In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
The history of mankind is filled with stories of people longing for freedom. We love movies like Braveheart where William Wallace cries and fights for freedom. One of the most popular Broadway musicals is Les Miserables about a character that is going through his life trying to be free from his conscience by atoning for his actions that led him to jail for 19 years. Humans are naturally drawn to stories of bondage and freedom.
There’s something internally, I believe, that motivates that. We all long for freedom, for redemption – maybe from our conscience, from our past, or from our situations. But although we may feel we are in bondage to those things, they are just symptoms of the bondage disease that we have all had – sin. We have all been enslaved to it. We have been under its control, its dominion. And here, Paul lays out this freedom we have.
In the original Greek, Ephesians 1:3-14 is written as one long sentence. It’s not as if he’s giving bullet points for a sermon on who we are in Christ. Paul is exploding in one long sentence, exalting the Christ who has blessed Him with every spiritual blessing, chose him, called him, and in v. 7, redeemed him, all because of His glorious grace.
In Galatians 5:1, Paul remarks that it was for freedom that Christ set us free, and to stand firm, not being submissive to the yoke of slavery once again. As you ponder today the freedom from sin that you have, remember that your heart longs for freedom that you already have obtained. You stand before God free because His Son purchased you with His blood. If you are in Christ, your sins have been forgiven, yesterday, today, and tomorrow and nothing you can do can make Jesus love you any more than He does now, because your freedom came at the price of His blood, not your good works. Our redemption came at a price, and thanks be to God that the account has already been paid in full by His Son, Jesus.
In Psalm 24, David asks, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?” Because we were in bondage to sin, in the gripping slave shackles of our misdeeds, we could not. The Bible tells us to look within, only to find a deceitful heart that no one can understand. If we look at our mind, we find a home to wicked thoughts. If we look at our mouths, we will find words full of deceit, cursing, and bitterness. If we look at our hands, they are maligned with the decrepit residue of our depravity. If we look at our righteous acts, we will see that although it appears to be clean, we are clothed in filthy, rotted attire. Everywhere we turn, there’s hopelessness, condemnation, and accusations.
It’s in this state of absolute hopelessness that we find our hope in the Beautiful Exchange, Jesus Christ trading His perfect righteousness for our own unrighteousness, to redeem us from the penalty and power of sin in our lives. It is only by His grace that we have been set free, emancipated, purchased with His scars, in order to freely love Him, worship Him, live a life pleasing to Him, and spend eternity free from the presence of depravity.