“…in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7
“In whom” refers to Christ, “the beloved” (vs. 6). Jesus, the beloved Son of God, is also the beloved of our souls. He is the chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely. The purpose of the Father’s love takes effect in him. God gives us his grace “in the Beloved.” It could not be given anywhere else. Christ is the spiritual sphere in which we possess this grace. His merits are the ground upon which this abounding grace is secured to us. “In the Beloved” shows the circle in which grace works, and at the same time it indicates the true characteristic of the accepted ones. They are beloved in the Beloved, anointed in the Christ, built upon him as the foundation-stone. The preposition “in” shows the bond of union which unites them to one another by uniting them to the living Head from whose love neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, will ever be able to separate them (see Romans 8:38, 39).
Redeemed people are a corporation in Christ. It is a legal corporation. All the claims of the divine law are satisfied. God’s people possess the Holy Spirit because they are in Christ. They have forgiveness of sins because they are in Christ. They are justified, sanctified, and will be eternally glorified, because they are in Christ. They have power over the flesh to crucify it, over the world to despise it, over Satan to resist him, because they are in Christ. And again, because they are accepted in the Beloved, the Holy Spirit seals them unto the day of redemption, and they will never perish, nor will any pluck them out of the Father’s hand. How rich we are! And how secure! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
In him we have our redemption through his blood. Sin is no little and inconsequential matter. Behold the ruin it has wrought! Death is a sad and terrible reality before which we tremble exceedingly, and which, like a cleaving curse, follows us everywhere and turns our earthly habitation into a mournful place of tears and blood. Satan, the leader of the lost, and the first mover of rebellion, loses nothing of his power as he gains more cunning from experience. He is ever the lion, seeking whom he may devour. Deliverance from him can never be obtained by doctrines or systems of doctrines, however holy and true they may be. The law of God is broken, and power almighty holds us in chains. God is not man that he should lie, but the righteous ruler of a universe in which the universal law is obedience.
We cannot lift ourselves from the horrible pit into which we have fallen in our disobedience. Removal from this pit must be the work of another—a work which can, in some way consistent with the character of God, avert the punishment which we deserve, fortify with fresh sanctions the law which we have broken, and, reconciling justice with mercy! open up the fountains of grace. All this we have in the Beloved, God’s Son and our Redeemer.
Among all the beautiful and expressive figures of speech used in Scripture to describe the manner of our deliverance there is perhaps none more significant than that of redemption. To understand its meaning we must take the word back into ancient times when it was the custom to pay a ransom price for the release of a friend or loved one who had been taken captive by the enemy and had been subjected to the fear and oppression of slavery in an enemy land. Christ paid the ransom price for sinners in the bondage of sin. He redeemed us to God by his blood (Revelation 5:9). He redeemed us “from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). He has obtained “eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
The liberation was just. A redeemed sinner is not a crafty prisoner who through skillful plotting has escaped from prison. Such freedom is unlawful. The law still has a claim on one who escapes from jail, however free he may feel outside prison bars. Redeemed sinners are legally free. The law of God can condemn them no more. The law itself declares this to be so, for we read in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.”
Redemption is twofold redemption by price and redemption by power. Corresponding to Christ’s coming in the flesh and his coming in glory. We have the one, and we wait for tho other. The price is paid and the pardon is sealed, but the full inheritance is not yet in our possession, nor the last enemy destroyed. But Jesus is coming again, and when he comes, we shall experience redemption by power which Paul in Romans 8:23 calls “the redemption of our body.” For that we are to wait and to pray with patience.
O mighty Savior, with whom there is plenteous redemption, we thank thee for thy marvelous work of grace in breaking the bonds of our enslavement. Hasten the day of thy return when the body shall join the soul in the perfection of a complete deliverance from sin. Amen.