(Ephesians 1:7) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”
It’s hard to understand how God makes me acceptable when my life doesn’t seem like it would be acceptable to Him. How can a holy God even tolerate me when I can’t tolerate myself? When I look at my life and see the relative unholiness compared to the Son of God, even as His child I sometimes live with self-rejection. The fleshly response is to seek some sort of redemption in suffering. Religion leads me to seek relief from this sense of self-rejection by co-mingling my pain with the pain He experienced in order to bring about the true unity with God I so desperately desire. But in the end, all of these things come from the deception that true holiness is formed externally first and then transferred to an inner life of godliness and peace.
The real answer is as God’s child I am already “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6) independently of myself. In fact, God accepts me independently of anything I could ever do to conform to His holiness. “In whom” is the answer. Christ is the Whom. Redemption comes from Him. Forgiveness of sins comes from Him. His blood is the payment that makes me acceptable in spite of myself. The “riches of His grace” is the means by which He decided to provide redemption because I cannot redeem myself. Riches means there is abundance. There is a spiritual bank account of God’s grace that isn’t just full, it’s overflowing! As my thoughts focus more and more on this abundant grace, my external life begins to conform to the life He is forming on the inside of me. I then begin to live a life on the outside that matches what has already been redeemed and forgiven on the inside. In my experiences, I begin to live a life that is acceptable to Him.
Renewed Thought – It is God’s goal to line up my experience with my identity. He is forming on the inside that which He desires to reveal on the outside.