Eph.1:7c Rich in Forgiveness part 7
A Candidate for Change
Captivate in Our Riches From Our Savior
Explain To Us How We Are Prospered according to the riches of his grace
The words “according to” is the idea of down from or under the control of. This is the amount and degree of forgiveness that is controlled, dominated by the riches, the affluence, abundance, and copious wealth of God’s grace.
Yes from our side forgiveness is taking the roof off and placing our selves in front of Jesus. Forgiveness is opening our hearts door to Jesus. It’s us exposing our soul to His full, abundant, super abounding grace. We read of Christ’s continuous loving desire to forgive and from our viewpoint we’re accessing it.
But here the text is looking at forgiveness from God’s side. That’s the thought of the phrase according to the riches of His grace. Forgiveness is His yearning; it’s what God craves. His deep love implores us to bow to His forgiveness.
Jesus stated with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you. The Passover was a festival celebrating deliverance and forgiveness of sins. In Heb.2 we get a view of the joy of Jesus in proclaiming forgiveness saying: I will declare your name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto You.
In Luke 24:46-47 Jesus explains His deep desire expounding it through the entire timeline of scripture, when He meets with the disciples on the road to Emmaus after He had risen from the dead and the men’s hearts burned within them with adoration and joy.
it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
First He says this is a fulfillment of all that the Old Testament had written.
We still daily need Jesus, to explain over and over to us the full plan of salvation. These disciples, while on the road, are emblematic of each of us, they act as if they’re confused and depressed, and we get the same way, we don’t get it, or we forget the little bit we understand.
Then He says, it behooved Christ to suffer, and rise on the third day. Behooved means, it was His responsibility, duty, the appropriate response, it’s a must and inevitable.
All this was done so that repentance, which means a change of mind and a change of life style, and remission of sins which means forgiveness, release, pardon and liberation, all this took place so these truths could be communicated to every person in the world.
God had a plan and Jesus took the complete responsibility on Himself to accomplish Gods plan of love and grace. Now the Lord is saying that this liberation and forgiveness needs to be declared and explained thoroughly to the entire planet and to every person.
Repentance in life doesn’t come before forgiveness but is the result of understanding the forgiveness of sins. Our initial repentance is in recognition of our need. This is how we receive Jesus. We change our mind from the deception that we don’t need His offer of love and forgiveness to accepting Him and His forgiveness. This is the beginning of a total life change. The more we comprehend it the more we will change. Change, is not the means of earning forgiveness, God’s forgiveness elicits and extracts change.
Jesus says the one who is forgiven much, loves much or really has the biggest changes in their life. If we don’t grasp the depths of our forgiveness we have a problem forgiving others, we don’t exhibit much love. For forgiveness is the fruit of love.
When we find fault with others, are critical of their flaws, agitate in anger and irritation over aspects of our daily human interactions and experiences, and feel raw regularly with those around us, boiling with an attitude of aggravation, exasperation, and stress provocation, it’s a problem of failing to cash in on the riches of God’s forgiveness.
His forgiveness is according to the riches of His personality, compassionate character, beautifying grace and the perfect attributes of His relational love.
Paul presented the importance of forgiveness in Acts 13:38-39
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
It’s all God’s part; it’s according to the riches of His grace. None of it is man’s part, there is nothing we could do or can do, the Law of Moses does not justify us, it’s not performance based.
Our problem is we’re hardened by sin, full of pride, haughty and in love with self. Our arrogance makes it so we can’t feel our needs and we strut in blindness.
While we we’re alienated, enemies of God, Christ came and gave His life for us to forgive us. It’s all of God. Even while hanging on the cross He was proclaiming forgiveness to His haters and torturers. It’s in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that forgiveness is proclaimed.
His name is the quality of His character, the renown of His reputation, the distinction of His dignity, and the grandeur of His glory. His grace is greater than our sins and the presentation of His name is the impressiveness of His forgiveness.
The glory of His grace is that it is all of Him. This forgiveness is the attractiveness of His honor, this One is the one who overcame death, vanquished Satan, spoiled principalities and powers, and glorified God removing sin totally.
Christ was behooved to accomplish all; He fulfilled all prophecy and promises. So what about the sin which comes up? If anyone sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Our forgiveness is secure and assured. He is the satisfaction of constant forgiveness as Peter communicated in Acts 10:43
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive forgiveness of sins.
There are no conditions on us, it’s according to the riches of His grace and based on the honor and worthiness of Christ. God sees only His value and perfection, His sinless, flawless substitution, and God is completely satisfied.
Col.1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
It’s not the quality of our faith, it’s the excellence of His faithfulness, it’s not the condition or measure of our repentance or confession, it’s the superior eminence of Christ and the fullness of His grace.
The more we value in His worth, and assess with comprehension the treasure of our riches of His presentation of forgiveness, the deeper our change and repentance will be.
According to Heb.10 our conscience is purged, completely clean, so we can boldly enter God’s presence. Having a perfect conscience seems impossible, but it’s based on knowing. It’s all of God, so that we can draw near with a true heart.
We are set apart, perfected forever Heb 10:10, 14 by the perfect sacrifice Christ, who gave infinite efficacy.
Efficacy means effectiveness, efficiency, perfect worth and value, and that is the forgiveness He has provided, which is based on the totally efficient removal of all sin.
Our sins have been fully erased, completely dealt with, and God is pleased for all eternity with the offering of the body of Jesus Christ. We are uncontaminated; everything is cleared and cleaned in God’s estimation. We enter and abide in His presence in the beauty of divine sanctification.
Sin is settled, we are justified, viewed with Christ’s righteousness wrapped around us, perfected forever. It’s not our good behavior that gets us there, not our exemplar performance; no it’s all the riches of His grace.
There is one other aspect I thought would be worthy of comment which lands under this umbrella of forgiveness. Israel has been given a new covenant and we as individuals can apply personal applications from that.
Heb.10:16 I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
The Spirit of God places affection for His principles in our heart. God’s Spirit places the desire and craving to be controlled by God’s plan and will. That is the incredible effects of grace, or living according to the riches of His grace.
This may seem to be an odd illustration but I have had dogs which want to get right up close to my face and some of them have terrifically bad breath. My present pooch likes to be close but his breath isn’t fetid with this fusty putrid foulness. There is nothing more rotten then a squalid foulness breathing up into you’re intake manifold.
Meditating on God’s word and getting close to its living truth is like having the Lord breathing on us and in us the spiritual breath of life. His breath is the sweetest and most attractive of all fragrances. He wants to be close to us in intimate companionship.
Jeremiah said it this way: your words were found and I did eat them and they are the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by your name. What a blessing to be called by the name of the Lord, to have the richness of His name, character and loving graces in us, on us and all over us. As the song writer wrote,
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Forgiveness means we’re before God with nothing outstanding in the debt category against us, everything has been disposed, and all liabilities are eternally removed.
There is nothing to distract us, we’re free, and the more we fathom the riches of our forgiveness and the bounty of His grace the deeper will be the passion of joy in His delight of us and our delight in Him. There is a liberty in knowing that there is nothing between us in Him.