Ephesians 1:7-10 (NLT) - He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.
Several months ago, a flash flood ripped through our property and overflowed our pond. Huge puddles carpeted the yard. When the rain finally calmed down, my husband asked me to come outside and look at the damage. I didn’t want to. I was cozy in the house, but I felt a nagging feeling that I should go outside anyway.
As my husband inspected the pond, nervously wondering how much the damage was going to cost us, something completely different caught my attention: small fish were flopping wildly in little puddles all over our yard, suffocating and dying. My colorblind husband didn’t notice them.
After several back-breaking hours, we collected hundreds of minnows, bluegills, and tadpoles which had gotten washed onto land. We saved every little creature we could find.
I was stunned by God’s kindness that day. I truly believed He was the one who prompted me to go outside and rescue those little fish. If I hadn’t, hundreds of creatures would have suffered.
Imagine God, the Maker of the universe, caring so greatly for a minnow’s life, which only lasts two years! How much more, then, does He care about us – His adopted children?
Paul explains in Ephesians 1:7-10 that God cares for us so much that He redeemed us. Though we trespassed against Him, He still chose to lavish kindness and grace upon us. Our key verse says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7)
If we look at the Greek word for “redemption,” or “apolytrosis,” in this verse, it means to buy back or pay for. In other words, God (in His compassion for our souls) sent His beautiful Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to buy us back from certain death. By dying, Jesus paid for our souls and gave us salvation and peace. Isaiah says it so wonderfully:
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Unfortunately, many Christians actively believe that God is mean or cruel. This is a lie that Satan has used since the beginning of time to deceive people. Even Jesus told a parable about a man that says to God, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed.” (Matthew 25:24) That is why Paul is so adamant about expressing God’s kindness in Ephesians 1:7-10! He wants the church to understand that they have access to a loving God who redeemed them in spite of their transgressions!
God is not cruel at all. God is kind and loving. Isn’t this apparent? He gave us a beautiful gift of redemption, forgiveness, and grace. After all, if God cares so greatly for the life of a little minnow, He cares so much more for us - His redeemed children!
Can you remember a time when God specifically showed you or a loved one an act of kindness?
*More Moments about Ephesians 1:7-10: Though the book of Ephesians is famous for teaching Christians how to conduct themselves for Christ, Paul opens the very first chapter by emphasizing how Christ conducted Himself for humanity. Paul explains that Christ bought sinners with His blood to give them salvation and the hope of heaven. He also states that God adopts those who believe and gives them a wonderful inheritance.
Ephesians 1:11-12 says, In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Paul wants the church to recognize Christ before they do anything else. Rather than jumping directly into how Christians should follow Jesus, he needs them to understand why they should follow Jesus. Paul explains that the gift of redemption is used to unite all things in [Christ]. (v. 10) He desires believers to move from religion to a relationship with Jesus Christ – to be united with Him. What better way to do that than to express God’s love and beautiful kindness to His adopted children?