Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”
Ephesians 1:8 “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;”
Hello readers, this is the third in the series of blogs I am in the process of writing on the book of Ephesians. And today we will look at “the need for redemption”. What is redemption? Why do you and I need redemption? What do we need redemption from? Bear in mind that when you tell someone they need to be saved, don’t just assume they know what that means, because they might not, and actually most really don’t.
We often hear or use words without really understanding what they mean. So when I went to Webster’s 1828 dictionary for the word redemption, I understood why the Bible is so hot on this word. Here’s the primary definition “Repurchase of captured goods or prisoners; the act of procuring the deliverance of persons or things from the possession and power of captors by the payment of an equivalent; ransom; release”
And if you know anything of the Bible, you just go wow, because the word “redemption” really sums in a word what the whole Bible is about. Because the Bible is about the redemption of man through the Lord Jesus Christ. And to understand redemption, you have to go to Genesis. Because without Genesis, and if Genesis isn’t literally true, you have no reference point for the redemption story. The need for redemption starts in Genesis.
When you open your Bible to Genesis 1, you read about creation. God created and made everything, and he did a very good job of it. And God made a particularly unique creation, a creature called “man” (that’s us!) who was very special because man was made in the image of God. And God gave man dominion over the rest of creation, and he placed the first man in the garden that he planted called Eden. And so man began in literal paradise. He had the perfect environment, and was sinless, perfect, with every good thing. It was a good start.
God blessed man abundantly, making him a custodian of the garden that he had planted with a simple command. Eat from every good and pleasant tree in the garden, as much as you want, when you want… but just don’t eat of one tree, because that one tree is not good for you. And it wasn’t good for us. And so in Genesis, for all the goodness of God toward man… man chose to sin. Some image of God huh. And man’s sin, man’s disobedience to God, had catastrophic consequences. And so why is there all this evil in the world? Because man disobeyed God.
It’s incredible how God’s goodness wasn’t enough for Adam and Eve. What did they have to gain from disobeying God? Nothing. Yet somehow they were convinced they did, and that by Satan. They could only lose from disobeying God because God had given them everything good. And lose they did. And lose we all did. Because when Adam sinned, everything changed, and man came under the dominion of Satan. Man was plunged into darkness and death, and that has been the story of mankind ever since. And though we were originally made in God’s image, we did not and do not bear his image. Because when every boy and girl is born today, they take after Adam, not after God. When we are all born, nobody needs to teach us to be selfish and lie and steal and lust. How many godly people do you know? Even the best godly person is error and sin riddled. But in Christ, we do bear the imag of the heavenly, and when redeemed, your image should be changed by the Holy Spirit of God.
And so to understand redemption, we must learn about “sin”. Because redemption is redemption from “sin”. It is also redemption from all the consequences and new realities that sin brought, such as our sinful flesh, this world and the power of the devil. This great book is all about the redemption of man. And this book gives all the glory to God, to his Son Jesus Christ, because he did all the redeeming. He was willing to redeem, and he had power to redeem. And because our redemption is an “in whom” as quoted at the start, because as with the theme of the whole book of Ephesians, everything is “in him”.
Because the crucial part of the redemption story is God himself entering his own creation as a man, Jesus Christ. And Jesus executed the great plan of redemption as a man, a man who loved us and died for us, so that he could redeem us. And when the verse says “redemption through his blood”, that relates to this idea of “repurchase” that redemption brings, because his sinless blood was the payment for our sin. When you purchase something, you make payment for it. That something has a worth that is estimated in equivalent monetary value, such as a litre of milk might be 5 bucks, or a house is valued at $500,000. Because redeeming man wasn’t God just snapping his fingers, no, redeeming man cost something. And it had a cost so high, only sinless blood had the “buying power” to complete it. You could have all the money of this world, and it could not pay for your sins. Jesus Christ’s blood wasn’t just any blood, it was sinless blood, satisfying the price of our redemption.
