Summary: God has redeemed us in accord with His grace and has revealed the mystery of His will in us.
Redemption Eph. 1:7-9
INTRO.: the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage is the first redemption story in the Bible. The word "redeem" is first mentioned in Exodus 6:6
Israel had been in Egypt nearly 400 years after being invited to live there by the Pharaoh of Joseph’s day. Over that period of time, Israel had grown strong and the attitude of the Egyptian government changed. By Moses’ time, Israel had become so strong the Egyptians lived in fear of an uprising, even though Israel was still a nation of slaves.
The Egyptians took the tack of becoming more oppressive and demanding in an effort to retain their slaves. The work load was increased. Male children were ordered killed. Inevitably, the Egyptians began to feel they "owned" Israel. God’s people suffered terribly. Then God spoke to Moses the words recorded in Exodus 6:6-8.
Among His promises was "I will redeem you." and "I will take you as My own people." Israel’s redemption consisted of being freed from slavery and made God’s own people. This was accomplished, in the end, by the shedding of blood in the events of the original Passover. Exodus 12.
Our redemption is no different. By it we are freed from the slavery to sin and it is also accomplished by shedding blood.
I. Redemption begins with the forgiveness of sins:
A. Because sin has enslaved us. The story began in Genesis 3.
1. The thing we humans fear most is death.
2. "The first law of human nature is self-preservation."
3. Until we accept the teachings of God, death is a step into the unknown.
4. Death came into the world because of sin and it continues because all have sinned.
B. Redemption comes through Christ’s blood.
1. The suffering of Jesus was the price of our redemption.
2. "you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." Rev. 5:9
3. When we were aliens, enemies, God reconciled us through His blood. Col. 1:19-22
C. The way we contact His blood.
1. We do it initially through repentance and baptism. Acts 2:38
2. Continuing forgiveness comes when we follow His teachings. I Jn. 1:7, 8
3. Symbolically, we participate in His blood at the Lord’s Table. I Cor. 10:16
II. It comes in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
A. God has "lavished upon us" the riches of His grace.
1. ILLUS.: some restaurants give you a little container of syrup, just enough to flavor your pancakes. Others put pitchers of syrup on the table so you can lavish it on. I like those!
2. God has given to us what we could not get for ourselves and do not deserve.
3. He didn’t say, "OK. I’ll let you get by this once."
4. Not a narrow escape. Not by "the skin of our teeth."
B. Along with grace, He lavished wisdom:
1. Wisdom is knowing the things of God.
2. Wisdom is extremely valuable. Prov. 4:7
3. Wisdom is insight. It is gained through prayerful study of God’s Word.
C. He also lavished understanding.
1. It’s the ability to apply what we know.
2. Wisdom accepts truth about God’s love, power, majesty, etc. Understanding means knowing what to do about it.
3. Understanding is relating God’s Truth to your own life.
III. With our redemption, God has revealed to us the mystery of His will:
A. What is the mystery?
1. We have trouble understanding the Old Testament. It’s OK, angels and prophets had the same problem. I Pet. 1:10-12
2. It’s all part of a mysterious plan God has had since before creation.
3. He has just made it known to men through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
4. Here is His plan: "to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ." Eph. 1:10
B. What is our part in this plan?
1. As the crown of His creation, He wants us to be subject to Christ
2. In fact, He predestined it. Every believer is guaranteed a place in His eternal kingdom.
3. None of this is a mystery to us. We are blessed to live in the last days. To know how the book ends.
C. What should be our response?
1. Live expectantly. Christ’s rule is coming.
2. Be holy as God is holy.
3. Don’t live like those who the world. Live for God.
CONC.: God has lavished His grace upon us. It matters not where we are or what condition our life is in. What matters is it is God Who offers forgiveness and we must accept His offer.