7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
Paul continues to talk about God's great blessings for humanity. He focuses on God's redemption plan through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, and how knowing this will affect the way we live and continue walking towards maturity in Christ.
• According to the riches of His grace lavished upon us, we have redemption through the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of our trespasses. (1:7-8)
Redemption would be a relatable concept to the Ephesians of that day since some worked as slaves. (cf. 6:5-8) Redemption would mean freedom from their master, gaining release from their captive condition. In order to be released from slavery, there needs to be a payment of ransom.
According to the riches of God's grace abounding in our lives, we become released from our captive condition as slaves of sin and the god of the age. We become forgiven and are set free from the bondage of sin through Jesus's death on the cross. He did it in our place because we can never save ourselves and cut away the dreadful influence of sin. We can never attain holiness or stand before God justified through strict abidance and striving to keep the Law. (Romans 3:20) Jesus Christ is the answer to our forgiveness, freedom from being slaves of sin, right standing with God and holy living.
• The mystery of God's will, with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, is to sum up all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on earth. (1:9-10)
The mystery of God's will is to unite us in Christ as sons and daughters of His Kingdom. God's plan of salvation is never through one particular church or by being a Jew. Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, salvation is found in Christ alone. In God's wisdom and insight, He has seen it fitting that all things in the heavens and on earth are to be summed up in Christ's glorious return.
• We have been predestined according to His purpose to be the praise of His glory. (1:11-12)
Having believed Jesus, God has destined that we are to be the praise of His glory. As we believe and hope in Christ, desiring to bring praise to God in our lifestyles, our lives will reflect God's glory and greatness extensively so much that people will see God through us and can't help but acknowledge God's existence and praise Him!
1) Knowing the price Jesus has paid for our sins should change our way of living.
Jesus gave up His divine privileges, humbling Himself in obedience to God. He came to earth in human form, experiencing excruciating pain while dying a criminal's death on the cross. He subjected Himself to sufferings and humiliation, just so that we who believe by faith in what He has done for us will be saved. By His blood, we are reconciled to God.
It is a privilege and honor to come in relationship with God, the King of Kings. We will never be able to talk with God personally - even as a Friend - if not for the obedience of Jesus. Knowing the price Jesus has paid for our sins should change our way of living. We will forsake our former and sinful ways of living, counting that lifestyle as garbage and nonsense. We will pursue holiness, righteousness and a deeper relationship with God.
2) If we desire unity, we have to seek oneness with Jesus.
God has destined that everything be summed up under the authority of Christ. In this retrospect, if we desire unity in our family, school, workplace, church, etc., we have to seek oneness with Jesus. When we are in Christ, being moulded to become more and more like Him, we can affect culture and influence others. People will notice the way we exhibit Christ-like virtues and resolve to keep peace and unity because we promote these values strongly through our words and deeds.
Jesus prayed, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21) We are saved by the same price, the blood of Christ, and we have to be united in Christ as well.
3) No matter where you are and what you are doing, your life can bring praise to God.
God has placed us as salt and light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:13-16) If we will purpose to live bringing praises to God, no matter what job position, academic stream or life stage we are at, we can reveal Christ. Even if you do not have a leadership position, high paying job, or brillant grades to get into a good school, you will still be successful because you seek to obey God and bring glory to Him. God's favour will be upon your life, and your lifestyle will count as a pleasing worship to Him.
1) Take time to pray and give thanks to God for what He has done for you. It is because of the blood of Jesus that you are saved, redeemed, brought into His family and a relationship with God and have your life entirely transformed!
2) Are there disharmonious situations in areas of family, work, school, etc.? Pray, asking God how you can bring unity and peace in those areas.
3) Think about the school / family / job position God has placed you at right now. Why do you think you are placed in this position? How does God want you to glorify Him in the way you live? List them down, and if there are some corrections God want to bring into your life, submit to His Lordship. You have a great purpose for being here on earth. Don't ever doubt that!
Father, I thank You for this relationship I can share with You because of the price Your Son paid for me on the Cross. It is a privilege to worship and talk with You. I really don't deserve this. I ask that You will use me to bring Your culture of unity and peace to my family and workplace. I pray that You make me more and more like You each day, and may my life bring praise to You, leading others to know Your great Love for them. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.