Ephesians 1:7 – 8 “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.”
My sweet grandmother used to buy her groceries at Brookshire Brothers. Each time she bought her groceries, she would earn little green savings stamps, which were kept in a book. When she had saved enough stamps, she could redeem them by trading them in for just about anything from dishes to bath towels to electric can openers. One of my most treasured possessions is a set of dishes she “earned” for me, using those stamps.
But that picture of the word redeem doesn’t come close to describing the redemption Paul speaks of. In ancient wartime, when people were captured by the enemy, they were turned into slaves. But important people were sometimes worth more as money-makers than laborers. So these officials and dignitaries, who were now slaves, could be redeemed at a very high price.
Dear friends, we are slaves, whether we realize it or not. We are slaves to our sinful nature. Sin is anything that is offensive to God, and whether we want to or not, we will all do things, say things, and think things that will offend and disappoint God.
But there is good news! We are important to God. To Him, we are worth an extremely high price. In order to redeem us, God paid the ultimate price – His Son. He sent His only Son to bleed and die, because that was the price required to set us free from sin. Now, because that price has been paid, we no longer have to be slaves. If we continue in such slavery, it is because we choose to, not because we must.
But God didn’t just issue our freedom and walk away! Instead, He has lavished His grace on us. Lavished! That is such a great word, for it describes going far beyond what is needed or expected. If grace refers to good things that are not deserved, that are given only out of love . . . think about that! We were slaves. God paid the ultimate price for us. He set us free. Then He lavished His grace on us.
Now that is the best rags to riches story I have ever heard.
And it happened to me.
Dear Father, Thank You for paying the ultimate price for me. Thank You for lavishing Your grace on me.