Ephesians:1:7-14, “The Redemption Price / Predestined Before Eternity”
1.1. In our last study, we looked at the first six verses of the book of Ephesians and covered:
1.1.1. An overview of the book of Ephesians.
1.1.2. Introduction to the book of Ephesians.
1.1.3. The Salutations to the book of Ephesians.
1.2. In our study today, we are going to look at verses 7-14 of chapter 1.
1.2.1. We will see that Paul discusses the redemption provided for mankind by
the blood of Christ shed upon
1.2.2. Next, we will look in depth at the predestination of believers by the Lord.
2. VS 1:7-8 - “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” - Paul tells us as believers in Christ that we have redemption through His blood
2.1. In our previous study, we began to consider the great themes of the book of Ephesians, and one of the things that we began to see right off the bat was the grace of God. God’s grace was seen in everything that the Lord does in our lives but especially through the salvation that we have available to us through Jesus Christ. We mentioned at that time just how incredible God’s grace is that He has shown to us in Jesus Christ, and that all things come to us through our being “in Christ.” We even observed that this salvation that we have received through Christ has the grand design by the Lord of our lives as believers being lived “to the glory of His grace.” In fact, we saw that all that we do and are is determined to reveal just how glorious is the grace of God.
2.2. Here in these verses, Paul begins to expound to us about how the grace of God has been extended to us by the Lord. It comes to us through Jesus Christ, and through the 'redemption through His blood.’
I want to discuss something
for a moment concerning what the scriptures teach concerning the condition of
mankind. When the Lord gave the first
covenant to Moses and the children of
2.3.1. That sin is a very real offense against the Lord, and that the Lord hates sin.
2.3.2. That there are serious consequences for sinning, for the animal had to die because of the sin you had committed.
2.3.3. That in order for forgiveness to be granted to anyone that there had to be a substitutionary (expiatory) sacrifice.
2.3.4. A price had to be paid in order for sins to be forgiven.
The Bible speaks in many
places about the fact that a “price” had to be paid for mankind’s sins,
and many verses reveal just how precious and effectual was that price which
Jesus Christ paid upon
2.4.1. 1 Peter 1:18-19, “18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
2.4.2. Heb. 9:11-15, “11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?15 And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
2.5. You see, God is a holy and a just God. When mankind sinned in the garden of Eden, the Lord was presented with what I will call a major problem. He could not just overlook the sin of Adam and Eve nor just forgive them with a promise that they would not do such a thing again. No, justice had to be served because of the offense. Every kingdom or government of man has a justice system designed to punish and give retribution to law breakers, and sin against the Lord, which is the breaking of God’s laws according to 1 John 3:4, “4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law,” also had to have justice served. It was because of mankind’s sin that was foreknown by the Lord to occur that it was determined before the foundation of the world that Jesus Christ would have to come and pay the price for the sins of mankind.
2.6. Notice here that ‘redemption’ is provided to us by the Lord not because Jesus showed us a good example that we can follow (as some believe), nor because God is a forgiving God and therefore chooses to overlook man’s sins, but rather it comes to us ‘through His blood.’ That fact ought to be a graphic reminder to us of the seriousness of sin.
2.7. Many commentators have brought out the fact that in the scriptures that there are three Greek words that are used for ‘redemption’ through Christ in the New Testament, each bringing out a truth concerning what Jesus did for us at Calvary:
18.104.22.168. This word comes from the Greek word “agora” which means “marketplace.” It means to buy something at the marketplace. Jesus paid the price for our salvation. Those who think that salvation is free and that any thought of payment infers legalism don’t understand what the scriptures say about the nature of God and also about how Christ purchased our salvation.
22.214.171.124. Paul here speaks of redemption as being ‘the forgiveness of sins,’ however we must realize that in the wisdom of God redemption means much more than just having our sins forgiven.
