“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul’s focus shifts from God the Father and His work in the salvation of sinners (Ephesians 1:3-6) to the work of God the Son, Jesus Christ, and His work of the same. What blessings do believers have in Christ? To begin with, there is redemption through the substitutionary and vicarious atonement accomplished by Jesus Christ on the cross.
Paul begins Ephesians 1:7 with the words in him. Within the context, the personal pronoun Him refers the reader to the immediately preceding noun found in the latter portion of Ephesians 1:6. That noun phrase is the Beloved. In the context, Beloved is another name for Jesus Christ.
It is in Jesus Christ alone that the elect presently and actively possess redemption. Redemption (ἀπολύτρωσις; apolytrosis) means to be set free or delivered. It is another word for salvation, which also means deliverance. A price has been paid on the sinner’s behalf resulting in a release from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin.
Redemption is accomplished solely through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. Paul uses the word blood to refer to the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. It is this substitutionary sacrifice which not only satisfied the righteous wrath and justice of God the Father, but also provides the sinner’s only salvation (Romans 3:23-24; Ephesians 2:13; I Peter 1:17-19).
Romans 5:6-9 says, “6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
It is because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross on the sinner’s behalf that God can forgive the sinner of the debt, guilt and enmity caused by their sin before God. Forgiveness (ἄφεσις; aphesis) means a pardon (Matthew 26:28; Acts 2:38; 10:43; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:22; 10:18) and liberty or release (Luke 4:16-19).
Trespasses (παράπτωμα; paraptoma) literally means to throw one’s self aside and upon an enemy. It is a conscious violation of that which is right, resulting in objective guilt before God. The basis for God’s forgiveness of our trespasses is once again the riches and abundance of His grace alone.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “The cost of Christ’s blood is the measure of the wealth of God’s unmerited favor to every believer. It was accomplished not “out of” but “according to” (kata) the wealth of His grace (cf. Phil. 4:19). Six times in Ephesians Paul referred to God’s riches (1:7, 18; 2:4, 7; 3:8, 16).”
Thank you Lord for the riches of your grace. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!