God’s Redeeming Grace

MEMORY VERSE: “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.” —Ephesians 1:7, 8


FOR a proper understanding of many of the texts in the New Testament it is necessary to consider to whom the passage is addressed. In this instance the epistle is addressed “to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” The words of the apostle, then, are not addressed to the world, nor even to Christians in name only, but to those who are laying down their lives in sacrifice and have taken up their crosses, endeavoring to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

The warmth of feeling, the free outpouring of thought, and the union in spiritual privileges is a reflection of the close association that Paul had with the brethren at Ephesus. He knew each one individually and personally, and therefore could call them “saints” and “the faithful in Christ Jesus.”

The apostle states that they, with him, have been “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” (verse 3) and as we read the context of the chapter we find that the reason for all of the blessings and privileges that they enjoyed (and that we also can enjoy if we are of the faithful in Christ Jesus) is that God had planned it so from the beginning: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”—verse 4

The Heavenly Father, the great Creator of the universe, had planned to have a group of faithful brethren who would be associated with him as sons, holy and blameless, and made acceptable through the beloved. Herein lies the wondrous grace of God, for it is only by being brought out from under adamic condemnation that any could stand before God “holy and blameless,” and receive of these boundless blessings.

In Romans, the 5th chapter, verses 7-11, the apostle says, “for scarcely for a righteous man will one die …” The thought is that in the worldly arrangement one would be hard pressed to find someone who would die even for a righteous man; but God proves his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

The human race inherited the condemnation of their father Adam. (Rom. 5:18) He was perfect in the Garden of Eden, with a capacity for perfect obedience. He wilfully chose to disobey God (I Tim. 2:14), and because of this disobedience the death penalty was passed upon him. Adam was also the father of the human race, and therefore all of his offspring inherited Adam’s penalty—death.—Rom. 5:12; I Cor. 15:21

In order to lift condemnation from the human race it was necessary that a perfect man take Adam’s place in death. Jesus was this perfect man, and when he died on Calvary’s cross, he provided the means for lifting adamic condemnation from all of Adam’s offspring (Rom. 5:18,19; I Cor. 15:21,22), but all in due time.—I Tim 2:6

Until this “due time”—the time of the thousand years of Christ’s kingdom—the merit provided by Jesus’ death is made available during the Gospel Age to the footstep followers of Jesus for the purpose of justification. (Rom. 5:9-11, Eph. 1:7) It is because the true Christian has been justified that he can stand before God “holy and without blame.” And it is because of this justification that the true Christian can be a son of God, and have the glorious prospect of an inheritance with our Lord in the kingdom.

God’s redeeming grace, thus expressed in its fullness, is beyond the human mind to grasp or appreciate, and so he has given us an earnest of our inheritance in that we have been “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13,14), giving our minds a new dimension, enabling us to discern and to appreciate spiritual things as revealed in the promises of God to his people.

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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