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Ephesians 1:7 - The Price of Forgiveness

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Thomas S. Myers

THE PRICE OF forgiveness

Ephesians 1:7


Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

What is redemption? What does it mean?  

The word "redemption" has been etched in stained glass.  Its meaning has been lost, except for coupon clippers and those who want to collect the 5 cent deposit on soda cans.  But the word "redemption" is a rich word which points to our forgiveness of sins.

The Greek word for redemption found here in Ephesians 1:7 meant to go to the market place and buy a slave who is in trouble and then set the slave free.

That's what Jesus did for us.  He came to the market place where we have been slaves to

sin.  And He paid the price for all our sins, where He forgave us and set us free.

There is the story of the father and son who worked for months to build a toy sailboat. Every night when he came home from work, the man and his boy would disappear into the garage for hours. When the boat was finished they stood back to admire the results. The wooden hull was painted bright red and it was trimmed with gleaming white sails. When it was finished the boy went to a nearby river for the boat's trial run. The father had tied a string to its stern to keep it from sailing too far. The boat performed beautifully, but the string broke and the sailboat drifted out of sight. Attempts to find it were fruitless. A few weeks later, as the boy was walking home from school he passed a store and was amazed to see his sailboat in the window. He ran inside to claim the boat, telling the owner he lost the boat. The store owner said, "You may have it back -- for $50." The boy was stunned at how much it would cost him to regain his boat, but since it was so precious to him he quickly set about earning the money to buy it back. Later he joyfully walked into the toy store and handed the owner $50 in exchange for his sailboat. It was the happiest day of his life. As he left the store he held the boat up to the sunlight. Its colors gleamed as though newly painted. "I made you, but I lost you," he said. "Now I've bought you back.

REDEMPTION COMPARED WITH:

Justification -- is where a sinner stands before God but is declared righteous (forgiven).

Forgiveness -- is when a sinner stand before God, but the debt of sin has been canceled.

Adoption -- is when a sinner stands before God as a stranger, but is made a son.

Reconciliation -- is where a sinner stands before God as an enemy, but is made a friend.

Redemption -- is where a sinner stands before God as a slave, but receives freedom.

FIRST -- THE REDEEMER

 

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

Who is our redeemer?  Jesus Christ is.

Jesus is the redeemer.

SECOND -- THE REDEEMED

 

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

                    

Someone says, "Who is the "WE?" Well, let me introduce you to the redeemed. You will find a description of the redeemed in 2:1-3.

Ephesians 2:1-3

1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

Who are the redeemed?  The redeemed are people who saw how filthy they were in sin and found out there is a Savior who redeemed them by dieing on the cross, forgiving their sin by shedding His blood and rising from the dead.  That's what redemption is.  Jesus is the redeemer.  We are the redeemed.

There is a practical application here.  We are to forgive in the measure to which we have been forgiven.  Let me ask you a question.  To what measure have you been forgiven?  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ you totally forgiven!!!  And it is to that measure that you are to forgive others.

Remember the words in what many call the Lord’s Prayer?  It says, "Forgive us our debts AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS."  Did you know that this is the only part of the prayer on which Jesus comments?  He goes on to say:

                        

 Matthew 6:14-15

14  For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions

.

Here is the principle.  Forgiven people forgive.  Guilty people try to make other people feel guilty, too.  Is there someone for whom you are carrying a grudge?  It is to your own hurt.  Baggage like that will separate you from appreciating the forgiveness of God.  Forgive.  And then you will be able to enjoy the forgiveness with which you have been forgiven.

You say, "Tom, you don’t know how badly I have been hurt.  I just can’t let go."  Have you looked at the cross of Christ lately?  Do you see the One who hangs there, nails pierced flesh?  The agonized labor to draw in each new breath of air.  And do you hear His voice saying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."  And realize that He was praying, not only for the Romans soldiers who drove the nails, but also for the Jewish leaders to plotted to put Him on the cross.

