February 16, 2017: Verse of the day

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The Redeemer

Grace (v. 6a) is the antecedent of which. It is God’s grace (undeserved love and goodness) that He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved, and because we are in Him we have redemption. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer from sin, the Beloved (the word indicates the One who is in the state of being loved by God) who Himself paid the price for our release from sin and death. Because we now belong to Christ, by faith made one with Him and placed in His Body, we are now acceptable to God.

From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry the Father declared Him to be “My beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17). And because we have believed in Him, “He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). Because we are now in the Beloved, we, too, are “beloved of God” (Rom. 1:7).

Only Jesus Christ has the inherent right to all the goodness of God. But because we are identified with Him by faith, that goodness is now also our goodness. Because our Savior and Lord is the Beloved of the Father and possesses all the goodness of the Father, we are also the beloved of the Father and possess all His goodness. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father” (John 14:21).

The Father now loves us as He loves Christ and wants us to have everything that Christ has. That is why Paul could say He “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Every Christian is God’s beloved child because the Lord Jesus Christ has become our Redeemer.

The Old Testament concept of a kinsman–redeemer set forth three qualifications: he had to be related to the one needing redemption, able to pay the price, and willing to do so. The Lord Jesus perfectly met these requirements.

A poet has expressed the magnificent reality of redemption in the words,

Near, so very near to God,
Nearer I could not be;
For in the person of His Son,
I’m just as near as He.
Dear, so very dear to God,
Dearer I could not be;
For in the person of His Son,
I’m just as dear as He.

Charitoō (freely bestowed) is from charis (grace, v. 6a), and therefore Paul is saying that God has graced us with His grace. Christians are those who have been graced by God.

The Redeemed

On us, “the saints … who are faithful in Christ Jesus” (v. 1), the Redeemer has freely bestowed His grace. We have the ones who have redemption through His blood

In chapter 2 Paul reminds us of what we were like when God so graciously redeemed us. We “were dead in [our] trespasses and sins”; we “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air”; we “lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath”; and we were without “hope and without God in the world” (vv. 1–3, 12). In chapter 4 he reminds us that we formerly walked in futility of mind, “darkened in [our] understanding, excluded from the life of God,” because of ignorance and hardness of heart (vv. 17–18). Those are the kinds of people (the only kind who exist) that God chose to redeem.

It is of course because men are like that that they need redemption. Good men would not need a Redeemer. That is why Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).

Until a person realizes his need for redemption, however, he sees no need for a Redeemer. Until he recognizes that he is hopelessly enslaved to sin, he will not seek release from it. But when he does, he will be freed from the curse of sin, placed in Christ’s Body, and blessed with His every spiritual blessing.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

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