In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were scaled with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. This passage, treated homiletically, presents redemptive predestination to us in some of its subjective and objective aspects. We use those words with no liking, for they savor of a school of thought with which we have but little sympathy. But the terms, experimental and doctrinal, internal and external, would not represent our thoughts so well. Let us then look at the passage as presenting redemptive predestination -
I. IN SOME OF ITS SUBJECTIVE ASPECTS. There are certain words employed which indicate its influence and issues upon the heart of its true disciple. There is:
1. Deliverance. "In whom we have redemption." This means simple deliverance, and perhaps is used in allusion to the Exodus of the Jews. Unregenerate humanity is in moral bondage, is carnally sold under sin. It is in a captivity compared with which the most cruel physical bondage is but a shadow. The gospel is the deliverer. It crushes the despots. It sounds the trump of jubilee.
2. Pardon. "The forgiveness of sins." This, like redemption, means release, but it indicates release, not, from calamity alone, but from crime. Redemption delivers man at once from the slavery of sin, forgiveness from its guilt. Divine forgiveness, what is it? It is remedial mercy separating the sinner from his sin. "Far as the east is from the west," etc. Separating not from its memory, nor from all its effects and influences, but from its soul-accusing power.
3. Unification. "He might gather together in one." Uniting the disharmonious soul of man with the universe, by uniting it to Christ. As planets are bound together, though millions of leagues apart, by a common center, so true souls in all worlds and ages are united by being united to Jesus Christ. He is the Head.
4. Heritage. "Obtained an inheritance," "the earnest of our inheritance." What is the inheritance of a Christ-redeemed soul? Ah! what? What springing energies, what rising hopes, what high fellowships, what glorious liberties, enter into that inheritance! "All things are yours." The allusion is perhaps to Canaan. What is the true Canaan of the soul?
5. Divinity. "Sealed with that Holy Spirit."
(1) Divinely impressed.
(2) Divinely distinguished.
(3) Divinely secured.
II. IN SOME OF ITS OBJECTIVE ASPECTS. We observe that it has objectively:
1. One primordial source. Whence does this grand redemptive system spring? From "the riches of his grace." His good pleasure. The counsel of his own will. Its spring is in God. Creation and salvation well up from the same eternal fountain.
2. Manifold manifestations. How many terms are here employed to represent this one system!
(1) "His blood." Christ's blood, or his self-sacrificing love, is its vital power, its very substance, without which it would be a cloud without water, a body without a soul. Christ is Christianity.
(2) "Wisdom." Two words are here employed - "wisdom" and "prudence." But they mean in reality the same thing, "wisdom." The word "wisdom" may indicate intelligence, and "prudence" its application. Christianity is "the manifold wisdom of God."
(3) "Mystery." It is not only necessarily a mystery to all to whom it is not revealed, but it must ever be to a great extent a mystery to its most advanced students. It is that which angels "desire to look into." It has heights no intellect can scale, depths no philosophy can penetrate. It has lengths and breadths forever outreaching the swiftest and strongest wing of thought.
(4) "Dispensation." It is a Divine scheme. The intellect that planned the universe planned it.
(5) "The word of truth." Truth is reality. Divine truth is eternal reality. Reality has many words, and the gospel is the word of this eternal reality.
(6) "The gospel of your salvation." The good tidings of infinite love.
3. A gradual unfoldment. It was once a "mystery," unknown to the universe, unknown to man. It was in the mind of God. He spoke its first sentence, perhaps, to Adam, and from that hour it has been gradually unfolding itself. It has had its striking epochs, and it is moving on to "the fullness of times." It will flood the universe with its brightness one day.
4. A sublime result. "Unto the praise of his glory." The highest aim of the creature is to worship with the fullest loyalty and love the Creator. The guilt and misery of this world is that it fails in this. The ultimate aim of Christianity is to tune the world's heart to music, and cause loud hallelujahs to break from every lip. - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;