Summary: In Ephesians 1:7-14 at least three important facts are given about God which, properly understood, can lead one on the journey to "A Better Life in Christ."
A Wonderful Lord
In the last message, it was said that there are three facts about believers that must be understood. Believers are saints, they have been chosen by God, and God chooses them for a purpose. A clear understanding of the beauty of these truths is fundamental if the believer is to experience life to the full. Jesus wants His people to experience an abundant life in the here and now, and this can be done with a proper perspective of one’s standing with God. Having examined some things to be true of believers, some things can be understood about God as well.
Much is heard today about self-esteem, about feeling good and about loving and accepting self. While there is a need for people to have a healthy view of themselves and a right estimation of who they are, it is even more important for them to have a right estimation of who God is.
This can be clearly seen in Paul’s writing here in the book of Ephesians. In chapter one a great and majestic God is portrayed, who graciously chose to accept mankind on the basis of the shed blood of His Son. After giving a grand view of the Lord, Paul does not try to tell man how wonderful and majestic he is, but rather, moves into chapter two telling man just how utterly hopeless he was before Christ. Man is spiritually dead, a child of the devil, lost and undone. This is not exactly what the world’s leading professors might view as healthy for building one’s self-esteem.
All people want a better life, and all people should realize that a better life is found in Christ. Believers can frequently be heard stating this truth intellectually, that is, they know that a better life is found in Christ. However, the way one lives his or her life reveals how he or she really thinks they will secure a better life. For instance, the way one spends his time is a good indicator. Is it spent on the job, seeking better income? Is it spent recreationally, in pursuit of fun and leisure, or is it spent trying to fulfill God’s purposes? The way one spends his money is another good indicator of what he really believes, regardless of what he says.
Everyone can have a better life, but it is found in Christ. In Ephesians 1:7-14 at least three important facts are given about God which, properly understood, can lead one on the journey to "A Better Life in Christ."
He is the Source of Redemption (7-8)
Many words are used to speak of Christ’s work on man’s behalf: atonement, sacrifice, and propitiation are a few. Redemption is another, and it means, "a price paid to redeem, or purchase something from bondage or captivity; ransom." Jesus said, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." In Bible times a man could buy slaves out of the slave market for the purpose of setting them free. After he had redeemed these slaves, they belonged to him and were his to treat as he pleased. The slave could not pay his own ransom, for he had no means of doing so. He needed a redeemer, one who could pay the price in full.
This is a beautiful picture of what every man has in Christ. Mankind’s sin terribly offended God, and He could not accept man in his sinful condition. Man could do nothing to change his position with God. He was a slave to his sin, unable to change, and as a result, was at enmity with God. God the Father demanded payment for man’s sin, a ransom, but who would pay the demanded price? No man could possibly pay for his own sin, and there was no earthly substitute that could pay the price. The author of Hebrews stated clearly that the blood of bulls and goats could not pay the way.
When man seemed to be in a hopeless position, God the Son stepped up and chose to pay the demanded price. He would come to this world as a man and live as a man. Though fully God, Jesus would live fully man. He would be perfectly obedient to all the commands of the Father, "becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." This is why Paul could so triumphantly declare that "[God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."
Consider the words of one of the great hymns,
Redeemed how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the lamb Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am I think of my blessed redeemer, I think of Him all the day long. I sing for I cannot be silent, His love is the theme of my song.