In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
I. REDEMPTION ONLY THROUGH CHRIST'S BLOOD.
1. What is redemption? Ransom or deliverance. It is love, mercy, grace, and glory — all in one.
2. Illustrate this great Christian doctrine by a few examples.
(1) Suppose a Christian man, or benevolent rich man, went into the East, or some land of captives — a matter done often during the Crusades in former times. He sees there some lovely or noble slave, perhaps a countryman of his own, doomed to base servitude, to the galling chains, to labour at the oar, to dig in the mines, or toil beneath the lash in the fields for life. Pity fills his breast, and he buys the slave for the money demanded; he does more — he gives him freedom. Such is redemption.
(2) A mighty warrior leads forth his army to battle against the foes of his country. Some of his brave soldiers are overwhelmed by numbers, or taken captive by stratagem. There is no way of obtaining their liberty, unless by exchange of prisoners, or by ransom money, as in ancient times; but this is readily done for their release; and this restoration is an emblem of redemption.
(3) There is war between civilized and savage tribes. Some Christians are circumvented; the savages care not for money; they doom some poor captive to terrible death by torture or fire; the general hears of the fatal design; he starts at once with a brave band of soldiers to deliver the captive, who is bound to the fatal stake; conflict ensues, but he is just in time to rescue the prisoner from all the agonies of fire, although the deliverance was only achieved with great difficulty, and perhaps the death of the leader himself; but the rescue is accomplished with victory over the foe. This is redemption.
3. Now, can anyone tell me of the soul-thrilling delight of a person thus rescued from slavery, from galling bondage, from impending death. The sailor on London Bridge, of whom I once heard, may shadow its joys. He purchased a large cage full of birds, and went to the riverside; then he took from the cage one bird after another, and let it fly in the golden light of heaven, rejoicing in its sudden freedom with a sweet note or song of joy. When remonstrated with for spending his money so foolishly, he said, quietly: "Wait a little. I have reason for this — to give happiness to these birds!" And when all the cage was empty, he turned round triumphantly, with a bright eye, and said: "I was once a captive myself in bondage, in a strange land. I vowed, if I got freedom, to give liberty to the first captives I found at home. The birds have got it, and my heart rejoices in the deed!" But how burning must be the emotions of a man rescued from instant death by some unforeseen deliverance! Redemption commands our highest gratitude; more gratitude than rescue from death by water or fire by some powerful arm. Dr. Doddridge once obtained a pardon from the sovereign for a prisoner condemned to death. He went himself to the convict's cell, and presented it to the unhappy man. He fell at the feet of the Doctor, and said, with deep feeling; "Sir, I am yours ever; every drop of my blood is yours; it thanks you for having mercy on me; all my life is yours!" Such, indeed, must be the deathless gratitude of a soul saved, to Christ the Lord for His great work of redemption, which infinitely transcends all deliverance here!
4. Remark how this great work was effected; it is redemption by His blood. He who is both God and man, shed His blood for sinners, obtaining for us redemption, pardon, sanctification, and salvation.
II. FREE FORGIVENESS OF ALL SIN BY CHRIST ALONE.
III. THE ABSOLUTE FULNESS OF DIVINE BLESSINGS.
(J. G. Angley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;