The Spiritual Blessing of Redemption
Ephes. 1:3 (ESV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Ephes. 1:7-10 (ESV)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Last time we looked together at the Spiritual Blessing of Adoption. We were concerned with the timing of this blessing. Paul made sure we understood that the timing was before the foundation of the earth.
Ephes. 1:4 (ESV)
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
The first Spiritual Blessing of adoption happened in ages past, even before time began. Before God had created anything, the Church was on His mind. He was already at work electing and making things ready for our adoption. That’s the Spiritual Blessing in the past.
Today, I want us to see another Spiritual Blessing. This one is present tense. This one is the Spiritual Blessing of Redemption.
1. Source of Redemption (Eph. 1:7a)
In him we have redemption through his blood
In Jesus Christ the Church has been released from sin’s imprisonment through the death of Christ.
The first part of redemption is a setting free. Sinners are set free from the sin debt they have been placing on their account before God. As sinners we are spiritually bankrupt. Even though we had committed untold number of sins; even though we were in slavery to sin and even though the wrath of God was upon us, we have been released. The chains of sin have been removed and the church has been released.
Acts 12:6-11 (ESV)
Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.  And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”  And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.  When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.  When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
Because of redemption, we are set free from the guilt, curse, punishment and power of sin. God is in the process through redemption of reversing the curse.
The second part of redemption is restoration. The church has been released from sin’s prison and secondly been restored to a right relationship with the Father through the work of Jesus Christ. We were children of wrath and now we have become children of God. God’s wrath was poured out and absorbed by Jesus on the cross. Our sin has been judged and punishment meted out but instead of the wrath of God hitting us, Jesus became our shield. It all hit Him head on rather than us. Now there is no more wrath left for the church. We will all experience a true and loving relationship with God forever.
Col. 1:9-14 (ESV)
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
We still battle sin and sometimes suffer a defeat but we are no longer chained to it. In other words, we don’t have to sin. We are not stuck in the Kingdom of darkness any longer we have been released from that kingdom and been placed into the Kingdom of Christ.
I have a question to consider…If Christ bore all the guilt of our sins, all the wrath of God against our sins, and all the penalty of the death that we deserved, then will God ever turn His wrath on you as a believer? Never.
Romans 8:31-35 (ESV)
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
2. Features of Redemption (Eph. 1:7b-9)
the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
The first piece of redemption that Paul mentions is forgiveness. Because God punished Jesus for our sin, He can now forgive us for our sin.
Psalm 103:11-12 (ESV)
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Isaiah 44:22 (ESV)
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Even in the Old Testament God was doing the same thing. He was forgiving sin. In this context, the word trespass means that we have left the path of righteousness and traveled places we should not have gone. The sign said keep off the grass and we went onto the grass. The sign said keep out and we went in. The Law of God told us what to do and we did everything else.
Notice the extent to which He forgave His children.
according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us,
The Father didn’t forgive us from the riches of His grace but according to the riches of His grace.
It’s like this, John D Rockefeller at one time was known as the richest man in the world. He liked to have his picture taken as he would do good things with some of his money. As he knelt down to give a poor child a quarter the press would snap a picture. Rockefeller was giving from his riches when he gave a quarter. Jesus gives His children not from His riches but according to His riches. Jesus’ wealth is infinite. He doesn’t divide it up among His children or hand us a quarter for being good; He gives it all to us. he lavished it upon us.
The Lord’s grace has been poured out upon His children. We have more grace than we know what to do with. He doesn’t ration it our, a little here and a little there but lavishes it on us. We will never need more grace than Jesus gives because He gives according to His riches.
Not only do the children of God receive forgiveness through the riches of His grace but he grants another blessing we need to be a child of God. The Lord grants His people spiritual discernment.
 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
Paul received the explanation of this mystery by divine revelation. He then made it known to God’s people. We know understand the mysterious purpose of God through Christ…
Ephes. 3:1-6 (ESV)
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles-  assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,  how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.  When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,  which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.  This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
3. The Extent of Redemption (Eph. 1:10)
 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
There is coming a day when Jesus will fully reign on earth and everything will be under His kingship. No longer will injustice take place. No longer will crime be a part of our landscape. No longer will people cry over lost loved ones. When Christ’ kingdom is fully established on earth everything spiritual and everything physical will submit to His rule.
Col. 1:15-20 (ESV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Have you ever stopped to think that what we see and experience in this world is not how it was created to be like. Sickness is not the standard, famine is not the standard, and death is not the standard. All these things have happened to us because of sin entering the picture. This world is under the judgment of God. God has given people up to go their own way in many cases. Sin runs rampant. This world is fallen. I think we don’t know just how fallen it is. We don’t really know how far it has come from what it was originally intended to be.
But thanks to God and the work of Christ it will all be remade into its original condition. People are reclaimed, lives restored. Souls saved from hell. Families put back together, all this because of the Gospel of Grace. Not only are we made new, but everything will be made new again.
It is coming to pass as each person is born again and placed into the Kingdom of God, we are that much closer to realizing total salvation.
Hebrews 2:8 (ESV)
Putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.
As the Church, we can look forward by faith to all that the Scriptures promise us. The next time you watch the news or read the paper and think how could that happen? Remember God has turned the majority of humanity over to themselves. They are doing what natural people without restraint do. They are sinners who love their sin. This should remind us to pray for them and work to introduce them to Jesus. It should also remind us that a day is coming when all this misery we see around us will be finished.
1 Cor. 15:50-58 (ESV)
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1. Source of Redemption (Eph. 1:7a)
2. Features of Redemption (Eph. 1:7b-9)
Grace being poured out richly upon us.
Understanding the great mystery of God…Gentiles are being saved.
3. The Extent of Redemption (Eph. 1:10)
While the Spiritual Blessing of adoption took place in the ancient past…before the foundation of the world, the spiritual blessing of redemption is happening right now. Right now we are being forgiven…right now we are experiencing God’s riches of Grace being lavished upon us…right now we enjoy spiritual discernment to understand the will of God.
Next week we’ll look to the future. What will it mean to be a child of God in the future…