In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
— Ephesians 1:7 ESV
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
— Ephesians 1:7 NLT
In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace.
— Ephesians 1:7 AMP
One verse, three translations. Each resonated with me differently and brought me to a deeper understanding. With students, I try to teach a concept in different ways until they get to the point of understanding. There is nothing like seeing someone’s face when they get it. Seeing the lightbulb illuminate their mind is simply priceless. I can only imagine how God feels when I finally figure something out that He has been trying to teach me for a long time. I am so thankful that he never gives up. I am immeasurably grateful that he longs to draw me closer every moment of the day. What a privilege, blessing and calling to be a child of God!
Do I live redeemed? I want to say so, but there have been times (more often than not, if I’m honest) when I have allowed guilt and shame to weigh me down. One of my main iron-sharpeners who speaks truth over me has been there throughout my life to emphatically tell me that guilt and shame are of the devil. My mom has spoken a great deal of wisdom over me and poured truth, God’s word, into me all of my life. Of all the amazing things she has said or reminded me of, those seven words might have felt like a broken record at times to her, but each time they have been said or brought to my mind, I am brought to center. In those moments, I recognize whose I am and that, somehow, I have given the enemy a foothold that has never been his to have.
My salvation was just the beginning. I am not meant to coast or live on auto-pilot. In fact, God reveals himself in new ways all the time. If I am not seeking His hand, walking in His steps and trusting His heart, I am not growing. In fact, when I am not seeking, I become complacent and susceptible to less than God’s best for me. The evil one is always looking for his chance, and I don’t want to give him one.
Ephesians 1:7 has brought redemption into new light for me this week. I know that God sacrificed His son for me, but this week my heart has heard and is trying to come to grips with the fact I don’t always live up to my value. God redeemed me and determined that my worth, my value, was the very life of his son. God didn’t just forgive me. He bought me with his son and waited for me to choose him, making plans for me all the way. He has continually been working for my good, making me new and improving me as he heals, repairs, and restores me. All the while, God is continually changing me for the better, drawing me near, and allowing me the even greater privilege of sharing him with others.
I have often wondered what it would’ve been like to live in Eden prior to the fall, with continual access to the Father, living in community with Him. Man, have I been missing out. This is the very thing God has given me through my life in Him. I’m not saying I won’t have to revisit this. I am not just committing to seeking and treasuring all my moments with him daily. I am pledging to pursue the life in Eden where God continually walks with me, doing my best to live redeemed, forgiven, made new, set apart, His.