“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1: 7-8 NIV
A few things stand out to me from these verses, and I’m finding myself truly amazed at the goodness of our God once again.
“…redemption through His blood”
Our being redeemed came at a high price. The price was the blood of Jesus Christ, and it was the shedding of His blood that redeemed us from the pit of our sins and brought us back into a right relationship with God. Truly astounding and difficult to grasp is the grace and mercy of our Lord. His blood redeemed me. His blood redeemed you. It was only by His blood that forgiveness could cover our sins, the very sins that nailed Him to the cross. What a wonderful Savior!
“…in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”
Our right standing with God, the forgiveness of our sins, our redemption – it is all flowing from the riches of God’s grace. When He forgives, it’s sufficient to cover all of our sin, not just some of it. The reservoir of God’s grace knows no limit. He is rich in grace, thus He is forgiving.
“…that He lavished on us”
God did not just simply forgive us. He lavished His forgiveness upon us through the dead of His Son Jesus. Forgiveness is poured out onto every human heart that surrenders in faith to Jesus Christ. His forgiveness abounds to us. What amazes me most from this verse is the picture of radical, complete, above and beyond forgiveness and grace that God has lavished on His children. His forgiveness leaves us without want, without need.
God’s forgiveness of us must teach us how to live out forgiveness in our own lives. Colossians 3:13 exhorts us to forgive others just as we have been forgiven by Christ. If God so readily forgives me of my every offense against Him, I am called to give forgiveness just as freely to those who wrong me. I’m insanely convicted by this command because I know that I fail to forgive as freely and as fully as I have been forgiven. I hold onto unforgiveness and justify my doing so in many ways. Yet, I have been called to imitate Christ, and so have you. I’m challenged by this command in Scripture, and I extend the challenge of forgiveness to you today. Forgive as you have been forgiven by God.
1. …loving in spite of… Fill in the blank here. Forgiveness is a choice to love the offender in spite of how they hurt you.
2. …choosing not to punish. Forgiveness releases the person that wronged you from what they deserve.
3. …choosing not to keep a record of wrongs. Forgiveness refuses to dwell on the past and the offense and instead surrenders it to God choosing to see that person through His eyes.
4. …choosing to give mercy. Mercy is “not getting what you do deserve”. Forgiveness is extending what is not deserved to the undeserving.
5. …not a one-time event. Forgiveness takes time and often requires a daily choice to remain forgiving towards the one who hurt you.
6. …not necessarily reconciliation. Forgiveness does not demand full reconciliation between you and the offender. Depending on the offense, reconciliation could be extremely unhealthy and unsafe. Forgiveness simply requires your heart to be right with the Lord over the matter.
7. …not a restoration of full trust. Trust takes time to rebuild. Forgiveness is a choice that you can make today, in this moment, and one that you can from this day forward choose to live out in your relationships with others.