Thursday, February 15, 2024

Already Paid

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)

At the time Paul was writing his letter to the Christians in Ephesus, there were many slaves living in the Roman Empire. Some scholars believe that up to six million people lived in slavery at this point in history.

So in the first chapter of Ephesians, Paul used the analogy of a slave that had been bought out of a slave market. He wrote that God “is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (verse 7 NLT).

If someone wanted to free a loved one from slavery, they could go to the slave market and pay the price. They could purchase freedom for the enslaved person. This is what Christ has done for us. He redeemed us. He purchased our freedom. And it all came about through the blood that He shed for us.

The irony is that non-Christians often think they’re free, while they see Christians as people who live under a lot of rules, regulations, and restrictions. Meanwhile, they think they can do whatever they want to do because they’re the captains of their own ships and the masters of their own destinies.

But that simply isn’t true. They are not the captains of their own ships. The captain of their ship is, in fact, Satan. One of the greatest deceptions the devil pulled off on humanity was to convince people that he doesn’t even exist—all while he manipulates their lives.

Referring to unbelievers, the apostle Paul said, “Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants” (2 Timothy 2:25-26 NLT).

Before you became a Christian, you were not free. You were a captive, a slave. But Jesus Christ came and paid the redemption price for you. That is the Good News.

This, of course, points back to the Old Testament, where the priest went into the temple, took an unblemished lamb or goat, and killed it, thus spilling the blood of that animal. It symbolically placed people’s sins on the sacrificial animal.

The Bible says, “According to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22 NLT).

But that never got to the heart of the problem. In fact, the definition of the Old Testament word atonement means “covering.” At best, it was just a cover-up. But it didn’t get rid of the stain.

In the New Testament, however, we read that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, took away the sins of the world. He got to the heart of the matter. He shed His blood for us. He met God’s righteous demands at the cross. Therefore, we have open access to the throne of God, regardless of what we have done. Our access comes through Jesus Christ.

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