Ephesians – Chapter 1, Part 2
God’s Plan for Salvation
Ephesians Vs. 5-8
Eph 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
This verse describes why God has chosen believers: that through His Mediator, Jesus Christ, we may stand before Him as His children. Here we see that we have been “adopted as sons” of God, HUIOTHESIA υἱοθεσία, (that comes from the root word HUIOS – son). We noted this doctrine in our study of the Book of Galatians Chapter 4:4-7, so we will not go into detail here. The concept of adoption is also found in Rom 8:15: 23.
In brief, adoption refers to a Roman custom of aristocracy. In Roman adoption, adoption meant a natural born son was given the status of adulthood with privileges, responsibilities, and inheritance, or one who was brought into a family and given the same rights as an adult naturally born son.
In regard to the family of God, it simply means that through our faith in Jesus Christ’s efficacious work upon the Cross, we have been adopted by God the Father as adult sons into His family. And since we are the body of Jesus Christ, we are adopted into the Royal Family of God. Adoption means privilege, wealth, and inheritance, which we have inside of God’s Plan for our lives, from now unto all of eternity, as members of the Royal Family of God. It also alludes to the new creation, the new spiritual species, which we have been made, 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15, as a result of being “born again,” John 3:3.
As this verse tells us, our adoption is through “Jesus Christ”, IESOUS CHRISTOS, meaning it is based on His completed work and not our work(s); not even our faith. It is a grace blessing from God, which is noted in the phrase “according to the kind intention of His will,” KATA TEN EUDOKIAN TOU AUTOU THELEMATOS.
EUDOKIAN comes from EUDOKIA, and is synonymous with the Hebrew word RATSON, which we have noted many times in the Book of Proverbs. They both mean, “goodwill, favor, good pleasure, wish, desire, etc.”
It tells us of God’s motivation for pouring out His grace provisions towards us, which in His Sovereignty He has freely done, as noted in the word “will,” THELEMA, θέλημα, that means, “will, desire, determination, purpose, or inclination.” This noun is also used in vs. 9, 11 and was used in vs. 1 where Paul noted he was made “an Apostle by the will of God.”
Therefore, because it pleased God to do so, He predetermined that He would adopt us as His own children based on the merits of Christ alone. It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He has saved us, cf. Titus 3:5.
In addition, as vs. 4 notes, His motivation for our adoption as sons is His AGAPE “love” for us. As such, our “riches in Christ” are based on His love and His will.
Notice that I have skipped the first main word until now, “predestined.” It is the root word PROORIZO, προορίζω, that comes from PRO, “before,” and HORIZO, “to set a boundary,” where we get the word horizon from. Therefore, PROORIZO means, “to set boundaries beforehand, appoint or determine beforehand.”
The Doctrine of Predestination.
To predestine means to preplan a destiny. As such, this word is used in regard to:
1. The death of Christ, its meaning and purposes as predestined by God, Acts 4:27-28; 1 Cor 2:7-8.
2. For God’s elect who are:
- Predestined to adoption, vs. 5.
- Predestined to an inheritance, vs. 11.
- Predestined to ultimate conformity to Christ, Rom 8:28-30, cf. Eph 2:10 regarding our Divine Good Production.
The elect’s predestination has to do with both their entrance into the Royal Family of God, (salvation), through adoption, and their daily walk as they put on the Christ-like nature in the execution of Divine Good Production.
Predestination is the work of God the Father in eternity past on behalf of every Church Age believer to enter and execute His Plan, purpose, and will for their life. Therefore, predestination is the grace provision of God the Father for the Royal Family.
Predestination and Election:
Under the Doctrine of Divine Decrees, election cannot be divorced from predestination. Even though we were elected in eternity past, election to privilege occurs at salvation. Whereas, “election” looks back to discover whom God has chosen, “predestination” points forward to what God has determined shall be the destiny of those who are His. In human history, the sovereignty of God and the free will of man coexist by Divine decree. God will not and cannot force the believer to execute His plan, nor will He force the unbeliever to accept His Son as their Savior. God does not coerce or hinder your volition by any coercion in eternity past or in time. Therefore, election and predestination alone do not result in the salvation of people, it is a combination of God’s Omniscience and your free will volition to accept God’s grace provisions for salvation and blessings in time and eternity. People are saved and blessed through faith in the substitutionary death of Christ on the Cross.
