The Lord’s Table: Bible Study/Prayer meeting
(Every Wednesday 6-7 pm in the Chapel)
St Paul’s Church
The Anglican Church of Canada
28 December 2011
Theme: The Good News
Topic: Christ our Redeemer
Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ* before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,* having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this* is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
Redemption implies salvation, liberation, deliverance, rescue, freedom and such more. We celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ few days ago; and atimes I wonder what Christmas really means. It could mean different things to different people- eating, drinking, family visits, travelling, shopping, giving and receiving of gifts and so on and so forth. There is nothing wrong with these activities but as Christ followers, we should always remember that Christmas is the celebration of God’s greatest gift to mankind- Christ the Savior and Redeemer of the world. From the fall of Adam, sin came into the world and held mankind captive and God due to His love for us sent His only begotten Son to pay the price for our sin and reconcile us back to Himself. In this study, we will discuss how Christ is our Redeemer.
1. What does Christmas mean to you?
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ* before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
2. Why did God send His only begotten to Son into the world?
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
21 But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ* for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement* by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.*
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it* can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? 3But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. 4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5Consequently, when Christ* came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; 6 in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book* it is written of me).’ 8When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will* that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
3. What does it mean to be redeemed by Christ?
For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you for making atonement for your lives on the altar; for, as life, it is the blood that makes atonement.
21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled* in his fleshly body* through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him—
1 John 1:5-7
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
4. Is there anything that can separate us from the redemptive power of Christ?
35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christ came into the world that we may have life and have it more abundantly. He came to redeem us from the power of sin and death. May we live as the redeemed of the Lord; delivered from the bondage of sin and evil all the days of our lives.
Lord, we are ever grateful for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ who you sent into the world as the propitiation for our sin. May His redemptive power be evident in our daily walk with You through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.