As a reminder from last week's blog, we are looking at Ephesians 1:3-14 in three different sections. In the original Greek, it is one long sentence. This past Sunday, we looked specifically at verses 7-10, focusing on the "Cosmic Redemption" of Christ.
Verse 7 states: "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace..." The word "redemption" was used to refer to someone ransoming someone else either from slavery or from kidnapping. This is a beautiful word for those who are in Christ when we begin to ponder what we have been redeemed from. Christ has redeemed us from Satan (1 John 3:8), sin (Romans 6:17-18), and death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). And it was not with silver or gold that Christ redeemed us, but with His own blood!
The nature of this redemption includes the forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness of our sins is a concept that all believers know about when they first come to know Christ, but one that we easily forget as time goes on. But we need to constantly be reminded that all our sins are forgiven through Christ's shed blood on the cross. And this was not a begrudging forgiveness by God, as if He wanted to punish us but then finally conceded. No, Paul says it was "according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight." It is God's grace that is described as being abundant, not His wrath (see Psalm 30:5). This free forgiveness is offered to all who look to Jesus in faith.
Verses 9-10 give us the scope of this redemption: "...making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." Praise God for His cosmic redemption! This is the "mystery," the "plan for the fullness of time," the "purpose, which he set forth in Christ."
The goal of all history is Christ's redemption of creation. It is not as if Jesus has given up on creation and is just getting His people out of it. Rather, it is that He will remove all sin and the wicked, and will unite His people with the renewed creation. The picture the Bible leaves us with in Revelation 21-22 is of the new heaven and the new earth being united as one. God's people are in God's place with God forever under His rule and reign. This gives great value to creation, knowing that it will be restored one day.
As followers of Jesus, we do not have to fret or despair. Christ is still redeeming the cosmos. He is making all things new. As John Stott states,
"In the fullness of time, God's two creations, his whole universe and his whole church, will be unified under the cosmic Christ who is the supreme head of both."
Though many things are currently broken, and there is much darkness around us, fear not believers. Our Redeemer has won the victory! Our King is coming back one day, will vanquish evil, and will make all things right!