Charles Ryrie notes, “Biblically, predestination is limited to the elect people and assures their present position and future destiny. Theologically, the term has been used to include all things, that is, as a synonym for the total Plan of God. From this theological definition it is an easy step for some forms of Calvinism to use predestination in relation to the destiny of the non-elect. Thus there arises a doctrine of double predestination. However, this is a logical assumption, not based on biblical texts. The Bible is clear that the elect are predestined, but it never suggests that there is a similar decree to elect some to damnation. The Scriptures seem content to leave that matter as a mystery, and so should we.” (Systematic Theology.)
What we call the Plan of God in time is from the Divine viewpoint of eternity past called predestination. The purpose of our election and predestination to adoptions as sons of God is not only for eternity but for service and good works in time, John 15:16; Gal 1:15-16; Eph 2:10; 1 Thes 1:4-10, as well as for God to manifest His glory, Eph 1:6, 12, 14.
John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
Predestination and the Sovereignty of God.
Notice that both vs. 5 and 11 use PROORIZO and THELEMA. Therefore, our predestination to salvation, our predestination for blessings in time, and our predestination for blessings in eternity are all part of the sovereign will, the sovereign decision of God our Father. It is based on His free will that is motivated by His love for us. Along with election, foreknowledge, justification, and glorification; predestination also expresses the sovereignty of God who wills the highest and best for every believer. Therefore, not only does our predestination include our salvation but also the previously deposited “spiritual blessings in the heavenlies,” vs. 3, for each believer in eternity past that we call our escrow blessings. This includes the subject of vs. 11, “our inheritance.”
Predestination is the grace provision of the sovereignty of God for every Church Age believer. It is the provision of the sovereign will of God for the Royal Family. Predestination provides equal privilege (union with Christ) and equal opportunity (the Divine Power System, GPS) to execute the Plan of God for your life. Through His grace policy, the sovereignty of God provides everything necessary to sustain every believer (your logistical grace blessings). In the Church Age, every believer under predestination has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the Plan of God. Equal privilege is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and subsequent Positional Sanctification, and equal opportunity is the Divine initiative of God’s prehistoric grace related to your Portfolio of Invisible Assets.
Predestination Means Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity to Execute God’s Plan.
Under predestination, we have the privilege of historical impact by advancing to spiritual maturity, 2 Peter 1:3-11. Therefore, predestination is the provision of the sovereignty of God from eternity past for the execution of the Plan of God in time. It includes equal privilege and equal opportunity for the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose for your life during the Church Age.
Equal Privilege: Equal Privilege includes the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation and Positional Sanctification, which refers to the formation of the Royal Family. The Royal Family, (i.e., Church Age believers), share the destiny of Christ. Your equal privilege of predestination is being made Royal Family by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, who placed you in union with Christ at salvation. This is called Positional Sanctification. Being in union with Christ means we share all that Christ is and has. Specific to this doctrine is the fact that we share Christ’s heirship, being made heirs of God. Also we are the sons of God, adopted as adult sons, Roman style. Therefore, being made a member of the Royal Family of God you have the same privileges as any other believer to execute the Plan of God for your life. The plan God has for your life will differ from your fellow believers’ but your privileges to walk in and fulfill that plan are identical.
Equal opportunity: You have your very own prefabricated palace, the operational GPS, (God’s Power System = The filling of the Holy Spirit plus the Word of God in your soul), 1 Cor 3:16; Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18
1 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Gal 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Equal Opportunity is the Filling of the Holy Spirit coupled with the God’s Word resident within your soul that provides the Divine power necessary to execute God’s plan and to fulfill your destiny on earth. This includes the mandate to live, reside, function, and grow spiritually in grace in your palace, that you might accomplish and achieve everything that God has designed for you. The humanity of Christ received the first GPS, His being called the prototype GPS. He utilized it so that He remained impeccable in His humanity and was therefore qualified to go to the Cross and be judged for the sins of the world. We receive the operational type GPS to execute and fulfill God’s Plan for our lives, by growing spiritually and producing Divine Good, to the glory of God. Therefore, in free will, you have the same opportunity to fulfill God’s Plan for your life as any other believer.
Predestination Means Three Things:
1. Predestination means Protocol, the provision of the Plan of God for every believer in eternity past. Eph 1:11, “having been predestined for a predetermined plan.”
