Today’s Reading: Ephesians 1:1-23
Although it isn’t clear from the English translation, the Greek text of Ephesians 1:3-14 is made up of one very long run-on sentence. Paul started this sentence in verse 3 with the phrase: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Then he proceeds to tell us what God has done. He does not stop to take a breath, but continues on until the end of verse 14. He cannot stop talking about God. He speaks of all three members of the Godhead. The Father who planned our salvation from eternity past; the Son who accomplished our salvation on the cross; and the Spirit who signed, sealed and delivered us in our new relationship.
We are also described in this passage. We are pictured as the recipients of all that God has done.
There are three different Greek words which have been translated for the idea of “redemption” in the New Testament.
- The first is Agorazo: “To purchase.” When we think of making a purchase, we think of buying groceries or a car or a house or some other inanimate object. We don’t talk about purchasing people – that went out with slavery over a hundred years ago. But slavery was commonplace in Paul’s day. And you would commonly go into the marketplace – the Agora – to purchase a slave.
- The second is Exagorazo: “To purchase out.” This is the same word with a prefix placed in front of it meaning “out.” The picture is that you go into the slave market and you purchase a slave and then you bring him OUT of the market.
- The third is Lutroo or Apolutrosis: “To release or set free.” This is the word used here. It takes the picture one step further as you bring the slave out of the slave market and then set him free.
This is what Christ has done for us. He came into this world of sin and paid the ultimate price for us – His own blood shed on our behalf. Our forgiveness cost God the life of His Son. The payment was made at the cross. And because of the cross, we can be assured of total forgiveness.