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PRAISE GOD FOR
HIS SAVING WORK
Intro: We are still standing at the front door of the book of Ephesians. We have been listening as Paul magnifies the glory of God. Beginning in verse 3 all the way through verse 14, Paul is engaged in worship. He begins to praise God for everything He has done to save us and bless us in Jesus.
In this long anthem of praise that ascends the heights of Gods grace and glory, Paul praises all three members of the Trinity for Their part in salvation. In verses 3-6, Paul praise God the Father for His sovereign. In verses 7-10, he praises God the Son for His saving work. Then, in verses 11-14, Paul praises God the Spirit for His sharing work.
Thus far in our study of this chapter, we have listened as Paul tells us that God Is To Be Praised For His Sovereign Work. In these verses before us today, Paul tells us that God Is To Be Praised For His Saving Work.
In these verses, Paul moves from Gods work in the past to His work in the present. Paul moves from how Gods plan was formulated in eternity past to how that plan is carried out in the present. So, Paul moves from praising God for His sovereign work in eternity past as He elected, predestinated and formed the body of Christ to how He brings that body together in time. Up to now we have been looking back, in these verses we begin to look around.
The verses before us today present to us even more reasons to praise God. In these verses, as in the verses that came before, Paul continues to reveal all the riches of Gods grace that are ours in Jesus Christ. I want you to see today why God is worthy to be praised for His great work in salvation. Let me give you the reasons God deserves to be praised as I preach on the subject Praise God For His Saving Work. I want you to see the God Is To Be Praised For His Redemption; God Is To Be Praised For The Results; and God Is To Be Praised For His Reasons.
I. v. 7 GOD IS TO BE PRAISED
FOR HIS REDEMPTION
(Ill. When I was a child, my mother used to buy our groceries at stores that gave out S & H Green Stamps. These trading stamps were given out in exchange for dollars spent in the store. The stamps were taken home and pasted in books.
There was a catalog published by S & H Green Stamps that featured items that could be acquired in exchange for the books of Green Stamps. An item from the catalog was selected, the proper of number of Green Stamps was collected and then the books of stamps were taken to a redemption center and exchanged for the catalog item the shopper wanted.
Redemption is one of the central themes in the Bible. When we experience redemption, there is far more to it than just trading one item for another. Redemption isnt a trade. We do not collect enough points to get God to let us off. Redemption is a gift. A gift that God gives to us based on nothing we have to offer in return. While redemption is a gift to us, redemption was not free. It cost God far more than we can ever imagine.
Lets take a few minutes to examine Gods redemption. As we do, we will come to understand why God is to be praised for His redemption.)
A. The Character Of His Redemption – The idea of redemption was a common one in the ancient world. In the Roman Empire, during the time of Paul, there were as many as 6 million slaves. The buying and selling of those slaves was huge business. In fact, it was not uncommon for a family member or a friend to seek the release of a slave they cared about.
To make this happen, the individual would purchase the slave for himself and then grant that slave his or her freedom. The one releasing the slave would give the released one a certificate stating that they had been redeemed and released from their slavery. That document was proof that the former slave was now free.
The Greek word used to describe that kind of transaction is lutroo. It means to effect the release of a slave by paying the redemption price. A form of this word is used here in verse 7. Paul says we have redemption. This means that those who are saved have been released from their slavery.
Every person born into this world since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden is a slave. No one is free. No one is free from sin or from its consequences. Every person born since Cain came into the world has been born with a sinful nature. Every baby that comes into this world is born with a nature that is defiled, corrupt, evil and completely separated from a holy God.
Every single person born into this world as a slave to sin faces the same fate. We are all destined to die, Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4. Death is the ultimate consequence of our slavery to sin.
Every person in this world is a sinner by birth,Rom. 3:10; 23. Each of us is also guilty of committing sin. We are sinners by nature and we are sinners by choice. According to Jesus because we are sinners, we are also slaves to our sin, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin,John 8:34.
Sin is a cruel master. It enslaves its victims and demands a high price for their release. It demands death as its price. Death is the price that had to be paid for mans redemption. That is exactly the price Jesus paid when He went to the cross to liberate us from our sins. Jesus gave Himself, the innocent for the guilty, that the guilty might go free. Listen to how the New Testament describes what Jesus did for us.
· Galatians 1:3-4, Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
· Gal. 3:13, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
· Gal. 5:1, Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
· Col. 1:13-14, Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
· Heb. 2:14-15, Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
When Jesus Christ died in our place on the cross, He literally redeemed us from our sins. He shed His blood to satisfy Gods just demands for sin. He accomplished everything that was necessary to secure our freedom.