2. Predestination means Royalty. The believer is in the Royal Family of God. Eph 1:5, “He has predestined us for the purpose of adoption to Himself.” At salvation, every believer is adopted not only as an adult son but also as Royal Family. Being adopted as an adult son into the Royal Family at salvation means all your previous handicaps related to your physical birth and unbelieving life have been eliminated. This includes all genetic, environmental, and volitional handicaps.
3. Predestination means the Possession of your very own Royal Palace, the operational‑type GPS. Rom 8:29, “He also predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son.” Jesus Christ resided in the prototype GPS while on earth. He has given us, His Royal Family, the operational GPS for our life on earth.
Predestination Means the Execution of God’s Plan for Your Life Inside of GPS.
God the Father prefabricated a power system, which we call GPS, for the execution of the Christian way of life. It is based on God’s Power not human beings and their legalistic or antinomian standards. Predestination includes the formation and pre-existence of GPS to execute His Plan for your life.
If God is going to deposit all those escrow blessings and will them for you, He must provide a way for you to fulfill the escrow conditions. He provides the way and means; He does not leave anything to your works, abilities, personality, or attractiveness. He provided it all in eternity past. Therefore, God provided for you under predestination everything you need to execute His plan, the Plan of God, the only game plan for the Church Age. It is God’s grace provision for each one of us to fulfill His plan and to receive the conveyance of our escrow blessings, John 14:26; 15:1-5; 8, 26; 16:7, 13-15.
The Unbeliever is Not Predestined to Hell, John 3:18, 36.
He (the unbeliever) goes by his own free choice because he rejects Christ as his Savior. No unbeliever is ever predestined or predetermined to judgment; They go by means of their own volition. The Biblical concept of predestination does not conflict with human volition but emphasizes it. “God is not willing that any should perish.” Unlimited atonement verifies that God’s sovereignty wills salvation for the entire human race. The purpose of this doctrine is to relate the believer permanently to the Plan of God through positional truth, Eph 1:5. Only the believer has a destiny. Only the believer is foreordained under the provision of GPS.
Therefore, for the believer only, God, being motivated by His love for us, has determined “before the foundation of the world,” vs. 4, that we would be adopted into His Royal Family. Based on His pre-determinate will, He predestined us for this adoption, vs. 5 and our eternal inheritance, vs. 11, so that we would walk in them, Rom 8:28-29.
The Missionary’s (Our) Predestined Purpose, by Oswald Chambers.
“Now the Lord says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant …” (Isaiah 49:5).
The first thing that happens after we recognize our election by God in Christ Jesus is the destruction of our preconceived ideas, our narrow-minded thinking, and all of our other allegiances—we are turned solely into servants of God’s own purpose. The entire human race was created to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Sin has diverted the human race onto another course, but it has not altered God’s purpose to the slightest degree. And when we are born again, we are brought into the realization of God’s great purpose for the human race, namely, that He created us for Himself. This realization of our election by God is the most joyful on earth, and we must learn to rely on this tremendous creative purpose of God. The first thing God will do is force the interests of the whole world through the channel of our hearts. The love of God, and even His very nature, is introduced into us. And we see the nature of Almighty God purely focused in John 3:16—“For God so loved the world … .”
We must continually keep our soul open to the fact of God’s creative purpose, and never confuse or cloud it with our own intentions. If we do, God will have to force our intentions aside no matter how much it may hurt. A missionary is created for the purpose of being God’s servant, one in whom God is glorified. Once we realize that it is through the salvation of Jesus Christ that we are made perfectly fit for the purpose of God, we will understand why Jesus Christ is so strict and relentless in His demands. He demands absolute righteousness from His servants, because He has put into them the very nature of God.
Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life.
Eph 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
This verse sums up the blessings that have been previously mentioned in this Chapter as a memorial to God’s grace and graciousness that is lauded.
Thus far we have seen that we have been:
1. Blessed with every spiritual blessing, (All blessings God graciously bestows on us, material and spiritual, were determined from eternity past.), vs. 3.
2. Elected for salvation before the creation of the earth, vs. 4.
3. Sanctified: set apart for God’s own purpose; made holy and glorified.
- Positionally, as saints, we have been placed in union with Jesus Christ, vs. 1.
- Experientially, we have been given the power (GPS) to walk in our holiness, vs. 4.
- Ultimately, we will stand before God blameless in the eternal state, vs. 4 (blameless).