126.96.36.199. Considering this word ‘redemption’ used here, a word which is always near and dear to Christians, brings to mind the fact that Christ upon the cross not only forgave all of our sins, but He literally purchased rightful ownership of us as our sovereign. Many verses bring this out, including Revelation 5:9, “9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Likewise, Paul wrote in another one of his epistles, “You have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body.”
188.8.131.52. Gal. 4:4-6 uses this Greek word, “4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,5 in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!””
184.108.40.206. This word means to purchase something out of something by means of a ransom. An item purchased to never return to the marketplace would be redeemed using this word. In the Old Testament an Israeli slave was enabled by the law to purchase his freedom by making a just payment to his master. This payment would then make him a free man for life. This Greek word “lutro” would be used for this very type of a payment. Christ’s death upon the cross for us was a ransom paid to purchase us out of this world under Satan’s dominion.
220.127.116.11. This Greek word is used in 1 Peter 1:18-19, “18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
18.104.22.168. This is the Greek word used in these verses for redemption and it speaks of redemption in the sense of “to loose” someone or something. It is actually the compound of two Greek words, one means to “go away from something” and the other part means “to loose.” When Christ redeemed us He loosed us from all of our sins. That is what this Greek word implies.
22.214.171.124. There is an Old Testament picture for us that illustrates this aspect
of redemption. Remember, every New
Testament precept has an Old Testament picture to demonstrate it. In
2.8. More and more today, I hear preachers preach or I read statements made by pastors and church leaders who are sharing the gospel and there is little or no mention of the price that had to be paid for our sins. Some seem to gloss over what Jesus went through to procure mankind’s redemption because perhaps it seems offensive and unappealing to the modern man. It is not the type of message people want to hear. Sometimes today the “supposed” gospel message is presented and people are told that God is such a forgiving God that He just has to forgive us of our sins. Genuine repentance is also often not mentioned in much of the gospel preaching of today. However, these modern day preachers are not preaching a gospel that can save, and it is not a message that is powerful and grips the hearts and minds of people. However, the story of the price that was paid for our redemption is just such a powerful and gripping story, and, it is a message that has the power to save.
I want to speak for a moment
about the efficacy of Christ’s death upon
2.9.1. The scriptures reveal to us the fact that when Jesus died upon
2.9.2. In Heb. 10:12, 14 we read about the fact that sins subsequent to salvation do not require another sacrifice, but rather Christ’s one sacrifice upon Calvary took care of them all, “12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God…14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”
2.9.3. The ‘blood of Christ’ that was referred to previously is a miraculous and incredibly powerful blood. Just one drop of His blood would be enough to forgive the sins of every person who ever lived upon the face of the earth, such is the efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ.
2.9.4. Some Christian teachers today speak of a limited atonement of Christ, or the notion that Jesus did not die for every person’s sin but rather only the sins of those who receive Him as their Lord and Savior. However, Christ’s sacrifice upon Calvary was so effectual that if the worst person who ever lived chose to believe in Jesus and accept Him as his Lord and Savior that Christ would forgive his sins for He paid the full price for all of those sins. (See 1 John 2:2)
2.10. Paul writes that this redemption that we have in Christ has come to us out of ‘the riches of His grace.’ When we read this book, as well as any of Paul’s letters, we notice that whenever Paul spoke about God’s grace that he suddenly began to speak in grand superlatives. Paul realized how unworthy he had been of the Lord to do any good thing in his life because before the Lord’s appearing to him upon the road to Damascus in which he came to salvation, Paul was a violent persecutor of the church. He went from town to town rounding up Christians to have them tortured and killed. Paul speaks in his letters of himself as being the “chief of sinners.” God’s grace so captured and constrained Paul after his coming to salvation that he could not help but preach the gospel, and even spoke of himself, saying, “but woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16).
2.11. Paul realized that there was no limit to the grace of God that was extended to him as well as the rest of mankind, but that God’s grace was infinite in its depth and ability to meet every need that God’s people would ever have.