First – The Redeemer

Second – The Redeemed

 

THIRD -- THE PRICE OF REDEMPTION

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

What was the price to pay for our sins?  The blood of Jesus.  The blood of Jesus purchased our redemption.  In the Old Testament, the blood of bulls, lambs and goats was simply symbolic of the actual death of Jesus Christ.

 

John 1:29

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Notice in Ephesians 1:7 that redemption and forgiveness are together. 

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

Redemption and forgiveness are so intertwined that you can not have forgiveness without redemption.  And you can not have redemption without forgiveness. 

Look at Ephesians 1:7 and notice the phrase, “…REDEMPTION THROGH HIS BLOOD…”

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

First notice that it is not redemption through God’s power, but it is redemption through his blood. 

It is not even redemption through his love, it is through his blood. 

Notice also how emphatically redemption is listed.  Redemption is listed first, and then we receive forgiveness.  And that is how it is throughout Scripture.  Redemption is always listed first, and then following redemption is forgiveness. 

 Hebrews 9:22
…without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Someone might ask, “Why do we always need to have redemption by blood to have forgiveness? 

Let me ask you this question.  Is it right to forgive the breakers of law without any penalty? 

If it is, then why have any law at all?  And why should anyone care weather they keep the law or not?  Who would have respect for the police if they knew they could play fast and lose with justice? 

Or someone else may ask, “Why didn’t God just forgive sin and be done with it? 

Then where is justice?  Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth be just? 

I tell you something.  It is wise and just that Jesus Christ, God’s own Son should become the redeemer and take the punishment for the sins of the whole world. 

It is for the welfare of all mankind that forgiveness of sins came through redemption by blood. 

The blood of Jesus is precious isn't it?  The blood of Jesus took away the sin of the world.

1 Peter 1:18-19

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Not only is the blood of Jesus precious but we can praise God for it.  In Revelation chapter 5, there is a picture of a group of people who are standing before God's throne. And a Lamb walks up to the throne of God.  And this Lamb looks like it has been slain. And all of a sudden, everyone that surrounds the throne of God falls down to worship this Lamb that was slain.  And they begin to sing.  And what do they sing?

Revelation 5:9-10

9 And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

And what are they praise God for?  That the Lamb of God redeemed us with His own blood.

Then you know what happens next in Revelation 5?  The angels begin to lift up their voices in praise.

Revelation 5:11-12

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12  In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

And what are the angles praising God for?  For the fact the Jesus was willing to be slain and shed His blood for our sins.

The blood of Jesus is precious and worthy to praise God about.  Jesus is the redeemer. We are the redeemed.  The price of redemption is the blood of Jesus Christ.

First – The Redeemer

Second – The Redeemed

Third – The Price of Redemption

FOURTH -- THE RESULTS OF REDEMPTION

(1)  You Have Forgiveness of Sins.

Notice that Ephesians 1:7 says,

EPHESIANS 1:7

IN HIM WE HAVE REDEMTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS….

Do you know what that means?  We have at this very moment forgiveness of sins.

That’s not a theory.  That’s not a hypothesis.  The Bible says “WE HAVE” forgiveness. It’s present tense. 

Others may not have forgiveness, but I want to tell you something, we have it. 

Ephesians 1:7 says

IN HIM WE HAVE REDEMTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS….

Colossians 2:13

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

Listen to me.  I do not hope for forgiveness.  I have it.  We do not merely think we have forgiveness, we know we have forgiveness.    

 

Let me tell you what else happens when you have God’s forgiveness.

(2) When You Have God’s Forgiveness God’s Anger is Taken Away.

When we have God’s forgiveness we can say like Israel

Isaiah 12:1
I will give thanks to You, O Lord; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me. 

Romans 8:1
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

(3)  When You Have God’s Forgiveness It Removes Distress and Sorrow from Your Heart.

2 Samuel 24:10
Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

In the Bible there is the story of the Prodigal son in Luke 15:11-24.  The prodigal son was under heaven conviction that he had greatly disgraced his father.  He decided to confess his sin.  What was it that provided such great joy and comfort to the prodigal son?  It was his father’s forgiveness. 