4. Predestined from eternity past to adoption as adult sons into the Royal Family of God, vs. 5a.
5. By God’s free, loving, and gracious will, He has predesigned a protocol plan for our lives, vs. 5b.
All of these things have been given to us because God loved and loves us, vs. 4, which are “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved,” vs. 6. That is, God’s grace placed us in union with Jesus Christ to His praise and glory.
So these are just a few of the many things that we receive at salvation so that we are entered into and can walk in God’s Plan for our lives. The giving of these things was motivated by the love of God to the praise and glory of His grace that provided them for us.
As we have stated previously, this is a Psalm that Paul wrote to sing the praises of the glory of God and His matchless gifts which He has freely bestowed on us.
Job 9:10, “Who does great things, unfathomable, and wondrous works without number.”
Everything God has done for us and everything we receive has been done on the basis of His grace and the end is His glory. The inception is grace; the conception is adoption; the reception is for His glory. The ultimate goal of God’s election is that believers will be “to the praise of His glorious grace.”
“Praise” is the Greek Noun EPAINOS, ἔπαινος that means, “praise, approval, commendation, recognition, or applause.” It literally means here, “resulting in recognition.”
“Glory” is the Noun DOXA, δόξα that means, “glory, splendor, radiance, fame, renown, or honor.” It is synonymous with the Hebrew word KABOD that means, “honor, splendor, or power” that has the connotation of something “weighty, heavy, or having dignity,” and is related to God’s plan of salvation.
DOXA is used here and elsewhere as a universal expression for the visible “glory of God” and for His “honor and power” in regard to His “grace” CHARIS, χάρις, provisions for our salvation.
The phrase, “to the praise of His glory,” EIS EPAINON TES DOXES AUTOU, is not only used here, but also in Eph 1:12, 14, as Paul proclaims thanksgiving for the magnificence of God’s grace and provision in Christ and the Holy Spirit, cf. Phil 1:11.
So this should be our response to the Plan of God. You cannot begin to appreciate who and what God is, or His plan, until you recognize its ultimate parts. When you learn God’s Word and build the ECS, you will have praise recognition of all that God has done for you. This is equivalent to Occupation with Christ as the fourth floor of the ECS or 10th Problem Solving Device (PSD), when you have capacity for loving Jesus Christ under the super-grace life.
Then we have, “which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
“Freely bestowed on us” is the verb CHARITOO, χαριτόω, which comes from the root word CHARIS and means, “to give grace or bestow favor.” In the Aor., Act., Ind., it means here, “God’s great favor, with which He favored us.” In other words, “He made us objects of His grace.” The Aorist tense is often used for a status which has just been realized. And the whole objective of vs. 6 is to become aware of our “graced out” status with the result that we enter into the super-grace life. So this indicates what God has done for us: He has graced us out by entering us into His Royal Family. That may be why the KJV translates this, “he has made us accepted,” which is the result of His grace regarding our entrance into the Royal Family of God having been adopted as adult sons.
In both Eph 2:4-7 and 1 Cor 1:27-30, and elsewhere, the specific purpose of our redemption and of the way in which its blessings are dispensed, is declared to be the manifestation of the grace or unmerited favor of God.
Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, 29that no man should boast before God. 30But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31that, just as it is written, ‘LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD’.”
Nothing, therefore, can be more foreign to the nature of the Gospel than the doctrine of merit in any form. It is incompatible with that great plan of salvation whose principal purpose is to exhibit the grace of God.
This grace bestowed on us is possible because we are “in the Beloved,” EN TO AGAPAO in the Perfect, Middle, Participle (dative, singular, masculine). This is ultimately a reference to Jesus Christ. It is synonymous with “in Christ” or “in Him.” Yet, AGAPAO emphasizes the love God the Father has for the His Son Jesus Christ.
The Perfect tense tells us that this took place in the past with results that continue to the present. There has always been a permanent love between the Father and the Son. Since we are in union with the One who has always been loved, we now share being the objects of that permanent love. God the Father loves God the Son with a permanent love; God the Father loves every believer with a permanent love. You do not work for the love of God; it is maxed out at the point of salvation, and God’s love for you from the point of salvation on never is improved.
Every believer is in union with the One having been loved. Therefore, we are the objects of maximum love from the start, and it never changes. Since the believer is in union with Christ, the Father can only love us with the same capacity of love that He has for the Son. Consequently, we are “the ones having been loved.” This is taught in Col 3:12; 1 Tim 6:2; Heb 6:9; 2 Peter 3:1; 1 John 3:1-2; 4:9.
