READ: Ephesians 1:7-14
WE HAVE REDEMPTION: These verses start with redemption in the present tense (v7) and end with redemption in the future tense (v14). Let's begin by praising God for the redemption we already have. Once we were 'sold under sin' (Romans 7:14) now we have been bought back. Jesus has paid the price of our redemption by shedding His blood.
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS: Having our sins forgiven is an important part of redemption. Forgiveness liberates us from the guilt of the past. Paul tells us that the basis of our forgiveness is the riches of Christ's grace (v7). Let's make sure that we have really grasped the principle of grace. God is the one who takes the initiative to meet our need, overflowing towards us in all wisdom and understanding (v8). Let's pray for those who struggle with this and who are inclined to try and earn their forgiveness through their own efforts.
THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL: Paul defines this as God's plan to unify everything in Christ (vs 9, 10). Redemption is not just redemption from sin, it is also redemption to God Himself (Revelation 5:9). Let's pray for a growing understanding of this and for a growing gratitude for the extent of God's plan.
AN INHERITANCE: In receiving redemption we have also obtained an inheritance (v11). Redemption itself is a wonderful gift but God does not stop at that. He gives us more. Our grasp on God's Word is a key to the inheritance. It is able to build us up and 'give us an inheritance among all those who are sanctified' (Acts 20:32). Let's pray for each other that the Bible will really come alive to us as we study it.
TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY: This must be the great goal in all of our lives. Trusting in Christ (v12) is obviously the first step. Let's pray that everything in our lives will truly bring glory to the Lord.
SEALED WITH THE SPIRIT: It is the Lord's intention that, having believed, we should be sealed with the Holy Spirit (v13). This sealing with the Spirit acts as a downpayment guaranteeing our inheritance (v14). It's as if the Holy Spirit secures us for all the good things God has in store for us. Let's take time to thank the Lord for this amazing guarantee.
UNTIL THE REDEMPTION: This is the future tense of redemption (v14). This does not deny the redemption we have. It points to the redemption of our physical bodies which is yet to take place. In this final verse Paul also refers to us as 'the purchased possession' and reaffirms the principle of being to the praise of God's glory. Let's praise God for the fulness of His provision.