Forgiveness and Grace

November 17, 2020

Ephesians 1:3-14

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 chose us in him 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 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 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.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Devotion

Yesterday we learned that God chose us. He adopted us into His spiritual family. Lastly, He loves/accepts us in Christ. In verses seven and eight, we read, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding…” In this text, we see several more of the spiritual blessings that Paul refers to in verse three.

The first blessing we see is that we have redemption through His blood. This refers to the atoning work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. Redemption is not a word that is used much in our modern language. Here is a good definition of the word: “the action of regaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt.” Simply put, as Bob would say, “The Bible is a love story. God lost something and He wants it back.”

Jesus’ innocent blood was the payment required in order for mankind to be reconciled to God. Through His blood shed on the cross, Jesus pays the sin debt that we are unable to pay! Talk about a spiritual blessing! How many times has someone come along and intentionally paid off a debt for you? I have to believe this has not happened very often. Yet, this is what Jesus did for us. He paid the penalty that we could not pay for our sin, and through His blood we find redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.

Paul goes on to mention, “the riches of His grace that He richly poured out on us with wisdom and understanding.” This forgiveness, Paul writes, “is according to the riches of His grace,” which is rich beyond our understanding. Why a Holy God would accept a lowly sinner is beyond comprehension. God’s grace does not make sense in a performance-driven culture. God’s grace is truly a spiritual blessing! The God of heaven must give us His wisdom and understanding in order for us to receive these blessings that flow from His desire to give good gifts to those who would trust in His Son, Jesus!

Questions to Ponder

Has someone ever forgiven you for something you did wrong? If so, what was your response? Have you ever forgiven somebody for something they did wrong? If so, how did it make you feel? What is your response to God’s forgiveness of your sins: past, present, and future? Are you trusting in the blood of Jesus for your salvation?

Prayer Points

  • Praise Him for His faithful love and forgiving heart. Thank Jesus, the Lamb of God who reconciled us back to God.
  • Thank the Lord that we are His by accepting Him into our heart as Lord and Savior, not by works, for we could never earn His affection.
  • Sit in awe before our Eternal God, who is our Father and knows us intimately by name.

Suggested Prayer
I love You, LORD, for You are my God, and there is none like You. You and You alone are worthy to be praised. I hallow Your name, oh God. Forgive me, Abba, for I am a sinner. I have sinned against You in my heart and mind and sinned against others. I’m so sorry, Lord. Have mercy upon me and grant me forgiveness. Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You, LORD, for forgiving me and for blessing me with Yourself. I thank You, LORD, that I am Your inheritance and You are mine. You, Jesus, will get the reward for Your suffering, and that reward is the church, Your bride. Oh Father, I ask today that You would work in our hearts and cause us to be an equally yoked bride to Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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