1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.”
1 John 3:1, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.”
Col 3:12, “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Heb 6:9, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.”
God the Father loves His Son; and believers, being in the Son, are also the object of God’s love.
The Middle voice says the subject, God, is doing something that benefits Himself, entering us into union with Christ brings praise and glory to Himself.
The Dative case is a Dative of Interest/Advantage. Because of being in union with Jesus Christ, it is advantageous to us as we are entered into the Royal Family of God with all of its privileges. It is also advantageous to God to place us in union with Christ, enter us into His Royal Family and provide a destiny for us, because He receives all the praise and glory.
Therefore, God sees the believer in Christ and He accepts the believer just as He receives His own Son. That is fantastic and is the only basis on which any of us will be in heaven. We cannot stand there on our own merit. We are accepted only in the Beloved. God loves you just as He loves Christ, because you are in Christ. Jesus said in John 17:23, “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that You did send Me, and did love them, even as You did love Me.”
In summary, there has been a threefold work performed by God the Father.
- He chose us in Christ.
- He predestinated us to the place of sonship.
- He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
And it is all to the praise of the glory of His grace. He is the One who deserves and receives the praise. He is the One who did it all. And all of this is for your good and my good.
The term “Beloved” also introduces a transition to Christ who is the subject of the following verses.
Eph 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”
In this verse, we see that the function of the Lord Jesus Christ is to harmonize God’s love with God’s holiness, that is, the Beloved is the Redeemer!
We begin with a slight correction. “In Him” is not the usual EN AUTOS. It is the Dative of EN HOS that actually says, “in whom.” It is referring back to vs. 6, “The Beloved,” who is Jesus Christ.
Next is the Present, Active Indicative of the verb ECHO that means, “to have and hold, possess, keep, etc.”
The thing we possess as our own is “redemption,” APOLUTROSIS, ἀπολύτρωσις that means, “release, redemption, deliverance.” It comes from the Preposition APO, that means, “from or out from.” It usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc. It also comes from the Verb LUTROO that means, “redeem by paying a ransom, set free or rescue,” or the noun LUTRON that means, “ransom.” Both come from LUO that means, “loose.”
Originally, APOLUTROSIS denoted “the buying back of a slave or captive thus making him free by payment of a ransom.” From this, we understand that we have been purchased from the slave market of sin and set free. Sin had formerly kept us captive. The forgiveness through Christ brings freedom. Since Christ gave His life as a “ransom,” Mat 20:28, the guilt of man’s sin was carried by Him. All of that is what redemption means to the believer.
Mat 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Rom 3:24, “Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
Col 1:14, “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
These usages of APOLUTROSIS speak to the soteriological (salvation) category of redemption, but it is also used for the eschatological (end times) category in vs. 14; Luke 21:28; Rom 8:23; Gal 1:4; Eph 4:30.
Luke 21:28, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Rom 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
Gal 1:4, “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”
Eph 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Principles of Redemption.
1. In the Doctrine of Soteriology (the study of salvation), there are three key concepts: Redemption, Reconciliation and Propitiation. The phrase “the blood of Christ” applies to all three doctrines.
- Redemption is directed toward sin. There are three theological words that actually describe this concept: redemption, expiation, and unlimited atonement. These always deal with sin as a problem in our relationship with God.
- Reconciliation is directed toward mankind. Man is reconciled to God by the death of His Son.
- Propitiation is directed toward God, meaning that the justice of God the Father is satisfied with the work of Christ on the Cross.
Therefore, redemption emphasizes the fact that we are sinners, not only by choice or volition, but long before that we were sinners at the point of birth. As such, we had to be condemned before we could be saved.
2. The principle of redemption is found in John 8:33-36 where the Pharisees challenged the Lord Jesus Christ by saying in essence, “Why do you say that we as a nation are slaves? We have never been in slavery to anyone.” At the time, they were in slavery to the Roman Empire, they were in slavery to the Pharisees, they were in slavery to religion and legalism, and they were born into the slave market of sin, i.e. born with an Old Sin Nature (OSN). But Jesus only made an issue out of the Old Sin Nature. Therefore, redemption views mankind as born into the slave market of sin through the imputation of Adam’s original sin at birth.
