|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:9-14 The apostle was constant in prayer, that the believers might be filled with the knowledge of God's will, in all wisdom. Good words will not do without good works. He who undertakes to give strength to his people, is a God of power, and of glorious power. The blessed Spirit is the author of this. In praying for spiritual strength, we are not straitened, or confined in the promises, and should not be so in our hopes and desires. The grace of God in the hearts of believers is the power of God; and there is glory in this power. The special use of this strength was for sufferings. There is work to be done, even when we are suffering. Amidst all their trials they gave thanks to the Father of our Lord Jesus, whose special grace fitted them to partake of the inheritance provided for the saints. To bring about this change, those were made willing subjects of Christ, who were slaves of Satan. All who are designed for heaven hereafter, are prepared for heaven now. Those who have the inheritance of sons, have the education of sons, and the disposition of sons. By faith in Christ they enjoyed this redemption, as the purchase of his atoning blood, whereby forgiveness of sins, and all other spiritual blessings were bestowed. Surely then we shall deem it a favour to be delivered from Satan's kingdom and brought into that of Christ, knowing that all trials will soon end, and that every believer will be found among those who come out of great tribulation.
Verse 14. - In whom we have (or, had) our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:10-13; Romans 3:19-26; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; 1 Peter 3:18, 19). Ephesians 1:7 suggested to some later copyists the interpolation "through his blood," words highly suitable in the Ephesian doxology. This verse is the complement of the last: there salvation appears as a rescue by sovereign power, here as a release by legal ransom (ἀπο λύτρωσις). The ransom price Christ had declared beforehand (Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28; comp. Romans 3:24-26; Galatians 2:20; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 9:12-14; 1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 1:5, R.V.; Revelation 5:9). "We have redemption" ("had it," according to a few ancient witnesses) in present experience in "the forgiveness of our sins "(vers. 21, 22; Colossians 2:13, 14; Colossians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:25; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:1; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:1-18; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 1:7-2:2; 1 John 4:10). Romans 3:24 gives its objective ground. The "redemption of the body" (also bought by the same price, 1 Corinthians 6:20) will make the work complete (Ephesians 1:13, 14; Romans 8:19-23; 1 Corinthians 1:30). Lightfoot suggests that the apostle intends to contradict the doctrine of redemption taught by the Gnostics, who made it consist in initiation into their "mysteries" (see note on ver. 27); and supposes that this notion may already have existed at Colossae in some incipient form. But such an abuse of the term seems to imply a well established and familiar Christian use. Philo, who speaks the language of the Jewish philosophic mysticism of the first century, has no such usage. In firm, clear lines the apostle has retraced, in vers. 12-14 (comp. vers. 20-23; Colossians 2:11-14), the teaching of his earlier Epistles on the doctrines of salvation. Here he assumes, in brief and comprehensive terms, what in writing to the Galatians and Romans he had formerly been at so much pains to prove.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In whom we have redemption,.... Which is an excellent and wonderful blessing of grace saints have in and by Christ; and lies in a deliverance from sin, all sin, original and actual, under which they are held captive, in a state of nature, and by which they are made subject to the punishment of death; but through the sacrifice of Christ it is taken, and put away, finished, and made an end of; and they are freed from the damning power of it, or any obligation to punishment for it; and in consequence of this are delivered from the enslaving governing power of it by his grace and Spirit, and will hereafter be entirely rid of the very being of it: it consists also of a deliverance from the law, the curse and bondage of it, under which they are held on account of sin, the transgression of it; but being delivered from sin, they are also from the law, its accusations, charges, menaces, curses, and condemnation; as likewise out of the hands of Satan, by whom they are led captive; for through the ransom price paid by Christ they are ransomed out of the hands of him that was stronger than they, the prey is taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive delivered by him that has led captivity captive: in short, this redemption is a deliverance out of the hands of all their enemies, and from all evils and misery, the effects of sin, from death, and hell, and wrath to come. The author of it is Christ, the Son of God, the Son of his love, his dear Son: he was called to this work in the council of peace, in which the affair of redemption was consulted; and he agreed to undertake it in the covenant of grace, of which this is a principal article; and being in his constitution, as Mediator, every way fit and proper for it: as man, the right of redemption belonged to him, being the near kinsman of his people, and, as God, he was mighty and able to perform it; as man he had something to offer, and, as God, could make that sacrifice valuable and effectual to all saving purposes; as man, he had compassion on human nature, and, as God, was concerned for things pertaining to his honour and glory. And thus being every way qualified, he was sent, and came on this errand, and has obtained a redemption, which is precious, plenteous, complete and eternal: it is now with him, and "in him"; and he is made this, and everything else to his people, that they want. The subjects of this blessing are, not angels, but men; and not all men, but some that are redeemed from among men, out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation; who are called by the name of Jacob, the people of Christ, a peculiar people, and the church of God; and evidentially are such, who have faith in Christ, love to the saints, and good hope of eternal life; who know the grace of God in truth, are made meet to be partakers of the eternal inheritance, being delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of Christ, and are designed by the we in this text: the means by which this blessing is procured, it
through his blood. This phrase is left out indeed in the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, and in the Complutensian edition, and in some copies; but rightly stands here, as it does in Ephesians 1:7, where there is another clause added, which is here omitted, at the end of the verse, "according to the riches of his grace". This is the blood of Christ, his own blood, and not the blood of bulls and goats, and the same with that of the persons he redeems, but untainted with sin; the blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot and blemish, of original or actual sin, otherwise it would not have been a sufficient redemption price for his people; nor even then, were it not as it was the blood of the Son of God, of one that was God as well as man, whereby it came to have a proper value and efficacy in it to obtain this blessing: Christ's shedding his blood freely on this account is a proof of his great love to his redeemed ones; the efficacy that was in it to answer this purpose shows the dignity and greatness of his person; and it not being to be effected without it, demonstrates the strictness of divine justice, and that the redemption of men is brought about in a way entirely consistent with the righteousness and holiness of God. A particular branch of this blessing follows, and which serves, in some sense, to illustrate and explain it,
even the forgiveness of sins; of all sin, original and actual; of heart, lip, and life, secret and open, past, present, and to come; which lies in a non-imputation of sin, a remembrance of it no more, a removing of it entirely out of the way, a covering and blotting it out of sight, so as to be no more visible and legible: this is in Christ, where all spiritual blessings are; nor is it to be had or expected from an absolute God, but from God in Christ, and through him, through his propitiatory sacrifice; for as redemption, so forgiveness of sin is through his blood, which was shed for it; so that it proceeds upon the foot of satisfaction made to the justice of God by a price paid, and is an act of justice as well as grace, and belongs to the same persons as redemption does; hence those that are redeemed are represented as without fault before the throne; and indeed, the reason why their iniquities are blotted out, and will be remembered no more against them, is, because they are redeemed.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. (Eph 1:7.)
redemption—rather as Greek, "our redemption."
through his blood—omitted in the oldest manuscripts; probably inserted from Eph 1:7.
sins—Translate as Greek, "our sins." The more general term: for which Eph 1:7, Greek, has, "our transgressions," the more special term.
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