Redeemed and Forgiven

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses…” (Ephesians 1:7)

Bible Reading: Ephesians1:3-7

A third spiritual blessing that we receive in Christ is described by Paul as “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

The term “redemption” basically means being set free, or liberated, from something that has held us in captivity. In the Old Testament, God is said to have “redeemed” his people Israel from bondage in Egypt. The act of redeeming is sometimes likened to the manumission of a slave or the release of a hostage.

Usually, it has connected with it a price that needs to be paid to bring about the release in view. Here, the bondage from which we are liberated is that of sin and death. The price this entailed was the “blood” of God’s Son, Jesus.

The Apostle Peter refers to this when he exhorts the readers of his first letter to holy living. “Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile [earthly existence]”, he writes, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:17-19). God paid for the price of our deliverance from sin and death with the blood (death) of his Son, a price of infinitely greater worth than silver or gold.

Not only has God blessed us in Christ with redemption, but also with the “forgiveness of our trespasses”. To forgive another person is not to hold against them the wrongs that they have committed against us. We release them from our personal punishment.

Perhaps even more than that, forgiveness means that wrongs committed will no longer present an obstacle to fellowship.  We know that at the human level, unforgiveness damages and even breaks relationships. Only as past hurts are released and offences set aside can relationships be restored.

This is what makes God’s forgiveness such a blessing. His forgiveness releases us from his punishment. King David knew that, and expressed it in the words of Psalm 32: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (vs. 1-2). Where there is forgiveness, sins are “covered” or hidden; it no longer affects a relationship. There is no record of wrongs kept, but only the “clear air” of an unspoiled friendship.

Most of us have experienced the relief that comes from being set free from a debt that has held us in bondage. And most of us know the exhilarating joy that comes when a fractured relationship is healed through forgiveness. But how unspeakably more blessed it is when these things are true of our relationship with God.

This is what he has made possible through the blood of his Son. In Christ, we are redeemed and forgiven.  

Closing Thoughts:

  • Do you realise how deeply you were in bondage to sin and death before God rescued you?
  • Have you experienced the joy of forgiveness in human relationships?
  • – Andrew Young