2.12. Paul emphasizes here that God has not been stingy in any way in His dispensing of His grace to His people, but rather He has ‘lavished’ it upon us. In the Greek this word ‘perisseuo’ used for ‘lavished’ has the idea of “overflowing” and “abounding.” God’s grace is poured out to overflowing in His people’s lives.
Paul writes that God’s grace
has abounded to us ‘In all wisdom and insight.’ God’s overflowing of His grace into our lives has not been done for
no good reason, and this is because the Lord is infinite and perfect in His
wisdom and insight. He “does all
things well.” We saw in our last
3. VS 1:9-10 - ‘9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him’ - Paul writes that the Lord has made known to us the mystery of His will
3.1. First of all, we need to again be reminded that when Paul wrote of the ‘mysteries’ of God that he is not speaking of those things that we have no or little understanding from the Lord about. Rather, the mysteries that Paul refers to involve knowledge and insight that God has given to His people. It is spiritual insight that comes from the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the life of God’s people. These ‘mysteries’ are available for all believers today because they are the truths written in the word of God and revealed through His Holy Spirit to His people. Being spiritual truths these concepts cannot be understood by a person in his natural mind. Unbelievers cannot understand the ‘mysteries’ of God revealed to us who are Christians in the scriptures for they need the Holy Spirit to understand them.
3.2. The mystery that Paul is referring to in these verses, that which the Lord had made known to Paul and the apostles of this day, is ‘the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.’ Paul again takes us a step backwards and reveals more of God’s grand scheme for the things He does (just as he did in our previous study when he wrote that we were chosen before the foundation of the world that we might be “to the praise of the glory of His grace.” God’s plan for the future of this earth and mankind, as well as the entire universe and all of His creations, is that all be summed up in Christ. This speaks of the supremacy of Christ and how that He is central and preeminent in all of God’s plans and working.
3.3. Paul saw that all that God was doing in believer’s lives “in Christ” was ‘according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.’ All He does reveals how kind the Lord is, kindness that the Lord ‘purposed’ to reveal to His people.
3.4. When Paul says here ‘a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times’ he is referring to the fact that we are currently living in the “end times.” When Christ came to the earth this signified the beginning of the end of times and thus the fulfillment of God’s plans from all eternity for mankind. The ‘administration’ or ‘dispensation’ that Paul refers to is from the Greek word ‘oikonomia’ which is used here and is the word from which we get our English word “economy.” Paul is speaking then of Christ inaugurating this dispensation of the church age where we are walking in the “new covenant” of Christ’s blood which Christ instituted with His disciples at the last supper. Ever since Christ’s resurrection we are now in the “end times” or ‘the fullness of the times.’
3.5. I sometimes hear people make the statement that we humble human beings and the earth upon which we live certainly must not be the center of the universe or of God’s plans. This idea was advanced by our modern scientific age in which scientists universally came to believe and recognize that the earth exists in a galaxy and is a planet, one of many, that rotate around a sun. However, here we see that Jesus Christ, the One who is 100% God and 100% man is going to be that in which all things in ‘heaven and earth’ are going to be summed up. Certainly mankind must then also be in the center of God’s plans for all of eternity.
4. VS 1:11 - ‘11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,’ - Paul tells us that we have been predestined to ‘obtain an inheritance’
4.1. In this verse, Paul does not tell us what the ‘inheritance’ is that believers in Christ receive as a result of being “in Christ.” We can go to other scripture which tells us that those who are believers in Christ are going to receive as an inheritance all of the things that Christ has for we are considered by God to be equal heirs with Christ. There are many scriptures that teach and clearly infer what this inheritance in Christ consists of, including:
4.1.1. Ephesians 1:22 tells us that Christ does in fact have much to give, “22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”
4.1.2. 1 Peter 1:3-4 speaks of the inheritance that we receive in Christ as being reserved in heaven for us, “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
4.1.3. 1 Corinthians 3:22-23 tells us that everything belongs to us as believers in Christ, “22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.”
