7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
It should be noted that verses 3-14 in the original text was actually one long sentence. My study bible annotates this, even though in English it is not. Paul is still using the capitalized pronouns to describe God the Father and Jesus the Christ. The fact that they are still One let’s us interchangeably put “God” or “Christ” in place of these pronouns and it still makes sense.
I think these three verses tell us a lot about the purpose of Christ. By God’s grace we received redemption through His blood that was shed for us…period. This is The Gospel. This is the reason we give thanks. This is the reason we serve Him. Not only did God do this for us, but He told us about it. In verse 9, Paul refers to God’s kind intention. What exactly does this mean? It means that He wants us to be saved. Why would He want us to be saved? So that we can have a relationship with Him.
Those of you who know me know that I’m touchy about using words like “religion” and different names of religion. However, here I think it is appropriate. Our world is inundated with religions. I certainly don’t know them all, but have been exposed to a few of them and have learned about others throughout my various schooling. There is not one religion I have chanced across that discusses a relationship with God. Christianity, at its core, is about a relationship with God, through God, by God. Think about it. We are a relational people. We are made in His image. We are destroyed if we are alone (whether we like to admit it or not). We long to have a relationship with others and God longs to have a relationship with us.
Certainly, some will agree that some “sects” of Christianity don’t seem to behave in a way that seems to establish or maintain a relationship with God. However, the point here is that through Christ, we get to have a relationship with God. I’ve talked about heaven and hell recently and discussed how hell is being separated from God and heaven is being in His presence. Ever hear of “hell on earth” or “heaven on earth”? That’s exactly what this is about! You can tell someone who truly believes when they still smile through adversity, when they pray to God for healing or help, when they do something for someone with absolutely no good reason.
I’ve met people who are far from God who on the outside seem happy, content, and well off. As you get to know them, however, you find that their inner being hurts. The core of their soul cries out and most of the time they don’t really know why. They try to soothe it in various ways but it is never healed. It is what I like to call the “God shaped hole”. Only God can fit in there perfectly and heal you of it. The creation is designed to serve the Creator and the way we do that is by loving Him because He loves us. He loves us so much that He redeemed us with His blood. The ultimate sacrifice.
Are you in heaven or hell today?