He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8

He is so rich in kindness and grace

Think about the kindness and grace of God then think about all the evil, wicked, mean, and nasty things that happen on a daily basis on this earth. Furthermore, think about the fact that you and I were born into this world as sinners, totally unholy and separated from God. Mankind, by its very nature is unfit to be in God’s presence because we are not pure and holy and clean. Only the pure, holy and clean can be in God’s presence and deserve the kindness and grace of God. But God is rich in kindness and grace and He extends that out to humanity.

In what way?

that he purchased our freedom

God purchased our freedom. You may ask: “Freedom from what or whom?” The reason mankind is not holy, pure and clean is because we are born into captivity like slaves. We are slaves of our nature, the natural tendency to be evil, wicked, mean and nasty. We are born with an innate need to satisfy our own needs and to seek out our own pleasure at the expense of others and even God Himself. We strive to make ourselves happy. We seek out pleasure at all cost. We desire to own more and more. When we don’t have what we want, we look at others and what they have and desire to have those things. We live with a “me first” outlook on life. That is the captivity we are in. We cannot get out of it on our own. What God has done is that he has purchased our freedom from that captivity to the self-centered way of life not because He had to but because He chose to. Not because He needs us in any way, shape or form, but rather because He takes great pleasure in providing His kindness and grace.

What did He purchase our freedom with?

with the blood of his Son

God deliberately took of part of His Godly attributes and entered this temporal realm to live among us, experience what it is to be human and was better at it than we are. He became a human being and taught us, in our own language and for our own understanding what it is that He wants for us not from us. And even though He was walking among us and knew that humanity would reject Him, He willingly accepted that and, without a fight, accepted the wrath of humankind on himself in physical form. We inflicted all sorts of pain and anguish on Him. We tortured Him, mocked Him, despised Him and killed Him. But it was He that voluntarily accepted it knowing full well that we would do all of these things. By His very nature, God, being eternal and outside of time itself, knew, in detail, the evil we were capable of and exactly how much pain we would inflict on Him. Yet He did it anyway. Jesus went through the most excruciating pain and suffering because He was and is God’s plan for humanity. The plan to go through this as a punishment for our wickedness was accomplished through the blood of Jesus Christ. It was absolutely necessary for this to happen the way it did and when it did because it was and is the price for purchasing our freedom from our natural captivity.

So what’s the end game? What is the outcome of this suffering?

and forgave our sins

By taking on this punishment willingly, God not only purchased our freedom from our natural evil nature but since He chose to die in our place He forgave our sins. Which sins? Past, present and future sins. He forgave our sin, our impurity, unholiness, and uncleanliness and separated us from our nature so that we could have the ability to be in His presence as holy, pure and clean. God forgives unlike we forgive. He wipes the slate clean, He reboots our hard drive and removes all of the viruses that are in our CPU’s. He dumps them into a recycling bin and hits the button that says “Delete Permanently”.

Now we go full circle. Why would He do such a thing?

Because of His kindness.

He has showered his kindness on us

God didn’t have to do this. He has no need of humans. He is content with Himself. But He did create us for a reason and He wants us, mere human beings with temporal, frail physical lives to live eternally with Him not as pets or slaves but as friends and family. God has us on His family plan. He wants to give us everything He has. He doesn’t hold back anything. At the same time He wants us to love Him not because of what He gives us but because of who He is. He wants us to enjoy Him and His presence forever.

Not only did God forgive us. Not only did He purchase our freedom from our natural state of captivity to sin. He also provides us with something else.

along with all wisdom and understanding.

True wisdom comes from understanding our position and purpose in the universe. When we understand that we were created for God’s good pleasure, we begin to see our purpose. For millennia, man has asked that one important question: “Why are we here?” God has that answer and has provided it for us in the life and teachings of Jesus. We are here and exist for God’s pleasure and we were created with a desire to please something other than ourselves and Jesus summed it up by telling us that the greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. Turning our attention away from our desires and focusing it on loving God and our fellow man is the culmination of God’s desire. Our purpose is fulfilled when we find our pleasure and joy in loving God and loving others.

 

Discussion questions

How do you see God’s kindness and grace working together?

What kinds of wisdom and understanding are given to us?

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