4.1.4. Colossians 2:9-10, “9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.”
4.1.5. The inheritance that we have in Christ comes to us simply because God has placed us “in Christ” and 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us about more that belongs to us as part of our inheritance, “30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
4.2. So, considering the inheritance that we have in Christ, being equal heirs with Him, how rich are we? We are more than millionaires, more than billionaires, more than trillionaires, there is no way to even calculate how rich each of us who know Christ as our Lord and Savior truly are! If the Bible did not clearly teach these things, how could anyone ever believe such things? Oh, and all by the grace of God. We deserve none of this.
4.3. I want to mention here that since we who are true Christians are “in Christ” and He has become our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, we have to realize that God sees us always as He sees His Son. God the Father is and has always been completely pleased with Jesus Christ, in fact on three occasions the gospels reveal that God the Father spoke to Jesus in the hearing of witnesses, “Thou art My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Since God the Father sees all Christians as being “in Christ” and He is always well pleased with Christ, He is always well pleased with us. This does not mean that we do not sin and that we do not need to continue to remain in a state of repentance (something that proves the genuineness of our salvation experience), however God sees us in Jesus and He is well pleased in us.
4.4. Paul again speaks of the “sovereignty of God” when he writes here that the Lord has given us this inheritance we have in Christ, ‘according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.’ Just as we saw in our last study, Paul goes to great lengths to communicate to us the fact that “everything begins with God as the originator.” We mentioned in our last study that in all areas of life you end up going in a much different direction if you begin with God instead of yourself.
5. VS 1:12 - ‘12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.’ - Paul tells the readers that we who ‘hope in Christ’ are designed to be ‘to the praise of His glory’
5.1. Paul already mentioned in verse 6 of this chapter that God’s grand design in extending His grace to us in Christ was that we might then be “to the praise of the glory of His grace.” Here Paul just mentions that we are to be ‘to the praise of His glory.’
6. VS 1:13-14 - ‘13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.’ - Paul tells us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit who is given as a pledge of our inheritance
6.1. Notice here the process that occurs when a person comes to be a Christian.
6.1.1. You have to listen to the ‘message of truth’ which refers to the good news of salvation through Christ.
6.1.2. You have to respond to the message in faith, thus Paul says, ‘having also believed.’
6.2. In Paul’s day, a ruler would have some sort of a signet ring that he would use to create official documents. On the document would be placed melted wax. Then, when the wax was dry the ruler would impress upon the wax his ring. The document would then carry all of the authority of the king. In the same way, the Lord has given to believers in Christ His Spirit as a seal guaranteeing the divine authenticity of their faith and eternal salvation. This sealing by the Holy Spirit for the believer is meant to be an experiential witness to a person that takes them beyond mere intellectual belief and hope for assurance of their salvation. The Holy Spirit is a present witness in our lives every single day.
6.3. Not only is the Holy Spirit given as a ‘seal,’ Paul tells us here that the Holy Spirit is also a ‘pledge’ or “guarantee” of our salvation. We all love to have guarantees for the things that we buy. This past week I have been considering having a new roof put on my house. As I have talked to some roofers in the area about doing this work, one of the things that I am interested in is what type of “guarantee” that they will give me for their materials as well as their workmanship. I do not want to have anyone do work for me unless the roof they put on my house will come with a lengthy guarantee. Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord tells us in His word that we have a “guarantee” in the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life that when Christ returns or we pass away that we will spend eternity with the Lord in heaven!
8. What a wonderful thing it is to be redeemed by Christ. To be loosed from our sins, having had a ransom price paid for us, we now are Christ’s possession. We are redeemed through the power of His blood. That forgiveness now that we can experience is always available to us for Christ’s once for all sacrifice paid the full price so that we can be forgiven.
8.1. Are you experiencing the power of Christ’s blood in your life today?
8.2. Are you washed in His blood?
8.3. Have you confessed all of your sins so that you know that you are free from them as they are covered by Christ’s blood shed for you?