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The Riches of His Grace.


Riches of Grace.

Text Ephesians 1:7-8  

How can we even begin to measure the extent of God’s saving love and favour for His people? It would be impossible. Grace in this sense grace is the unmerited favour of God upon sinners, – the idea of our salvation being a completely free gift – that God loves us when we were unlovable, chose us to be his, without any merit on our part, and at great cost to himself,-  the death of his only begotten son. 

  1. We Are Delivered by Grace. In whom we have redemption through his blood.

Paul talks about how we are REDEEMED – DELIVERED FROM SLAVERY by grace – redemption. But why do WE need delivered? Because we are slaves. 

  • Slaves to Satan. Paul expressed this well in this very letter, in Ephesians 2:2-3 
  • Slaves to sin. We sin habitually, because in our unregenerate state, without Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit we are under the sway of our father the devil, and we do his wishes and obey his commands. John 8:34  
  • Slaves to self. Unable to save ourselves, pleasing the lusts of the flesh. Ephesians 2:3  

So, let’s see how Paul explains our deliverance in this verse:-

  • Deliverance comes through Christ. This verse begins with ‘IN WHOM…’ It connects us to something that has gone before, and so we must ask “to whom” is the Apostle referring? It is “The Beloved” It is our Lord Jesus Christ, who is loved by the Father.  Matthew 3:17  Let’s clarify that though, by going slightly further:-
    • By Christ ALONE. There is no-one else who can save us. Speaking of Him, Peter declared, in Acts 4:12 There will be no-one in heaven without Jesus. There’s no “Jesus and Me” here. 
    • IN Christ Alone.  Jesus did not come to this world to be be a great teacher, or a spiritual guru, or a medical healer, or a life enhancement coach or a good example of a moral lifestyle. Jesus came into this world to be your saviour and your Lord. Matthew 1:21 You must be IN Christ. Are you IN Christ, your sins covered with His righteousness?
  • Deliverance is through REDEMPTION.The whole idea here is of a slave being set free from slavery. Redemption of sinners has always been God’s plan, so it’s no wonder then that we find it away back in the OT, in the story of the Exodus. Long after Joseph’s death the Israelites are still in Egypt, only now they are slaves, serving a wicked and tyrannical king. God is going to deliver them! Exodus 6:6  But why would he? Because grace is God rescuing and delivering people who are helpless, worthless sinners.
  • Deliverance involves a BLOOD sacrifice. Jesus rescues us, he RANSOMS us, at great cost, paying the price for us, we have redemption through his blood. It was God who set those Hebrew slaves free, and it involved a pure lamb, without any blemish, a lamb that was slain, and the blood of the lamb was sprinkled upon the door-posts and lintels of the homes of the Hebrew slaves. Exodus 12:7, Exodus 12:12  The Hebrew slaves were given a wonderful promise, – remember that they had been told to sprinkle blood at the entrances to their homes,  Exodus 12:13  “WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD I WILL PASS OVER YOU!” Hebrews 9:22.  We are slaves, we are deserving of God’s wrath and judgement, but Jesus died, and his blood was shed, and when God see that blood, – he passes over us! 

It’s all because of GRACE! God’s grace delivers us from our slavery. There are some important practical implications that arise from this. Because Jesus paid the price for me at the cross and brought me out of slavery, I am no longer my own, I cannot be ‘my own man’ – I belong to him. 1 Corinthians 6:20  

2. We are Forgiven Through Grace. the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;.

How is this deliverance obtained? He forgives our sins. There are lots of verses that speak of how God is love, – so surely He must love me enough to accept my lifestyle, and overlook a few minor indiscretions? But God is JUST. 

  • His justice is perfect, because He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our thoughts and our motivations, and his judgement is perfect. He knows that you have broken his law. 
  • His justice is perfect, so the punishment is appropriate. The soul that sins shall die. 

So, because God couldn’t just ignore or overlook my sins, he did something even better, – he forgave me and Paul describes this as ‘The Riches of His Grace.’ Romans 5:9

3. We are Transformed Through Grace. Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;.

Being a Christian involves a new life, not just turning over a leaf, or resolving to be a better person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Is it any wonder Jesus called it a new birth. In this verse, Paul speaks about ‘wisdom and prudence which have abounded towards us.’  What does he mean?

  • Grace transforms the way we think!  He gives us WISDOM, GK σοφία (Sophia) and I suggest that one evidence of that divine wisdom is that we will recognise more clearly when we sin and when such temptations come, we regret them, mourn over them, loath them, repent of them deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Christ and not our carnal desires. 
  • Grace transforms the way we act! Paul speaks of ‘prudence’ here, acting intelligently, GK φρόνησις (phronēsis) = rightmindedness. It could be translated as understanding or “with practical insight.”  Our inward renewal of the mind will result in ur outward walk being different from those around us.  
  • Grace reveals God’s will to us.  Ephesians 1:9  But that in itself is a topic for a new study.

Now this transformed life, this new birth is not something we ourselves do. It’s not by means of a religious ritual, Galatians 6:5.  Religious acts, rituals and ceremonies are not anything of any importance – but only a new creation which is the result of a new birth—a spiritual transformation—a new nature in Christ Jesus. 

So, have you been a recipient of this transforming grace? This unmerited, unearned favour of God, who gave his own Son for you on the cross? Have you received it by faith alone, simply trusting Christ’s finished work, his atoning saving work on the cross as being enough to satisfy the wrath of God upon your sin?  Have you been Born Again?

© Bob McEvoy 2023

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