If you look at some of the verses that speak of our redemption, you will begin to get an idea of all God did for us when Jesus died for our sins. Let me show you three more verses that speak about the matter of our redemption.
· Rev. 5:9, And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
The word redeemed translates the word agarazo. This word means to do business in the market place; to purchase something for oneself. It was used to the person who entered the market place to purchase a slave. That is what Jesus did when He died. He entered the market place of sin and paid the full price for sin, purchasing us for Himself.
· Gal. 4:5, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
The word redeem in this verse translates the word exagarazo. It is the same word used in Rev. 5:9 with the prefix ex added to it. This word means to purchase something for oneself in the market place and then forever that something from the sale. When Jesus redeemed us, He not only paid the price of our redemption, He forever removed us from the sale. As a result, he has purchased us. He owns us, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, and He never intends to allow us to be enslaved or sold under sin again!
· 1 Pet. 1:18-19, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
The word redeemed in verse 18 translates the word lutroo. It means to release a slave after the payment of the purchase price. This is what Paul wants us to see in verse 7. Jesus came into this world and died on the cross at Calvary. He shed sinless, perfect blood that day. His shed blood forever satisfied God Almighty, 1 John 2:2; Isa. 53:11. Jesus Christ purchased His bride. Jesus Christ forever removed His bride from the sale, making her eternally secure with Him. Then, the Lord Jesus Christ set her free from the bondage of her sins, delivering her from sins power, Rom. 6:14. He set her free from the penalty of her sin, Rom. 8:1. He set her free so that she could live a new life of glory to His name, 2 Cor. 5:17.
That is the nature of redemption. Have you experienced its power in your life? Have you been redeemed from the power of your sins and set free to serve the Lord? If you have been redeemed, you have plenty of reason to praise, worship and honor the Lord Who bought you with His blood!
B. The Cost Of His Redemption – The redemption we have been given in Jesus is free for the taking. Anyone who will believe can be saved without cost, Rev. 22:17; Isa. 55:1. While the redemption the Lord gives His people is free, it was anything but cheap. This verse reminds us that, we have redemption through His blood.
The hour you came to Jesus, you did not have to bring a payment in your hand. All you needed was faith in His death, and resurrection. When you believed on Him by faith, you were saved by grace. It did not cost you a dime.
However, it cost the Lord everything! The price for your redemption was His precious blood. When Jesus died on the cross, the innocent was dying for the guilty. He Who had no sin was dying for those who only had sin, 2 Cor. 5:21. When Jesus died, shedding His blood on the cross, He satisfied all the just demands of Almighty God regarding sin. Now, God is satisfied.
Millions of gallons of blood had been shed during the days of the Tabernacle and the Temple. All that blood had not been able to take away a single sin. All that blood did was cover sin for a season. When Jesus Christ shed His perfect blood on the cross, He did what the blood of animals could never do. When He shed His blood, He was shedding the blood of a perfect man. His blood was the blood of a man who was free from sin. His blood was the only blood that could pay the debt created by Adam when he sinned in Eden. When Jesus shed His blood, He forever settled the sin problem for all those who will believe in Him. Hebrews 10:11-14 says, And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
1 John 4:10 says, Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. The word propitiation means, that which satisfies. Jesus died for sin and God is forever satisfied. When sinners come to Him for salvation, there is nothing left to pay. Jesus paid it all and lost sinners receive new life, forgiveness of sins, and adoption into Gods family, all without cost.
Come to Him and there will never be a fee. Come to Him and salvation will be freely given. Come to Him and He will save your eternal soul and give you everlasting life and forgiveness of sins.
C. The Cause Of His Redemption – Paul tells us that this redemption flows to us according to the riches of His grace. Because God has set His grace upon us, He set in motion a plan to save us. Everything God has done in Jesus comes to us according to the riches of His grace.
Thin about it this way, if we were to take up an offering today and someone who is a millionaire gives $20.00 in that offering, they are giving out of their riches. Just about anyone else could do the same thing. Just about anyone could give $20.00. But, if that millionaire gave $20,000.00, they would be giving according to their riches. Do you see the difference?
God has not given us a redemption that has limits, but He has given us a redemption that knows no limits! Think about it! He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings, v. 3. He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, v. 4. He adopted us into His family, v. 5. He changed our lives, v. 4. He has determined that we will be with Him in His heaven someday, where we will be like Jesus, v. 5. And, he did all this just because it brought Him pleasure.
God has given us all we have in Jesus according to the riches of His grace. If He merely saved us from sin until we sinned again, that would be a redemption that came out of the riches of His grace. If He set us on the road to Heaven and told us to get there the best way we could, that would be a redemption that was out of the riches of His grace.
