Summary: Ephesians 1:7-10 shows us the blessings of redemption.
We are currently in a series of sermons on Ephesians 1 that I am calling, “God’s Supreme Purpose.” The Apostle Paul’s emphasis in chapter 1 is not on what we must do for salvation, but rather on what God has done for us in Christ. Ephesians 1:3-14 shows us how each Person of the Trinity is involved in the salvation of God’s people. Our salvation was planned by the Father (1:4-6), purchased by the Son (1:7-12), and sealed by the Holy Spirit (1:13-14).
Let’s read about how our salvation was purchased by the Son in Ephesians 1:7-10:
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 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. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
Dr. Bryan Chapell tells the story about an author who was interviewed on National Public Radio. He described his experience in a New York subway. A reasonably dressed, but apparently disturbed man walked through the crowd, pointing to individuals and addressing them with these words: “You’re in, you’re out.” There was no apparent rhyme or reason to the choosing. One chosen to be “in” might be poorly or well dressed, black or white, male or female. Sometimes two or three in a row would be “in” and then abruptly someone else would be “out.” “You’re in, you’re in, you’re in, you’re out.”
The crazed man making choices for no reason at all neared the author, whose heart involuntarily began to pound and his breath quickened in anticipation of the coming choice. It was silly. Apart from the potential danger of the crazed man, there was nothing to gain or to lose in being chosen. There was no competition to be won, no qualification to be met. Who cared if you were a loser in this game? The man came still closer, pointing a finger at young or old without distinction: “You’re in, you’re out.” Finally, he came to the author, pointed a finger at his chest and said, “You’re in.”
The author said later that he could not help feeling a sort of euphoria. He was among the chosen. Chosen for what? He did not know. He knew it was senseless to be proud of being so chosen, but he couldn’t help but feel that there was some privilege earned, some approval gained, or some reward deserved now that he was among the chosen. He felt special for being chosen, but at the same time he felt silly for appreciating such a distinction that had no apparent benefits.
The Bible teaches that each Person of the Trinity was involved in the salvation of sinful men and women. The Father planned that he would choose a vast number of people to salvation, the Son came to earth to purchase their salvation by his life, death, and resurrection, and then the Holy Spirit applied that salvation to the elect by enabling them to believe the gospel. Last week we examined the Father’s role in our salvation, which was primarily that of election. Today, we shall examine the Son’s role in our salvation. We shall see that there are blessings that flow to believers from God’s election of us.
Ephesians 1:7-10 shows us the blessings of redemption.
Let’s use the following outline:
1. We Celebrate the Present Blessings of Redemption (1:7-8)
2. We Celebrate the Future Blessings of Redemption (1:9-10)
I. We Celebrate the Present Blessings of Redemption (1:7-8)
First, we celebrate the present blessings of redemption.
In verses 7-8 the Apostle Paul lists four blessings of redemption.
A. The Blessing of Redemption (1:7a)
First is the blessing of redemption itself.
Paul said in verse 7a, “In him we have redemption through his blood.” The Greek word for redemption (apolytrosin) means “to release or set free, with the implied analogy to the process of freeing a slave.” The word carried the idea of paying a price, a ransom, to release a person from bondage, especially the bondage of slavery. John MacArthur notes,
During New Testament times the Roman Empire had as many as six million slaves, and the buying and selling of them was a major business. If a person wanted to free a loved one or friend who was a slave, he would buy that slave for himself and then grant him freedom, testifying to the deliverance by a written certificate. [The Greek word for redemption] was used to designate the freeing of a slave in that way.