3. Redemption means Christ paid the ransom for our sin on the Cross. In other words, Christ purchased our redemption, Psa 34:22; Gal 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19. Therefore, redemption is viewed from the standpoint of a ransom paid on the Cross for our salvation.
4. Redemption is the saving work of Christ on the Cross by which He purchases our freedom or salvation. The coin of the realm for this purchase is called the “blood of Christ,” Eph 1:7; Col 1:14.
5. The “blood of Christ” is the ransom money or the purchase price of redemption, Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19. The blood depicts the spiritual death of Jesus Christ.
6. Redemption includes the forgiveness of sins, Eph 1:7; Col 1:14, and provides the basis for the believer’s justification, Rom 3:24.
Rom 3:23-24, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
7. Redemption results in the adoption of all believers, in the Biblical sense, as adult sons into the Royal Family of God, Gal 4:4-6.
8. The doctrine of redemption was communicated and displayed in the Old Testament (O.T.) sacrifices by the shedding of animal blood, Heb 9:22.
9. Redemption provides the basis for the believer’s eternal inheritance, Eph 1:7, 11; Heb 9:15.
10. Redemption is a doctrine that you can apply in time of pressure or catastrophe and find both blessing and happiness, Job 19:25-26.
Job 19:25-26, “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. 26Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God.”
Next in vs. 7 we have “through His blood,” DIA HO AHIMA AUTOS, which literally is “through the blood of Him.” This does not mean that through the literal, actual, and physical blood of Jesus Christ, we are saved. The phrase, “The blood of Jesus Christ,” is used as a type for His sacrifice upon the Cross. Specifically, the last three hours He hung upon the Cross, when God the Father imputed every sin of mankind to Jesus Christ and judged Him for those sins.
Under the Law that God gave to Israel, He showed them, and us, a type of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice upon the Cross through all the animal sacrifices. The type or foreshadow of Christ’s sacrifice was the shedding of animal blood by slitting the throat of the animal on the altar. For the animal, blood represents it life. Therefore, the animal gave its life when sacrificed. But for man and Jesus Christ, the God/Man, the life is not in the blood but in our soul. We can lose all of our blood but our soul will live on forever; for the believer see John 11:26, and for the unbeliever see Mark 9:48.
Therefore, Jesus Christ’s blood represents the “spiritual death” He endured during the last 3 hours upon the Cross when our sins were imputed to Him and He was being judged by God the Father. It was that spiritual suffering and death that purchased our sins, not the literal shedding of His blood; the fact is, He did not lose all of His blood at the Cross, or even prior when He was scourged. If His literal blood was what God had in mind, then He would have just had Jesus’ throat slit too. But He did not. He instead used the unique method of capital punishment called crucifixion, where Jesus would hang for a total of six hours, thereby providing opportunity for God the Father to judge our sins in Him, and for Him to pay the ransom price for our sins.
Therefore, Jesus Christ did not bleed to death. Nor does His physical death have anything to do with salvation, except to indicate the fact that the work for salvation was finished. Salvation was completed while Jesus Christ was alive on the Cross, John 19:30.
As such, when you read or speak about the “blood of Jesus,” it should always represent His substitutionary spiritual death which He suffered while upon the Cross, cf. Heb 10:5-10.
1 Peter 1:18-19, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
The blood of Christ depicts by analogy the saving work of Christ on the Cross, 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24. It also depicts unlimited atonement and reconciliation.
2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
1 Peter 2:24, “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
Principles of The Blood of Jesus Christ.
1. The blood of Christ is represented by animal blood in the Old Testament. Blood is said to be the seat of animal life: “The life of the flesh is in the blood,” Lev 17:10-14.
Lev 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
This is not talking about people; it is talking about animals. Notice it says, “by reason of the life.” As such, an animal’s life is in the blood, but man’s life is in his soul. The life of mankind is in the soul, not the blood. The animal does not have a soul and its life is in its blood.
2. Animal blood was used in the O.T. sacrifices to represent the spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, Lev 1-3. Therefore, we have a representative analogy between the blood of animals in the O.T. and the spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, so that in the N.T., whenever the blood of Christ is mentioned, it is referring to His spiritual death, just as the animal’s refers to that in the O.T., Col 1:20; Heb 10:19; 13:20; 1 Peter 1:2.
