Still looking at Ephesians 1:3-14
Nugget #3 – But, what about the part about being “holy and blameless in His sight”? When we think of words like “holy and blameless” we think that holiness is all about being absolutely sinless and pure, and we don’t want to claim that for ourselves. But it’s not that at all.
Holiness means “wholeness” and wholeness means “to be restored to the originally intended function, for proper use…that’s all. Physical wholeness prevails when the body works the way it was intended to work. So, man (who was created in God’s likeness) body, soul, and spirit, are all functioning the way they were intended to function, we are “holy”.
O.K. what about “blameless”? We have a tendency to confuse this word with “sinless”. There is a huge difference. If you did something sinful, and you acknowledge it, apologize for it, ask forgiveness, and do what you could to restore it, then there’s nothing more you can do. You can’t change the fact that you did it. At that point you are not sinless, but you are blameless. This is what God intends for us through Jesus Christ, to be blameless and made whole. Being made “whole” is a process however, (sanctification) made possible by the work of the Holy Spirit. So, God the Father, Jesus the Son, and The Holy Spirit are all three involved in making us “holy and blameless”.
Nugget #4 – Ephesians 1:7 – “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.”
So, let’s start with “redemption”… Here are a couple more scriptures;
Galatians 3:14 – “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
1 Peter 1:18-19 – “ For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” “Redeem” means to regain possession of something in exchange for payment; to retrieve, regain, recover, reclaim, or buy back; synonyms are exchange, convert, or give in exchange for something.
There is something about that term “redeemed” that brings joy to the Christian heart. We have been saved, washed, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ! What a gift it is to be redeemed! Free from sin; Born again; all things new!
A story is told of pastor A.J. Gordon of a church in Boston. He met a young boy carrying an old rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously. Pastor Gordon asked him, “Son, where did you get those birds?” The boy replied, “I trapped them out in the field.” “Well, what are you going to do with them?” Gordon asked. “I’m going to play with them for a while, then I’ll just feed them to the old cat we have at home.” The preacher said, “I’ll give you $2.00 for the cage and the birds.” “It’s a deal.” Said the boy, “but your making a bad bargain, they can’t even sing very well!” The boy then went away whistling, and happy with his $2.00 Pastor Gordon then went around behind the church, opened the cage, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue.
The next Sunday he took the empty cage to the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ’s coming to seek and to save the lost, redeeming them with his own precious blood.
We have been held captive to sin, but Jesus purchased our pardon, and set us free! When you have this life-changing experience of being Born again, you will understand that God chose you and loved you while you were yet dead in your sin, and He gave His only Son to redeem us back to Himself. Jesus was a priceless sacrifice. He was the perfect sacrifice. The perfect Lamb of God. And, while this plan of God may confound us, it ought to lead us to worship! It says in Acts 4:12 that “There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved, but only the name of Jesus!
Still looking at Ephesians 1:3-14