“WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH [Christ’s] BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE” (Eph.1:7).
The climax of Paul’s first recorded sermon is reached in Verses 38 and 39 of Acts 13, where he declares:
“BE IT KNOWN UNTO YOU THEREFORE, MEN AND BRETHREN, THAT THROUGH THIS MAN IS PREACHED UNTO YOU THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS:
“AND BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, FROM WHICH YE COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW OF MOSES.”
Thus God through Christ, forgives and justifies those who believe. Nor is this all that was accomplished for us by the death of Christ at Calvary. There is also reconciliation, baptism by the Spirit into Christ and His Body, a position at God’s right hand in the heavenlies and all spiritual blessings there.
“The forgiveness of sins” must come first, however, and the above passage assures us that in Christ we have this — not barely, but “ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE”. Indeed, the next verse continues: “WHEREIN HE HATH ABOUNDED TOWARD US…”
Thus Ephesians 2:2-7 declares that though we were once “the children of disobedience”, and therefore “by nature the children of wrath”, “God, WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, for His GREAT LOVE wherewith He loved us”, has given us life and raised us from the dead, exalting us to “heavenly places in Christ…”
His purpose in all this? “THAT IN THE AGES TO COME HE MIGHT SHOW THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS GRACE IN HIS KINDNESS TOWARD US THROUGH CHRIST JESUS” (Verse 7).
When God forgives us He no longer sees us in our poor selves, BUT IN CHRIST, who took our place, dying for our sins on Calvary’s cross. There He hung in our place that we might now stand in His — “COMPLETE IN HIM” (Col.2:10).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.