Blessed by God part ii (Ephesians 1)

2 07 2006

[Included here are sermon notes & application questions from this past Sunday morning at Omaha Bible Church you may listen or download the message here.]

We are all created by God to be passionate. So therefore, we are all passionate about something or someone. This is by divine design. So what is to be the catalyst for our most extreme passion? Well quite simply it is that thing that exalts and glorifies God like nothing else. So therefore, we as believers are to be uniquely and supremely passionate about the glory of God through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the previous post we looked at the first two great realities that should lead to passionate praise 1) Election, & 2) Predestination. Today we’ll look at the third great reality, redemption.

Redemption is a term that means to be bought out of, to be rescued out of bondage. During the time of the writing of Ephesians, historians tell us that there were roughly 60 million slaves in the Roman Empire. Imagine the response of a slave who has been removed from slavery by the paid ransom!? It would be nothing less than passionate thankfulness.

In understanding redemption it is helpful to look at it from the negative side. Consider the plight of the animated corpses in Ephesians 2:

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Do you see the bondage here? We, without Christ, are living in the mire and muck of the sin dungeon, bound to do whatever our sinful hearts dictated. To the degree that you understand how wretched and miserable of a sinner you are you will understand and appreciate salvation. If you are having flat praise it is because you are unimpressed with grace, unimpressed with the cross, unimpressed with the power of redemption, and over impressed with yourself and your ‘redeeming’ qualities that are not redeemable, but hopeless apart from Christ. Christians love to hear of sin, because it exalts Christ. Non-Christians hate to hear about sin because it exalts a need for Christ.

Notice that redemption, the purchase was made with a cost: verse seven says “through his blood”.

True or False? Salvation is obtained by work.

TRUE! Not our work, but Christ’s WORK. The finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ! The one who gave up his very life to die in the place of sinners! We have no part in our redemption, but Christ working for us, saves sinners.

The magnitude of the cost of God for redemption should be connected with the magnitude of our praise to him for this grace!! This is why flat praise and lukewarmness is systemic of undervaluing redemption.

Redemption is equated with the forgiveness of sins (cf. v.7, and also Col. 1.14). The only way to have forgiveness is to have redemption. Jesus Christ died in the place of sinners and redeemed them, that is he purchased the ransom to extract them from slavery.

This redemption is not potential or possible but certain. Revelation 5.9-10 teaches us that the saints in heaven are singing perfect songs about the reality that God has redeemed sinners and these who are redeemed will reign upon the earth. Jesus Christ actually accomplished something on that cross. He, being the sinners’ substitute, in a point in time, accomplished redemption upon the cross, and then point in time, when he calls us with the gospel (Rom. 8.29) he applies this redemption. Christ did not accomplish redemption for everyone who ever lived only to apply it to those who would believe. Rather, he accomplished redemption for all those whom he chose (Eph. 1.4) and predestined (Eph. 1.5). And then, according to Titus 2.14 the believer’s life has changed!

This redemption is a sufficient redemption. Our Savior, the head of the New Covenant, accomplished perfect and eternal redemption, because the eternal Son has offered an eternal sacrifice to satisfy eternal wrath, to give sinners eternal life through eternal redemption!!

Psalm 107:2 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,

Psalm 111:9 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name.

Is there a better term to refer to our great redeemer than what Paul uses in verse 6? Paul calls Jesus the Beloved.

Application Questions…………………………………..

  1. Define Redemption.
  2. Why is Christ the only one suitable for the accomplishment of redemption?
  3. Identify some aspects of redemption that should fuel and sustain your praise.
  4. How is flat praise connected with undervaluing the redemption that Christ bought?
  5. Identify the competitors to the glory of Christ in your life (i.e. what rivals Christ for his rightful place of supremacy).
  6. What is the root cause of this rivalry?
  7. What will you do to arrest this competitor and replace this with Christ-exalting praise?

 

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