Vol. 14 No. 26
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:
- Blessed with every spiritual blessing, (all blessings God graciously bestows on us, material and spiritual, were determined from eternity past), vs. 3.
- Elected for salvation before the creation of the earth, vs. 4.
- 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 tēs doxēs 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 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 AGAPAL emphasizes the love God the Father has for 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”
- The doctrine of redemption was communicated and displayed in the Old Testament (O.T.) sacrifices by the shedding of animal blood, Heb 9:22.
- 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.
- Redemption provides the basis for the believer’s eternal inheritance, Eph 1:7, 11; Heb 9:15.
- 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 3 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 its 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. In fact, 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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?”
- 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.”
- 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.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson #’s:
15-070 , 15-071, 15-072
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!