 

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

Do you know what the word "FORGIVENESS" means?  It comes from a Greek word meaning "to send away."  

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 44:22

"I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

Micah 7:18-19

18 Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?  He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.  19 He will again have compassion on us;  He will tread our iniquities under foot.  Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins  Into the depths of the sea.

First – The Redeemer

Second – The Redeemed

Third – The Price of Redemption

Fourth – The Results of Redemption

FIFTH -- THE MEASURE OF FORGIVENESS

Ephesians 1:7

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.

Can I tell you something about forgiveness?  God forgiveness is not measured by the yard, nor is it measured by the weight of scales. God forgiveness is measured by what?

Ephesians 1:7

 "ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE."

A.  It is not hard to receive forgiveness from God.

Psalm 86:15
But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

Psalm 86:5
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

                                                       

In the New Testament there is a story of the prodigal son. 

Listen to me, if you are in need of forgiveness, if you feel condemned; be encouraged, God is ready to forgive you.  Go to God like the prodigal son who went to his father saying “Father forgive me, I have sinned.”   

I tell you that God is ready to forgive.  Wasn’t it was Jesus Christ himself who’s back was whipped?  Wasn’t it Jesus Christ whose face was beaten, and whose feet and hands were nailed to the cross?  And do what the very first words of Jesus as he hung on the cross?  “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

Romans 8:32
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

The measure of forgiveness lies in the abundant grace of God. 

Sometimes our view of God’s forgiveness is narrow. 

 

Isaiah 55:8-9
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.   9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Come to God who is wiling and able to forgive. 

God can make you sin dissolve the like the snow.  Your sin can utterly vanish.  If you would search for you sin you would never find it. 

A.  It Is Not Hard To Receive Forgiveness From God.

B.  THERE IS NO LIMIT TO GOD’S FORGIVENESS. 

Sin is not a small thing with God.  People talk of little sins, but with God there is no such thing as a little sin.

It is possible that sitting in this congregation there is someone who has committed all the grosser sins, not just once but has committed them again and again until they are incalculable.

And yet I tell you this, if this is you, this does not hinder God’s forgiveness. 

Listen to me.  You have not gone beyond the grace of God.  For the measure of God’s forgiveness is 

Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

There is one sin that shall not be forgiven.  It is found in

Matthew 12:31
Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

There is a sin against the Holy Spirit which shall never be forgiven.  It is committed by one who never seeks or desires forgiveness through Jesus Christ. 

Notice that Matthew 1:13 says, “, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people…”

If you seek forgiveness, you may have it through Jesus Christ. 

Acts 13:39
and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.

If all the sins of the entire world were placed on you, you still could receive forgiveness.   Because forgiveness is  

EPHESIANS 1:7                

…According to the riches of His grace.

Forgiveness is not impossibility with God. 

A.  It Is Not Hard To Receive Forgiveness From God.

B.  There Is No Limit to God’s Forgiveness.

 

C.  THE MEASURE OF GOD’S FORGIVENSS IS NOT ACCORDING TO THE SIZE OF YOUR FAITH.

Listen to me, forgiveness is measured out to you, not according the greatness of your faith, but according to the immeasurable riches of God’s grace. 

You can have faith the size of a muster seed and God will forgive you of all your sins.  Mat 17:20

Matthew 9:20-22
20 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak;   21 for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.”  22  But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.

Your faith may be so small that all you can do is to touch the very fringe of Jesus coat.  And Jesus says of you,

John 6:37

…the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

I wish your faith were stronger, and I believe that before long it will be.  But if your faith were the timid size of a very small mustered seed, Jesus says to you, just as He said to others, “YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL.”

It does not matter if your sins are many or few they are all forgiven in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

The measure of your forgiveness is not the size of your faith.  It is not in the size of your tears.  It is not in the size of your regrets, or the size of your sins, but forgiveness is granted from the Lord

EPHESIANS 1:7

…ACCORDING TO RICHES OF HIS GRACE.

