Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ephesians 1:7-10

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Questions to Consider
  • The Greek word translated “redemption” here often refers to the money one would pay to free a slave. Following that metaphor, to what were we enslaved such that God had to buy our freedom? (Does this have anything to do with “the forgiveness of our trespasses”?)
  • What is the divine mystery which God has revealed? (see 3:5-6, 5:32; “mystery” is an important concept in Ephesians)
  • Does verse 10 (“gather up all things in him”) give us any insight into how we should understand “in Christ” in verse 9 and elsewhere?

Possibilities for Prayer

If we suppose that our “redemption” has much to do with being forgiven our trespasses (our sins), then the imagery being employed suggests that we’ve been enslaved to Sin and, through the blood of Christ, God purchased our freedom from Sin (a pretty standard Pauline idea, actually). How have you experienced sin as an enslaving force in your life? Does that resonate for you—that is, the idea that sin (stuff you do that isolates you from God and from other people) constrains your freedom and works against your best interest? What would liberation from that enslaving force mean for your life? Let’s pray and thank God for His offer of liberation from sin. Let’s ask for God’s wisdom and insight to help us comprehend the richness of God’s grace and ask for the courage to live into the freedom from sin made available through the blood of Jesus.