[It is in the Beloved]1 that we have redemption2 through His blood: the excusing2 of sins according to the abundance of His grace which He teemed into us in all wisdom and understanding3...
The most important element of the atonement is that it was completely accomplished by Christ's sacrifice. We do not add to it, nor can we subtract from it. It is from that graceful act of death that our sins are cast away from us. We do not have redemption through our works, nor through our heritage (which is probably more Paul's point in this letter). Redemption is strictly a divine activity.
Sometimes, in Christianity, we forget how fantastic this is. Paul says here that they have been filled by God's grace to the point of overflowing. It is not the everyday blessings that Paul is talking about, but the specific act of redemption which is so undeserved and yet so important that the provision of it alone is a tremendous act of grace beyond what we should expect. Indeed, I think this is how we forget about it: we learn to expect it.
Have you ever stopped to consider the ingratitude that children display when it comes to food? The parents work to afford the food, then work to prepare the food, and then gather the children together to eat. Yet often, children will complain about it. This is normal, but think about it for the moment. The child's full responsibility here is simply to eat the food that the parent provided, and often a child will fail even at that because the child sees the provision of food as the parents responsibility. It's just common place. They don't consider how much their life is depending on it.
Often we are like this with the graces of God. Our full responsibility is simply to partake of the graces that He has provided for us. Yet we take God's grace for granted, knowing that He is abounding in kindness and mercy. Often we'll hear Christians say, "Just believe", but we forget what an act of grace that is!
I mean, we are talking about redemption here! The pardoning of sins, the renewing of life, the deliverance from death! This is not just the provision of a ham dinner, or the buying of some new clothes or school supplies. This is redemption, and God has granted it to us simply through faith! Do we really stop and realize what this means? How grand this is? How graceful this is?
Surely we are teeming with the grace of God if we have redemption through His blood. If you have never been overwhelmed by the thought of God's grace, then you have never truly experienced the fullness of it. Or you have never appreciated how little you deserve it.
This week, let us ponder the graces of God. Let us consider the word to its fullest, so that we can devote ourselves to God in gratitude (and gratitude alone).
1The actual Greek reads "In whom". I added the rest of the text simply for the sake of context. This is why I added the brackets.
2Apolutrosin (redemption) and aphesin (excusing) are synonyms in Greek basicly meaning 'release'. However, there are slight differences. Apolutrosin specifically refers to payment, or release by payment. Hence redemption being the best word. Aphesin refers to pardoning, forgiving, excusing, or simply releasing from imprisonment. One focuses on means; the other on results.
3 The KJV and the NKJV render pronesis as 'prudence'. Prudence refers to the proper care of resources and responsibilities. However, this is not really what pronesis means. It refers instead to one's mentality/worldview/way of thinking. 'Insight' or 'understanding' are far better renderings.