In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
I. WHAT IT MEANS TO US. "Our redemption" is here in apposition with "the forgiveness of our trespasses." The phrases mutually explain one another.
1. The idea of forgiveness explains that of redemption.
(1) Redemption is a setting free. Sin is a bondage. The guilt of sin is the burden of an unpaid debt. When we are forgiven the debt is cancelled and the yoke broken.
(2) Redemption is a recovery. The redeemed man is not merely a captive liberated; he is a prisoner restored to his country and his home. Sin banishes us from God. Forgiveness restores us to the home of our souls in bringing us back to communion with God.
2. The idea of redemption explains that of forgiveness. Such forgiveness as amounts to a redemption cannot be a mere withholding of penalties. It must be
(1) positive - giving us the status of free, restored souls; and
(2) personal - a reconciliation between man and God.
II. WHAT IT COST CHRIST. Redemption implies payment. The redeemed is recovered by means of a ransom. The cost of the Christian redemption is the blood of Christ. Unfortunately, the expression, "the blood of Christ" - or even the mutilated expression, "the blood" - has been used by some so ignorantly and coarsely that many persons have come to turn from it with disgust. It would seem that some so-called evangelical people attach as much efficacy to the charm of the word "blood," repeated without any intelligent idea, as the most superstitious Roman Catholics ascribe to what they believe to be real blood in the sacred chalice. On the other hand, we must not explain away the expression by saying that it simply means the death of Christ, or why was not the word "death" used? And did not Jesus say that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood? According to a venerated Hebrew idea, the blood was life. The shedding of the blood, therefore, was the giving of the life. If Christ's blood is a ransom, that means that Christ gave his life and himself as a ransom. The value of such a ransom must be just the value of such a life. How well pleasing to God must be the obedient yielding up of himself by Christ! How persuasive to us in drawing us out of the power of sin should the same sacrifice be!
III. WHENCE IT ORIGINATED. We are redeemed "according to the riches of his grace," i.e. of God's grace.
1. Then it is God who first plans our redemption and desires our forgiveness and provides the means for our restoration.
2. The motive of redemption is pure grace. It is not that we have a right to be restored, as Englishmen would claim a right to be set free from ignominious slavery in a foreign land; nor that we shall be worth so much to God when restored as to compensate him for the cost; but simply that, freely loving us, he mercifully delivers us.
3. The grace of God is replete with wealthy resources. There are men whose favors are so poverty-stricken that they are not worth having. God's grace is rich enough to provide the necessary ransom for our redemption. Christ our Ransom is given to us as the greatest gift from the treasury of Divine grace. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;