“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…” Ephesians 1:7
Have you ever owed a debt that you could not pay? It’s passed the deadline, and maybe you even secured an extension, but even that has now expired. The amount owed is far more than your ability to pay, and you are stuck. Trapped. No escape. No options. No hope.
I’ve been in this position before. Knowing that there was nothing I could do to change, fix, or resolve the situation, in bondage to the One I owed. Enslaved to the debt, my life was full of fear and uncertainty and void of hope. I learned how to expect the worst in any given situation. A prisoner of my past mistakes and failures, in bondage to the lies that led me into the pit that I was dwelling in, and terrified of the inevitable consequences that awaited me around every corner.
Then I met a man named Jesus. A man full of kindness, generosity, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. A man who claimed to have already taken responsibility for the burden of my debt upon Himself so that I could be free. A man who told me of the ransom He paid for me to release me from the chains of my prison. A man who purchased my freedom when I could not. A man who gave His life so that I could live.
This is the identity for all who are in Christ. We are no longer tainted by the stains of our past because we’ve been covered in His righteousness. We are no longer bound up by our insurmountable debts because He has paid them in full. His redemption of us has ushered in the limitless grace of God upon us. We stand among the redeemed, forgiven, washed clean, made whole, new creations, alive, and free!
He paid a debt He did not owe because I owed a debt I could not pay. That is the Gospel. This is the Good News. This is atonement – Jesus in my place. And this is our identity in Christ. This week, we’ve already looked at a few identity points that the book of Ephesians gives us: You are chosen, you are adopted, and today, you are forgiven. So, walk in it. Receive it. Live as if you are forgiven because you have been. The world has no authority to write your story or to determine who you are. That is God’s job, and He has already determined who you are in Him. You’re forgiven, but not just in our limited understanding of forgiveness…you are forgiven according to the riches of God’s grace. That, my friends, is extravagance. That is abundance. The author of forgiveness chose to lavish His forgiveness on us. And so we stand clean, righteous, redeemed before a Holy God. Are you in Christ? Then you are forgiven.