Col 1:20, “And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
3. The doctrine of redemption was communicated in the O.T. by means of the blood of animal sacrifices, Heb 9:22.
Heb 9:22, “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
4. Christ did not die physically on the Cross by bleeding to death, John 19:30, 33-34. The physical death of Christ occurred as an act of His own volition, not by bleeding, John 10:18. After His work of salvation was completed, Jesus Christ dismissed His spirit into the presence of the Father, Luke 23:46; Mat 27:50. When Christ died physically His blood was still in His body, John 19:34.
5. Therefore the blood of Christ is a part of a representative analogy between the physical death of the animal in the O.T. sacrifice and the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross bearing our sins, 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 9:14; 1 Peter 2:24.
Heb 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
6. The blood of Christ depicts four doctrines of soteriology:
- Expiation, Rev 1:5. Expiation means that Christ paid the penalty of sin. The blood of the animal dying physically represents Christ dying spiritually for our sins.
- Redemption, Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
- Justification, Rom 5:9, we are justified / pardoned by His blood.
- Sanctification, Heb 13:12, we are sanctified / made holy by His blood.
Rev 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood.”
All of these refer to the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross making it possible for us to be free from the penalty of sin, “expiation,” liberated from the slave market of sin, “redemption,” receive the imputed righteousness of God, “justification,” and set apart unto God forever, “sanctification.”
7. The blood of Christ is also the basis for the rebound technique, Lev 4 and 5; cf. 1 John 1:7 with 1 John 1:9, in that when we confess our known sins to God the Father “we are cleansed of all unrighteousness,” i.e., the unknown sins we committed, because “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.” Forgiveness here is APHEIMI, which means experiential forgiveness of our sins that restores our “fellowship” with God, vs. 6-7. This experiential forgiveness was made possible because of Christ’s payment for our sins on the Cross. When we confess our sins to God the Father, we are recognizing, remembering, and honoring Christ’s completed work on the Cross.
8. The Blood of Christ has given us many benefits including:
- Justification, Rom 5:9-10.
- Redemption, Eph 1:7.
- Reconciliation, Col 1:20; Rom 3:24-25.
- Peace, Col 1:20.
- Access to God the Father, Eph 2:13-18.
- Conscience purged, Heb 9:13-14.
- Sanctification, Heb 13:12.
- Communion, 1 Cor 10:16.
- Cleansing from Sin, 1 John 1:7.
- Covenant Relationship, Heb 13:20.
- Kingship and Priesthood unto God, Rev 1:5-6; 5:9-10.
- Overcome Satan, Rev 12:11.
- Eternal Life, John 6:53-57, 63.
All that the believer receives from God through Christ is because of the efficacious blood (sacrifice) of Jesus Christ upon the Cross that propitiated the Father.
Therefore, it was by the blood of Jesus Christ, i.e., His substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross that paid the price / ransom for “the forgiveness of our trespasses,” HO APHESIS HO PARAPTOMA.
“Forgiveness” is APHESIS ἄφεσις that means, “release, remission, forgiveness, deliverance, or suspension of punishment / pardon.” It denotes the cancellation of an obligation. It also connotes forgiveness of guilt or punishment.
“Trespasses” is PARAPTOMA παράπτωμα that means, “misdeed or trespass.” Generally, it denotes “a fall beside or near something.” It can refer to a fall or deviation from the truth or that which is correct, i.e., an erroneous step. Trench noted, it is “falling where one should have stood upright.” (Synonyms of the New Testament). From its classical Greek use, it is used Biblically in reference to obstinate and intentional sin that has no excuse. As such it is an intended violation of that which is correct.
When this word is in the singular, it refers to Adam’s original sin, Rom 5:15, but in the plural, as it is here, it indicates the sins of the entire human race, Rom 4:25; 5:16; 2 Cor 5:19; Col 2:13; James 5:16
Rom 4:25, “He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”
Col 2:13, “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven (CHARIZOMAI) us all our transgressions.”
In addition, this is not the usual word for sin, which is HARMATIA. PARAPTOMA is used especially for sins against God, sins in the sense of being against God, which in fact all sin is.
Psa 51:4, “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.”
Therefore, it comes to mean “sins” in our passage and because of the guilt it produces, it is often used in connection with forgiveness. So this phrase should be translated “the cancellation of sins.” Our sins were canceled when Christ bore them on the Cross and God the Father judged them.
Mat 26:28, “For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
Col 2:13, “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”
Eph 2:5, “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
So PARAPTOMA emphasizes the relationship of our sin to God, it is against or offensive to His holiness, righteousness, and justice.
