Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 1:3-14 there are three sections: verses 3 through 6, the Father’s selection and predestination, speaking forth God’s eternal purpose; verses 7 through 12, the Son’s redemption, speaking forth the accomplishment of God’s eternal purpose; and verses 13 and 14, the Spirit’s sealing and pledging, speaking forth the application of God’s accomplished purpose. First we have the Father’s eternal purpose, then the Son’s accomplishment of the Father’s purpose, and finally the Spirit’s application of what the Son has accomplished according to the Father’s purpose. By this we see that the Triune God is expressed in His blessings. Through the Father’s purpose, the Son’s accomplishment, and the Spirit’s application we become the church. In the previous messages we have covered the Father’s selection and predestination. In this message we shall consider the Son’s redemption, that is, redemption in the Son (1:7).
We have seen that the book of Ephesians does not speak from our condition, from the earth, or from time, but speaks from God’s eternal purpose, from the heavenlies, and from eternity. Since this is the case, you may wonder why redemption is mentioned here. It is because we, God’s chosen ones, became fallen. According to God’s eternal purpose, we were chosen, but after creation we became fallen. Hence, there is the need of redemption. By redeeming us, the Son accomplished the Father’s purpose.
Although chapter one speaks of redemption, it does not record our pitiful situation. This is fully unveiled in chapter two. When we come to that chapter, we shall see how pitiful our situation was and how much we were in need of God’s mercy. Although chapter one is altogether glorious, it nevertheless refers to our need for redemption due to the fall.
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace.” Verse 7 is the continuation of verse 6. As we saw in the last message, verse 6 reveals that we have become the object of God’s favor, for we have been graced in the Beloved. The phrase “in Whom” in verse 7 refers to “the Beloved” in verse 6. This means that we have been redeemed in the Beloved, in the One in whom God delights. Thus, in the eyes of God, redemption is not a pitiful matter; it is a thing to be delighted in. Although it is accurate to say that we are redeemed in Christ, it is not as delightful as saying that we are redeemed in the Beloved. The words “in the Beloved” mean in God’s delight. In God’s delight, the Beloved, we have redemption. This is a further indication that in chapter one there is no thought of our pitiful condition; rather, this chapter is filled with delight. We have been redeemed through the blood of God’s Beloved shed on the cross for us.
According to verse 7, this redemption is the forgiveness of offenses, not the forgiveness of sins. There is a difference between offenses and sins. Because the record of chapter one is so sweet, it does not speak of sins, but of offenses. In the eyes of the Father, His chosen ones have committed some offenses which need to be forgiven. Chapter two, on the contrary, speaks of wrath and sins. In chapter one God the Father takes care of our offenses. However, even these offenses made redemption necessary, and the blood of the beloved Son of God was shed on the cross for our forgiveness. Apart from the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Heb. 9:22). Hence, there was the need of the blood. This forgiveness was according to the riches of God’s grace, which He caused to abound to us in all wisdom and prudence (v. 8).
Verses 4 and 5 reveal that we were chosen and predestinated. But after creation we became fallen. Hence, we need redemption, which God has accomplished for us in Christ through His blood. This is another item of God’s blessing bestowed upon us. The first blessing is selection to be holy, the second is predestination unto sonship, and the third is redemption in the Son.
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