‘In him (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.‘ — The book of Ephesians, Chapter 1, verses 7-8
One definition of the word ‘forgiveness’ is ‘the canceling of a debt’.
We, as humans, have accumulated a massive heap of debt. Every time we trespass against the law of God, we go further into debt. Every time we do our own thing — every time we try to make a life for ourselves apart from God, we go into debt. And every time we sin, our debt increases. But to whom are we indebted? We’re indebted to God!
We owe him. Big time.
Every time we sin, we are taking something away from God. We are assaulting his holiness – taking for ourselves some of the glory that so rightfully belongs to him.
Here is the bad news. There is nothing we can do to pay off that mountain of debt, because there’s no payment big enough to compensate a holy God for even one of our sins. That’s to say nothing about our mountain of sins against him.
In fact, the only way to stop this debt from accumulating is by our death, both physical and spiritual. That’s the only plausible recompense. We’re in a really bad place.
God steps in and cancels our debt, paying it off in blood. God’s infinite love counts the death of Jesus as sufficient to stand in the place of our own, the price of our redemption. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘redemption’ as, ‘Regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.’
Essentially, this verse says that God regains possession of us (he adopts us back into his family) by making a payment for us. His death, instead of ours, brings us out of debt and into the family of God.
‘We have redemption through his blood’
God used the the blood of Christ as currency to deliver us back to himself. The blood of God’s own son was the price for redeeming us into a divine family.
Think about that. The God to whom our debt is owed did what we could never have done. He paid off our debt by shedding his own blood in the person of Jesus Christ. And Jesus is none other than God himself. So by his own death God pays himself off for the debt of our sins. And we are redeemed for his family and reconnected to him in love.
How can it be that we should receive such a gift from God?
The book of Romans, Chapter 6, verse 23 says, ‘The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’.
Why would God do this for us?
‘according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us.’
The Greek word here ‘lavish’ means ‘to overflow’. How do you explain it? We were in a heap of trouble but now we’re not! He’s taken our penalty upon himself to set us free. And not only that, but the storehouses of grace in heaven are opened up for us. God is an overflowing God — pouring his infinite riches into us.
Because that’s who he is. He’s a God of grace and a good Father.
Have you received his grace?
Have you accepted his free gift of redemption through the blood of Christ? Have you experienced salvation through the forgiveness of sins?
What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Have you received this gift of cleansing by faith?
What do you have to do to receive it? Nothing. It’s a gift of grace. There is nothing you can do with a gift except to receive it.
Give him your life and ask him to cleanse it. Trust him to do it, and he will.