Positionally, the forgiveness of sin acquits the believer of the guilt of sin and thus provides salvation and eternal life. Experientially, the forgiveness of sin affords deliverance from an evil and twisted conscience.
So we have in Eph 1:7, “By whom we have redemption (APOLUTROSIS – to release on payment of ransom) through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (APHESIS – the cancellation of or release from punishment) on the basis of the riches of His grace.”
The Forgiveness of God, by Oswald Chambers
“In Him we have … the forgiveness of sins …” (Ephesians 1:7).
“Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, based solely on emotion, cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours.
Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive—He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm.
Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.”
The forgiveness of our sins was accomplished by God “according to the riches of His grace.”
Once again we have another “according to the riches,” phrase, cf. Eph 1:18; 3:8, 16; 4:19; etc. Here it is KATA HO plus the Accusative plural of PLOUTOS, πλοῦτος that means,“riches, wealth, or abundance.”
The image of wealth captures the abundant generosity of God in Christ Jesus, the abundance of our “spiritual blessings in the heavenlies,” vs. 3, which is far beyond any earthly wealth we could amass or be given. Here the “riches” is our redemption from the slave market of sin by the “blood,” (sacrifice) of Jesus Christ on the cross, i.e., His substitutionary spiritual death. And as we have noted above, Christ bearing our sins in His own body on the Cross is represented in the blood, which is the coin of the realm, the payment for our release from the slave market of sin.
And as this verse concludes, these riches where given to us not by merit or good works, but by “His Grace,” AUTOS CHARIS, that is, by God’s free will, unmerited, and underserved favor toward sinful man. And as you know, the value of this gift of grace culminating in our redemption from the slave market of sin is actually immeasurable, Eph 2:7; as an infinite God gives infinite blessings. This grace tells us of God’s plan for our salvation, which means eternal life in heaven.
“Unlimited Divine resources are thrown into God’s plan under the concept of grace. The whole character of God, the power of God, the ingenuity of God, the faithfulness of God, all meet in providing a perfect plan for you and me. The wealth of grace is a description, then, of that perfect plan. The wealth or the abundance of grace is the source of cancellation of our sins on the Cross. The pattern is set in salvation and there is no blessing in time or in eternity apart from this principle; God’s grace. Under grace everything depends on who and what God is.” R.B. Thieme Jr.
The concepts of vs. 7 are emphasized and compounded in vs. 8, “Which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight.”
“Lavished” is the Greek verb PERISSEUO περισσεύω in the Aorist, Active, Indicative. It means, “to be more than enough, to have an abundance of, super abounding, to be superior, or to excel in.” From classical Greek it is used here to denote the quality and abundance of God’s grace blessings we possess and to indicate their abundant presence in our life. These riches of grace have been showered on us in profusion, that is, God has abundantly supplied everything necessary for our salvation and spiritual walk.
Next we have the phrase, “in all wisdom and insight,” which applies to God and what He has done for us, and it links with vs. 9 regarding how we come to know all these things.
“Wisdom” is SOPHIA that is synonymous to the Hebrew CHOKMAH meaning, “skill, insight, sound judgment, and practical wisdom.” It is the knowledge which sees into the heart of things, and knows them as they really are. Here it stands for the application of God’s omniscience and refers to God applying His decree towards the believer.
“Insight” is PHRONESIS φρόνησις that means, “Thought, understanding, way of thinking, frame of mind, intention, or judgment.” Used only here and Luke 1:17, PHRONESIS refers to practical wisdom; objective thinking. It is the understanding and discernment that leads to right action. Here it represents the fullness with which God has given His grace to believers emphasizing the totality of doctrine, knowledge, ethics, and especially practical wisdom when blessing the believer. Therefore, God made a right and just decision when He pardoned us from our sins through His Son Jesus Christ.
Just as God has loved us, we should love Him. The love of God has abundantly blessed us, and with the knowledge of His love towards us, we should reciprocate His love by learning His Word and growing spiritually; thereby, loving and serving Him more and more, “in all wisdom and insight,” Phil 1:9.
Phil 1:9, “That your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.”
This is the theme of vs. 9.
Next in Part III of Ephesians – Ch. 1, we’ll take a look at:
The Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age
The Ten Unique Factors of the Church Age
Doctrine of Dispensations
Doctrine of the Millennium