“The Message of the Cross: Redemption”
October 25, 2015
Sometimes communion feels like an afterthought to a worship service: “it’s our monthly duty and we just squeeze it into an already full morning of worship.” But because the work of Christ is central to our salvation, communion should never feel like an after dinner mint, but should be perceived as the main meal. And one way we can do that is by giving particular attention to the work of Christ on the cross. So this Sunday I want to draw our attention to one aspect of the work of Christ delineated in Ephesians 1 — the redeeming work of Christ. This morning, we want to —
Praise God for the forgiveness that is in the redemption of Christ.
What does redemption mean? In the OT it generally refers to deliverance — from bondage or distress or opposition, which cannot be escaped. In the OT, men were delivered from:
- Slavery, bondage, or captivity (Isaiah 48:20; Micah 4:10)
- Adversity or distress (Job 6:23; 2 Samuel 4:9; 1 Kings 1:29; Psalm 107:2)
- Trouble (Psalm 25:22)
- Death, or one’s soul going to the pit (Job 5:20; 33:28; Psalm 49:15; 103:4)
- Tyrants, oppressors, or one’s enemy (Job 6:23; Psalm 106:10; 119:34)
- Sin (Isaiah 44:22)
In Christ’s teaching and the rest of the NT, redemption is both the price that was paid and the act of removal from slavery to sin (Gal. 4:5); instead, of enslavement to sin now we are slaves to God and Christ. We’ve been purchased out of the slave market and made slaves and sons of God.
How does that happen? It is only through Christ’s work on the cross that we are redeemed, and Paul explains seven aspects of our redemption in Ephesians 1 —
- The Place of Redemption — “in Him”
- The Need for Redemption — “we”
- The Reality of Redemption — “have”
- The Means of Redemption — “blood”
- The Effect of Redemption — “forgiveness”
- The Extent of Redemption — “riches”
- The Love of Redemption — “lavish”
Download the rest of this sermon on Ephesians 1:7-8.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.