Recently at Quail Hollow Chapel, I just finished preaching a sermon series on the book of Ephesians. It was a rich time of reflecting on God’s grace, our redemption, and how the gift of new life affects how we live.
For those who might be unaware, the first three chapters of Ephesians focus on God’s grace, and what He has done for us, and on how we are completely helpless without His adoption and purchase of us with His blood. The last three chapters focus on how that new life from Christ ought to affect how we live. All in all, it is a great book, and I recommend taking a fresh look at it and really bathing in God’s grace and goodness.
But there is one passage from Ephesians I’d like to look at this Friday, because I think it is extremely important to remember, not just for new believers, but as mature ones as well. That Passage is Ephesians 1:7-10 which reads,
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (ESV)
I love this beautiful picture of Jesus’ redemption and grace that He gives to us. It’s so beautiful and I recommend reading the whole chapter, but I want to focus on the phrase in bold above, “which He lavished on us”—a phrase we often read quickly without thinking about it much at all. I would like to consider the implications of the word “lavish.”
Looking at the Greek we see that the word is translated from the Greek, perisseúō,which means“to superabound (in quantity or quality), be in excess, be superfluous.”
Do you get what this means? God’s grace isn’t just enough, His grace toward us isn’t just barely getting us by, it doesn’t just save us and stop there. God’s grace is in excess, it’s way more than we could ever need. Meaning that whatever you are going through right now, this week, or whatever is going on in the world, you can know that God’s grace is far more than sufficient to meet all our needs, and all the world’s needs, and more as well.
God’s excessive grace doesn’t stop flowing once you are redeemed. Any time you need it, you can know that God is not looking down on you saying, “Wow he messed up again? I hope I have enough grace for him this time.” No, God is with us, and when we mess up, when we fail, or when we are just down and out, God is there with a metric ton of more grace than we possibly need to get by. We don’t need to worry about our standing with God when we are “in Christ.” We can always recall that God’s grace is always far more than enough for us.
This Sabbath day, as you rest, or even if something is preventing you from resting, I encourage each and every one of us to reflect on God’s lavish grace that He pours out on us, and reflect that it’s not just for the unbeliever, but it’s for all of us. Let’s rest in the completely finished work of Christ this day.