When God redeemed us, He did not do it part way. He did not set limits on His grace toward us. When He redeemed us, He did it according to the riches of His grace. That means that we cannot sin beyond His grace. It means that we cannot sin beyond His grace, Rom. 5:20. It means that we are saved to the uttermost, Heb. 7:25, and that God continues to lavish His grace upon us from eternity to eternity! That is why we are told that God is to be praised for His redemption.
I. God Is To Be Praised For His
II. v. 6-7 GOD IS TO BE PRAISED
FOR THE RESULTS
(Ill. Jesus Christ died for our sins. He made a way for sinners to be saved. He gave us love and He gave us life. He did all this simply because He set His grace and His love upon us. He does not charge us. He does not expect anything from us in exchange for the redemption He gives to us.
The redemption God offers us through Jesus Christ does far more for us than just by us back from the slavery of sin. The redemption we have been given in Jesus provides some glorious benefits that change our lives and our eternities.)
A. v. 7 The Redeemed have Been Released – Paul tells us that the redeemed enjoy the forgiveness of sins through the redemption they have in Jesus. The word translated forgiveness refers to a pardon. When it comes to our sins, it means, our sins have been put away from us as though they never happened.
Human forgiveness is conditional. Someone will hurt us and we will struggle to reach a place of forgiveness. But, when we do forgive, we rarely ever forget. No matter how hard we try, what was done to us by the other person will always be there. No matter how hard we try to press those memories down, they always seem to float back to the surface again.
That is not how forgiveness works with God. When the Lord forgives, He also forgets. When God forgives, He takes sin and puts it away. He takes our sins and treats them as if they were never committed in the first place! That is the clear testimony of the Word of God, Psa. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; Isa. 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Mic. 7:19. 1 John 1:7.
When John the Baptist testified of Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,John 1:29. The phrase taketh away means to carry off. When Jesus died on Calvary, our sins were laid upon Him and He was judged in the place of His people. God judged Him as if He were guilty of all of our sins. God extinguished His wrath in the body of His Son when Jesus died on that cross, Isa. 53:4-7, 10-11.
Now, because our sins have already been paid for, they can also be forgiven and put away when we come to Jesus by faith. It is if our past never occurred. I remember what I have done. Others remember what I have done. Satan remembers what I have done, but God does not remember what I have done! He has put it away from Him and as far as he is concerned, my sins never happened!
B. v. 6 The Redeemed Have Been Reconciled – According to verse 6, we have been accepted in the Beloved. The word accepted means to make agreeable. In our natural state, we are not agreeable to God. We are hateful to Him. As Rom. 8:7 says, the carnal mind is enmity against God. It means that we are Gods enemies. We are opposed to Him and His ways, Eph. 2:1-3. He is opposed to us and we abide continually under His judgment, John 3:18; 36.
When we come to Jesus and are redeemed, everything changes. Old, wicked sinners like us are brought into a grace relationship with God. Our sins are forgiven. Our stains are washed away in His blood. Even our very natures are changed through the new birth, John 3:3; 2 Pet. 1:4. God accepts us, not as we are in ourselves, but as He has made us in Jesus!
That verb phrase accepted in the Beloved is in the perfect tense. It could read this way, I have been accepted, I stand accepted, and I will always be accepted in the Beloved!
The results of redemption in our lives are eternal, wonderful and glorious. God is to be praised for the results of His grace and love in our lives.
I. God Is To Be Praised For His
II. God Is To Be Praised For The
III. v. 7-10 GOD IS TO BE PRAISED
FOR HIS REASONS
(Ill. Surely we can find ample reasons to praise God for His redemption. After all, His redemption delivers us from our sins and adopts us into His family. Surely we can praise Him for the results of redemption. Because we have been redeemed our sins have been forgiven and we have been made acceptable to God. His redemptive work in our lives is something for which we can all praise the Lord.
As we think about redemption, the obvious question we must face is why. Why does God redeem people from their sins? Why does He save them, forgive them and make them His children? Why is God so gracious to people who deserve Hell, judgment and damnation? Why? The answers to that question are many, and most of them are shrouded in the mystery of God and His perfect will. These verses give a few truths that give us some answers to the why question. Every one of these truths is wrapped up in the wonder of God and Who He is.
Why does God redeem the lost? God has His reasons and those reasons cause us to stand in awe at the wonder of His redemptive work.
A. v. 7 The Wonder of His Grace – Verse 7 says, in Whom we have redemption according to the riches of His grace. Paul tells us that everything we have in Jesus flows to us from the bottomless well of His amazing grace.
What is grace? We word has been defined as Gods riches at Christs expense. It has also been defined as the unmerited love and favor of God for the undeserving. The actual Greek word refers to good will, loving kindness, favor. Brother Tom Gilliam says that grace is any movement of God towards man.
