In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
(Ephesians 1:7-10 NIV)
In the passage we’ve been studying over the past couple of days Paul is listing some of the many spiritual blessings that God has bestowed on believers, who are His adopted children [Ephesians 1:3, John 1:12]. Yesterday we learned that one of those blessings is the forgiveness of sins that can only come through Jesus’ death.
Some people may think that their sins are too great to be forgiven. Not so. The forgiveness God offers isn’t a pittance. The forgiveness God offers is “according to the riches of His grace”. If a billionaire gave a homeless person a few dollars he would be giving “out of” his wealth. But if he gave thousands of dollars he would be giving “according” to his wealth.
The forgiveness God offers is proportionate to His grace, which is infinite. God has infinite grace and He gives accordingly. Even a small percentage of infinity is still infinity. Therefore, it is wrong to conclude that there is any sin that you can commit that God cannot, or will not, forgive.
This abundant grace is another of the spiritual blessings that God bestows on believers. God is described as having “lavished [that grace] upon us”.
The definition of “lavish” in my English dictionary is “bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon.” In Greek the word is περισσευο (pronounced: per-is-syoo’-o) which means “to provide in abundance, to the point of excess”.
God is not a tightwad. He pours out His grace upon us in such quantity that it could be considered reckless. Whether in the Greek or in English the word lavish paints a very strong picture. Imagine filling a cup up with water but the pouring continues even after the cup is full. This is how God gives us His grace. He keeps pouring it on so that we are awash in it.
The first sin that man committed in the Garden of Eden was because Eve believed that God was holding back from her and Adam. She believed this because Satan tricked her into thinking this [Genesis 3:1-6].
So many people think this same thing today. They think that God cannot love them or that He will only parse out His love when we perform well. Every major world religion teaches this, as we learned recently. But this theology is wrong. People think this because Satan still uses the same lies he used in the Garden with Eve. The reason he still uses the same lies is because we keep falling for them. If something isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
The antidote to this false belief is to read the Bible. In the Bible we see the true nature of God. By reading it – and studying it – we see that the problem isn’t God, the problem is our own faulty thinking.
God was not holding back from Adam & Eve. And He is not holding back today. As rich as God is is how forgiving He is.
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