A.  It Is Not Hard To Receive Forgiveness From God.

B.  There Is No Limit to God’s Forgiveness.

C.  The Measure of God’s Forgiveness is not According To the Size of Your Faith.

D.  FORGIVENESS IS EASY FOR GOD TO GIVE.

When you and I give to those in need, we have to pause and see how much money we will have left, but not God.  When God gives forgiveness, He gives out ACCORDING TO THE RICHES HIS GRACE.” 

God never has to stop and think how much forgiveness is left over.  God will be none the richer if He withholds forgiveness and none the poorer if he gives forgiveness.  God can scatter the seeds of forgiveness to the left or to the right liberality.  As a result God is more pleased to give out forgiveness then we are to receive His forgiveness. 

Do you remember the prodigal son?    Luke 15:11-24

Which of the two do you think had more joy, the father or the son?  It was the father who had more joy over forgiveness.   It was the father who called for the music.  It was the father who called for dancing and feasting.  Listen to me, God is more willing to give out His forgiveness than we are to receive it. 

Micah 7:18-19
18  Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.  19  He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.

To God forgiveness is a joy. 

For God forgiveness is a pleasant work. 

 

E.  WITH GOD FORGIVENESS IS COMPLETE.

The person who is forgiven by God is not half forgiven but is totally forgiven. 

There is a teaching that says when a person believes in Jesus Christ they are forgiven only up to a point.  But do you know what the Bible says?

Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Notice that the word “SINS or TRESPASSES” is plural.  It is not just a few sins forgiven, it is all sins.

Colossians 2:13

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins

John 10:28-29
28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.   29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

I believe that when Jesus died for our sins he did not forgive half our sins, but all our sins.  For it was on that day when he hung on the cross he cried out,

JOHN 19:30

…IT IS FINISHED

Salvation is complete.  When someone comes to Jesus Christ as Savoir, they receive full forgiveness.  You are forgiven to such an extent it is just as if you have never sinned. 

No sin is left against you.    

Jeremiah 50:20
‘In those days and at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’

If a court finds you not guilty, you’re not retried.   If a governor gives you a pardon, you’re not thrown back into jail. 

Romans 8:1 

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Our sins are gone, they are blotted out, and we shall never see them again. 

The late Dr. P.W. Philpott, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, I was awakened at 3 A.M. one morning by a stranger ringing my doorbell, "I've come to ask you to go with me to pray with a young lady who is about to die."  He took the pastor to a house of prostitution, where the pastor found a young lady in her early twenty.  It was evident she was every ill.  She said, "I don't think you know me, but I know you, and I knew you would come and pray with me, for I'm going to die.  The girls here don't believe I'm going to die, but I know I am."  She asked if there wasn't a story in the Bible about a sheep that had strayed very far from the fold, and of the Shepherd who had gone after it.  "Can you find the story in the Bible?" she asked.  The pastor read her the story, and then turned to the verse which tells of the Shepherd giving His life for the sheep.  As he knelt to pray by the dying girl, the other girls knelt too, sobbing by their companion's bed.  When the pastor looked up at the end of the prayer, he said he will never forget the expression on her face.  "Oh!" she cried, "it's wonderful!  The Good Shepherd has found me and He's holding me close to His heart."  She kept repeating it.  Later the pastor went home.  However when he returned to the house, he met the funeral director entering the house.  One of the girls came out to meet me.  Her first words were, "We wish you had been here when Mary passed away.  She was so happy.  She kept saying, 'The Shepherd has found me, and He's holding me close to His heart.'"  A few years later, the pastor was preaching in another city, and a young woman came up to me after a service, and smilingly asked, "Don't you recognize me?"  I'm that girl that told you of Mary's passing that morning, and how happy she was.  But there was something else I wanted to tell you.  "That morning when the Good Shepherd brought Mary in on one shoulder, I came in on the other!"

Tom Myers

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