannot press “the all things” of this verse into universalism. That would make the Apostle Paul the most idiotic and confused writer of all time!! Paul descibes in this very Book how in the last days the wrath of God will come upon those who continue in disobedience and refuse to come to repentence and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord!!

“All things” includes the saints living and dead as well as the angels but much wider than that – the whole of creation groans now because of sin BUT at that time God’s two creations, his universe and his Chruch will be brought together under the cosmic rule of Christ who is the supreme head of both!!

 

And this MYSTERY that God has made known to us is this cosmic plan of His – the plan of salvation.

 

ILLUS.: This mystery is not like that of a secret society where the adherents will be punished if they dare reveal the secret.

 

This is an revealed mystery, an open secret, so that it can be made known and accepted by faith, because it is by faith that people are saved.

 

As Christians we need this perspective of life.

Life is not meaningless!! We have been chosen by God to be his children, adopted into his family, we have a wonderful hope for the future.

 

Remember that as Paul was writing these words he was under house arrest in Rome chained day and night to a Roman soldier. His body was confirned to a house but his heart and mind lived in eternity. He knew he was in Christ!! His future prospects were wondeful!

 

How blinkered and narrow is our vision sometimes!! How easily we become preoccupied with the petty little affairs of this world!

We lose sight of eternity, we lose sight of the privileges we have in Christ, we lose sight of our past election and our future glorious hope.

 

Realising what we are “in Christ”, what we have “in Christ” , and what we will be and have “in Christ” in the future should lead us to do our duty BUT also to fall at his feet in wonder love and praise!!

 

Redemption from sin is through Christ alone – the price was his life – the objects of redemption is us [people] – the purpose is that Christ may be supreme – the Lord of lords and the King of kings!!

 

There is a Redeemer

Jesus, God’s own Son,

precious Lamb of God,

Messiah, Holy One.

 

Thank you, O my Father,

for giving us your Son,

and leaving your Spirit

till the work on earth was done.

 

THE SON’S REDEEMING.

[1:7 – 10]

 

 

  1. REDEMPTION: A PICTURE.

 

  1. REDEMPTION THROUGH A PERSON.

 

  1. REDEMPTION AT A PRICE.

 

  1. REDEMPTION OF A PEOPLE.

 

  1. REDEMPTION FOR A PURPOSE.

 

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