7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” (Ephesians 1:7–8 (ESV)
What is the most extravagant gift you have ever received from someone? Was it a trip? A car, truck or SUV? A house? Perhaps it was a piece of jewelry. The redemption we have in Jesus Christ is an extravagant gift which exceeds all others.
The word lavished (περισσεύω; perisseuo) to provide something in abundance or to give more than was expected. What the Apostle Paul has in view is the redemption found solely in Jesus Christ. The price Jesus paid on the cost for our redemption and justification is truly rich and costly. While salvation is often spoken of as free, it is in reality quietly costly.
This redemption was lavished upon us sinners who were rightly deserving of God’s righteous wrath (Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 2:1-3). Instead of wrath, we received redemption. Instead of earning such a gift, it was graciously provided and given.
This act by Jesus Christ was done in all the wisdom and knowledge of God Almighty. Wisdom (σοφία; Sophia) refers to God’s insight and knowledge. Insight (φρόνησις; phronesis) means capacity for understanding.
It is this wisdom and knowledge which God has given to each redeemed sinner. They are given for the redeemed to not only understanding and grasp the depth of God’s love in providing salvation from the penalty of their sins, but also to understand the depth of God’s love in delivering the sinner from the power and eventual presence of their sin.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “God’s grace is given to enable believers to understand His will. God gives them wisdom (sophia; cf. v. 17; 3:10; Col. 1:9, 28; 2:3, 23; 3:16; 4:5), objective insight into the true nature of God’s revelation, and understanding (phronēsei), the subjective apprehension of it. So believers are able to grasp something of the divine purpose of the ages and to see its relevance in the present time.”
May each of us pray today for God to continue to give us wisdom and insight for all He has done for us and the expensive gift of redemption He has given to us in Christ. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!