As I thought about the word “repurchase”, it means that before you make payment for that thing, it is not yours. It is under the power and possession of someone else until the transaction is made. Redemption is the act of repurchasing, meaning that if you are not redeemed, you do not belong to God. A lot of people think they are God’s or they’re God’s child … but they’re not his. They have not been redeemed, they have not been blood bought, and their lives model who’s power and influence they are under, and who really is in possession of them.
And maybe you should take a spiritual paternity test today. Look at your life, beginning with your thoughts and desires, to then your speech and actions. Because you do model who your father is. Could you really say God is your father? Or does your life of lust and lies and pride model your true father, the devil? Because the home truth is that although man originally was created in the image of God, that image was corrupted by the sin of Adam, and when we are born, we are born in Adam’s image, not God’s. That’s why we disobey God like Adam did, not obey God, like Jesus did.
I say that because an essential part of redemption is recognizing that you need to be redeemed. You need to see that you are not God’s, that you are under the power and condemnation of sin, and that you are in darkness and bondage in your life. You are not under God’s power, but under Satan’s rule. He is your prince. And the Bible teaches that the children of this world are dead in their sins and under the power of the devil. We’re not just redeemed from the power of darkness, but from death itself. But that deliverance from the condition and consequences of sin and dominion of the devil takes an awful lot of purchasing power, power that you do not have. And so while you try and pull yourself up from your bootstraps and redeem your own self with trying to do better, think better, speak better, be better… you cannot redeem yourself from anything. How many people are self redeemed, not Christ redeemed. And how many look for redemption everywhere and anywhere else but Jesus Christ.
Until you recognize that you need to be redeemed, which firstly means you recognize the state of bondage to sin and corruption and lust and death and hell that you are in, you will not be redeemed. And until you see that nothing and nobody else can redeem you, you will not believe in Jesus Christ. Make no mistake, every human being requires redemption. It is necessary. And it is mandatory. If you are not redeemed, and that in Christ, you are not in the family of God. Because we know from later on in Ephesians that the whole family of God is named in his Son Jesus Christ. If you’re not in Christ, you are not in God. And conversely, if you are not redeemed, you are not his, seeing as when you purchase something, you own it and it is yours. Christ does not own you, and you are not his until he has purchased you through his blood. He buys you through his blood, you are not bought any other way, he won’t have you any other way but through the blood! But if you don’t want redemption, he won’t force you. But what slave would rather be a slave than free? Surely you’d rather be free?
When Jesus Christ redeems you, you enter into all the blessedness that is due him from God his Father. He gives you new life, and that begins with fatherhood. Because when you believe, he makes you his son. Because you are not his child until you are born into his family when you believe, called being born again, as Jesus said “ye must be born again”. When you are born again of the Spirit of God, then your heart’s cry to God is Abba Father. But not before that. And many people do not have that Abba, Father, because he is not their father. They are spiritual bastards as Hebrews says.
It is impossible for me to really encapsulate the height and depth and breadth and length of the redemption story. I feel like I haven’t done a good job of it at all. But I mean, the whole book of Ephesians is Paul saying that these new Christians have just begun a literal journey of the ages of discovery and appreciation and comprehension of the great things in Christ and what Christ has done for us. What does redemption mean? Read your Bible. And I do pray for your redemption, and that when redeemed, you will begin to understand the riches of redemption, which cause you as Paul did, to bow his knees before God in thanks and praise for his wisdom, for his knowledge, for his grace, for his mercy toward all of us. Because Christ alone could pay and did pay for our redemption, and we are freely given all that that glorious redemption entails. Redemption is bought with the blood and the first phase of that redemption is forgiveness. To be forgiven for all the sin we have done, and to be forgiven in a just way, and then to be redeemed from sin’s power which ruined our life. All for free? For just trusting and believing in Jesus? What a deal it is! So if you are tired of being dominated and under dominion of sin and Satan … how about just trust in Christ, who is the redemptive power of God to every one of us. We all need redemption and he alone is it.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)