That is why grace is so amazing! That is why those who have received grace marvel at it so. That is why some people stand in wonder when they consider Gods grace. God, in His grace, set His love upon us when we did not deserve to be loved. God chose us in Jesus when He could have condemned us to Hell. God reached out to us in love to save us when He had every right and reason to send us to Hell. That is the wonder of Gods grace and that is what makes salvation so special!
We have been given everything that God has to offer and we deserved nothing. We have been brought out of death into life. We have been adopted out of Adam into Jesus, We have been delivered from Hell and now we are on the road to Heaven.
Do you want to know what the wonder of Gods grace is? The wonder of Gods grace is that He would save the likes is us. That He would love us, chose us, call us, save us, keep us, bless us, honor us, use us and adopt us is a wonderful thing! Thank God for the wonder of His grace!
B. v. 8-9 The Wonder Of His Glory – Verse 9 tells us that Gods redemptive plan flows from the mystery of His will; that He did what He did for us according to His good pleasure; and that God devised and carried out all of this because He purposed it in Himself. In other words, Gods whole redemptive plan exists to bring Him glory.
Every soul that is saved fulfills Gods plan to redeem sinners and it beings Him glory. Every soul that is saved is saved because God, in order to accomplish His plan, in order to advance His Own glory, has revealed the deep things of God unto us.
Verse 8 tells us that Gods grace has abounded toward us and He has given us wisdom and prudence. Wisdom has the idea of sanctified knowledge. It is the ability to understand the things of God. The word prudence refers to understanding and insight.
It is through this wisdom and prudence that God has made known unto us the mystery of His will. You see, God, in His grace and for His Own glory, has opened our eyes to the deep things of God. He has allowed the redeemed to understand matters of life and earth. He has allowed us to comprehend heaven and hell, time and eternity, the depth, power and influence of sin, and the fact of His love for us. All of those things are hidden from those who are dead in trespasses and sins, Eph. 2:1.
Jesus said it this way, In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight, Luke 10:21. Paul said it this way, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God,1 Cor. 2:9-10.
So, God, for His Own glory and purposes, opened our eyes and let us see the truth. He used that truth to convict us of our sins and draw us to Jesus. He used that truth to give us faith to believe. He used that truth to redeem us. That makes Him worthy of praise!
C. v. 10 The Wonder Of His Goal – In this verse Paul reminds us that history is not meaningless or without purpose. God has done everything that He has done to bring everything together in the Lord Jesus Christ. God has determined that He is to be the head of all things, Col. 2:10. In everything, Jesus is to have the first place, Col. 1:18.
One day, the powers that control this world will fall at His feet and acknowledge Him to be the King of Kings, Psa. 72:11. One day Satan will be judged by Jesus and will be cast into the lake of fire, Rev. 20:10. One day, the Lord Jesus will reign upon this earth in glory and power for 1,000 years, Rev. 19:11-20:10.
This verse speaks of the dispensation of the fullness of times. The word dispensation has the idea of management, oversight, or administration. It refers to control. This verse reminds us that God is in control of this world. He is working out a perfect plan that He devised before this world was ever formed. Everything that takes place is part of that plan. One day, God will consummate that plan and Jesus will receive the glory, the honor and the worship due to Him.
In the end, God will reveal Jesus Christ to be the head of all things to all people. The world ignores Him today. The world acts like He doesnt matter. The world refuses to bow to Him, to worship Him, to obey Him, or to love Him. This world appears to be spinning out of control, but that is merely how things appear. Our God is in control and when the time is right, He will demonstrate His power through His Son the Lord Jesus.
Here is the wonder of all this: God has made us a part of His plan. He has a plan to exalt His Son and He has allowed us to be part of that plan!
He has placed us in Jesus by grace through faith. He has blessed us in Jesus with all spiritual blessings. He has promised to keep us, use us and to allow us to reign with Christ one day, 2 Tim. 2:12. These things make Him worthy of our praise!
Conc: God has blessed us! In Christ we are wealthy people. All spiritual blessings are ours in Him! These truths should cause us to bow before Him in absolute submission. These truths should cause us to worship, praise and honor Him for His grace and His gifts.
If you are in Jesus, are you giving Him the obedience, the reverence, the love, the worship and the praise He desires and deserves? Are you doing your part to accomplish Gods plan of exalting Jesus Christ?
If you are not saved, and you know you need to be redeemed, I want to invite you to come to Jesus for salvation today. If you will come to Him, He will forgive your sins, save your soul and bless you beyond your wildest dreams. Is He calling? Come to Him!