Ben Aguilera

Read: Ephesians 1:3-14

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. (v. 7)

According to the National Institute of Justice, about three-quarters of released prisoners are rearrested within five years of release. There are many complicated reasons for this, and it is not solely because these people lack personal growth—I have a lot more hope in humanity than that. Instead, I wonder if part of the reason people end up back in prison is because they do not know what it is like to be truly, spiritually, free.

Some versions of the Bible translate the word “redemption” in verse 7 as “set free” or “release.” Even when someone is given physical freedom, they may still have chains around their minds, hearts, and souls. But as we read our passage today, we are reminded that we have been adopted into God’s kingdom by the grace of Jesus Christ. In him we receive the inheritance that liberates us—that frees us in both body and soul—to live a life to the praise of God’s glory.

Living in complete freedom is difficult. It takes a lot of work to change ourselves. We are pulled toward what we know and understand, sometimes even when that is a prison cell. But God has lavished grace on us. It is ultimately not up to us to change but to the Spirit who is at work within us. We can take courage to live a life that has been released from brokenness and sin. —Ben Aguilera

Prayer: No matter my circumstances, Lord, let me live a life of freedom today. Amen.