“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” EPHESIANS 1:7
One of my favourite hymns is Amazing Grace. The message of redemption, forgiveness and mercy from God is so powerful. It’s also a hymn that has been sung for a few centuries, having been written in the late 1700s. That is amazing. Why is grace so amazing and why do we teach our students about grace?
Grace is one of the most astounding and life-transforming aspects of God’s character. God has chosen to lavish grace upon us from the beginning of time instead of wrath. Time and time again, we’ve turned our backs on Him. And time and time again He demonstrates the depth of His desire for us through the giving of His boundless grace. In His grace, we are afforded a life not only apart from His wrath but lived in the glory of relationship with our Creator through the redemption of Jesus.
Paul says that in Jesus, we have “redemption through his blood.” Have you thought about the nature of your redemption at length before? Colossians 1:19-22 says, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” Such is the grace of your heavenly Father that there is not a single thing between you and Him. You, who at one time stood apart from God, have been brought into the family of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
Not only have you been redeemed once and for all, but you are forgiven both now and forever. Paul writes that we as believers have “the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Where in your life do you need forgiveness today? What do you feel is separating you from an unveiled relationship with your heavenly Father? When you confess your sins, God offers you His forgiveness for anything you have done. “According to the riches of his grace,” which was made perfectly evident in the death of Jesus, you are being offered forgiveness. If God would send His Son to die in order to have a restored relationship with you, you can unquestionably believe He will forgive any trespass that seems to stand in your way now.
God doesn’t operate the way the world does. He doesn’t make you pay the penalty for your sin. Instead, He offers perfect grace. There are so many stories in Scripture where God turns the systems of the world on their head through the concept of grace. In the story of the prodigal son, the father allowed the son to dishonour him, set aside his rightful punishment, and threw a huge party for his wayward child when he returned home. He didn’t wait. He didn’t make him work for his redemption. He immediately offered him forgiveness freely in grace. God offers us the same today. Don’t attempt to pay for your sin by separating yourself from the fullness of relationship with God. Jesus paid the only price necessary by His own death. Live in light of God’s grace. Offer your heart to God freely. Let him work out redemption in every area of your life that you might more fully experience the wonderful relationship you have available to you with God.
Our hearts are naturally stirred to find rest in His goodness in seeing God for who He is. So may your heart be stirred at the revelation of God’s wonderful character.
Dee Fulcher Director of Primary Learning and Teaching