Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace … that He lavished on us.
Our Verse of the Day is central to the Gospel message we have been called to declare: In Jesus we have redemption – through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace! And I believe we should look deeper at this verse … its declaration of redemption in Christ within the full context of the prologue of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:
Ephesians 1:1-10 (NIV)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He (God) chose us in Him (Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He (God) made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
By the grace of God the Father, we have been saved! This is not of ourselves … but through the lavish gift of grace given to us. And this grace is received through the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. Yes, our redemption and salvation is the will of God; and we can know it without fear or doubt! Everything else given to us by God can be understood once this foundation of truth has been laid within our souls. As Paul instructed, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:12) But before the Spirit of God can give us this discernment, the testimony of God in Jesus Christ must be believed! As Paul addressed the believers in Corinth:
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NRSV)
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery (testimony) of God to you with superior speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were made not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Why is this so important? Because there is a spirit of deception permeating, enveloping, and encircling the world right now. There is a veil of darkness that is blinding people to the truth concerning Christ Jesus. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4) People are searching for answers and seeking truth; but there are world powers, spiritual forces of darkness, and false prophets who cloak the truth with a lie. The seeds of doubt are being sown and watered under the disruptions of wars and rumors of war; world economic instability and collapse; pestilence and famine; and the birth pangs of coming tribulation. (Cf. Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) Indeed, the spirit of deception and doctrines of demons is spreading rapidly in these last days. Even now, as Jesus declared to the lukewarm Church at Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Cf. Revelation 3:20)
My friends, we are in spiritual warfare for the Truth to be unfettered and released! For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Cf. Ephesians 6:12) And within this spiritual war going on … and we need to hold fast to this Truth: In Christ Jesus we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. We need to remain steadfast and confident … to trust God at His Word. Yes, even now I am reminded of this scripture Jude 3-4: “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
It is my prayer that the message of the cross will be declared in this season. I pray for those who have wandered from the faith to repent and return to Jesus who willingly and joyfully shed His own blood for the forgiveness and atonement of our sins. And I pray in hope for those who have rejected the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ that God would grant them repentance … so that we, the Body of Christ, can lead them to a knowledge of the Truth. Yes, I pray they will come to their senses and escape the deceptive schemes of the devil (Satan), who has taken them captive to do his will. (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:25-26) Amen.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. ~ Titus 2:11-14