Summary: Grace is received at salvation and every day of the believer's life. It is the way to victory.
Redeemed by Grace
As usual, I am very excited about this sermon from Ephesians 1. I suppose most pastors feel that way from week to week.
Ill. I am reminded of the three boys at school who were bragging about their daddies. One said, “My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper and calls it a poem. They pay him $100”. The second boy said, “My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper and calls it a song and they pay him $1,000.” The third boy said, “That’s nothing. My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper and calls it a sermon. It takes 6 to 8 men to collect all the money.”
Words are important. Words make sentences.
The passage we are looking at in the ESV is one very long sentence. However, in the original language and documents, this is only part of the longest sentence in the Bible. It begins with verse 6 and goes through verse 14. Paul was not one for short sermons, nor was he one for short sentences.
What is redemption? Ever heard of a Pawn Shop? Coupons?
Why do we need redemption?
In John 8, the Jewish leadership was trying to argue with, and trap Jesus. Joh 8:31-34 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Although the Jews were being controlled by the Romans who controlled the world, the religious Jews held the view that they recognized no king or emperor but God.
33 They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"
Jesus response to them was that although they did not recognize their servitude, and not that of Rome, they were still slaves and needed to be set free.
34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
Jesus went on to pay the price of our redemption. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians tells us about that redemption.
Eph 1:7-10 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
I. The price of redemption Eph 1:7 “ In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses…”
Throughout history, different levels of crimes required different levels of redemption. Failure to pay redemptions’ price costs one his freedom. Some crimes required the payment of a day’s wage. Some crimes cost one a year’s wage. Some crimes cost five years of servitude.
Do you know what the most egregious crimes cost one? It is said that they cost one his blood. It meant his life.
1 Peter 1:18, 19 - 1Pe 1:18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
One writer wrote: “When Paul and Peter write about the blood of Christ, they are not saying that the physical blood itself has any mystical or magical properties that provides for our redemption. The phrase ‘the blood of Christ’ is just a phrase that is used to describe the painful, agonizing, bloody death of Jesus on the cross.”
If you are like me, your mind has already gone to Hebrews 9:22. “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
And the blood of sacrificed animals was used to sanctify the articles of worship and purify from sin. But it was not just the blood.
Ill. When I was a student in High School, my dad was the missionary pastor of Bethel Baptist Church of Temple, TX.
We had a member who was manager of a ranch just north of Temple.
On that ranch, they raised livestock with diseases. They had rabbits, horses, sheep, goats and other animals with other diseases such as rabies, and I cannot remember what else.
The workers had to wear what we could now call hazmat suits and be very careful.
I remember specifically that once a month, each horse would go into the lab and have blood drawn which was used to make vaccines.