THOUGHTS FROM EPHESIANS

9 FORGIVENESS

A meditation on Ephesians 1:7

 

Forgiveness is the sending away, or removal, of the sin barrier from between God and man.

Like redemption forgiveness, this removal of the sin barrier, is our present, permanent possession.

Like redemption it is 'in Christ' and it is 'through his blood'. It is not something that varies with our variability.

This sending away or removal of sins means that neither sin's guilt nor sin's penalty is ever again borne by the person who is 'in Christ'. Sin and sins can never again condemn us or cut us off from God.

Why?

Because Christ bore both the guilt and penalty of sin.

Paul expands his description of forgiveness with the words 'in accordance with the riches of God's grace': that is, the forgiveness we possess through the blood of Christ is as limitless and as comprehensive as the rich grace of God.

How big is our forgiveness? As big as the grace of God.

How comprehensive and all embracing is our forgiveness? As comprehensive as the grace of God.

Is there any limit to this forgiveness? Only if there is a limit to God's grace.

As well as describing the size and endurance of our forgiveness this 'in accordance with the riches of God's grace' refers to the means of our salvation: it is not generated by us, it is generated by God's grace. It is in his hands, not ours. Forgiveness is not something we have gained by our own efforts; nor is it something we have to maintain by our own efforts. It is ours by sheer grace – unmerited, unearned, free, secure.

In this grace of forgiveness we trust not in ourselves, but only in Christ who secured it for us by his substitutionary, sacrificial death.

We do not dare to trust in ourselves.

 

Scriptures: Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:14, 10:22; 1 Peter 2:24.

 

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2006, 2010