Gifts We Receive

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Ephesians 1:7-14

In him we have redemption. (v. 7)

Have you been present in a courtroom when a child is adopted? Especially if the child is old enough to know what is happening, it is an incredible experience. By the stroke of a pen and pronouncement from the judge, a child becomes enfolded into a “forever family.” The legal standing cannot be undone. What a day! I have seen balloons floating, cakes eaten, and hugs and more hugs given and received.

In these verses, Paul celebrates three gifts God gives his adopted children in Jesus. First, you are redeemed (v. 7). Redemption is the ransom paid for a slave’s release. Second, you are forgiven (v. 7). Forgiveness means guilt is gone. Both redemption and forgiveness come through the blood of sacrifice. Old Testament Israel was redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb in Exodus 12 and forgiven through the daily sacrifice of Leviticus 4.

For you and for me today, of course, it is the blood of Jesus on the cross that redeems and forgives. It is finished! You can never be held captive again. Your guilt is gone forever.

There is yet one more legally binding blessing for the adopted: “In him we have obtained an inheritance” (v. 11). Though you do not yet possess it, you already own the rights to it like the sealed documents of a will. Jesus died to welcome you as a fully vested sibling in the Father’s inheritance. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of your inclusion in your new “forever family.” —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, praise God for these three blessings.