We gather at the Lord’s Table. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We remember Jesus Christ, the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us. As we drink the wine, we recall the words of Jesus; “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
The forgiveness of sins – This is our great theme. It is described for us by the apostle Paul.
“In him (Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
“in whom (Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son) we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
The forgiveness of sins – The sin is ours. The forgiveness comes from God. When we consider this great blessing, the forgiveness of sins, there are two things that become very clear to us:
(i) God is so generous towards us.
(ii) We are so undeserving of his generosity.
How are we to respond to his generosity?
In Colossians 1:11, we find a benediction: “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.”
In Ephesians 1:3, we find a doxology: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
Benediction and Doxology – These are two rich words. They are rich in meaning. They are rich in spiritual experience. They are words that describe for us our rich experience of love, grace and mercy – the love, grace and mercy of God.
Benediction – Here, we speak of the blessing of God. From him, we receive blessing upon blessing upon blessing. In Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.
Doxology – This is giving praise and worship to the Lord. It is offering worship to God in “wonder, love and praise.” It is exalting him, glorifying him, proclaiming his greatness in “humble adoration.”
We have been blessed by the lord. Now, we worship him. We consider what the Lord has given to us, and we say, from our hearts, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory” (Psalm 115:1).
Worship – Those who have been redeemed by the Lord are called to worship him, We have received the forgiveness of our sins. In worship, we express our appreciation to him. We offer our thanksgiving to him.
How are we to worship God?
(1) We worship him as those who know that we “have been bought with a price.”
(2) We worship him as those who have received the forgiveness of our sins.
(3) We worship him as those who are learning to live for Jesus Christ.
(1) We have been bought with a price.
In both our texts – Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:14, we find the word, “redemption.” It is a word which speaks of the death of Jesus Christ for our sins. It speaks of the paying of the price, the price of our salvation. In Ephesians 1:7, the word, “redemption”, is followed by the phrase, “through his blood.” Our redemption is based on the death of Jesus Christ – the nails through his hands, the nails through his feet, the spear through his side, the crown of thorns. great physical suffering – but, was that all there was? No! There was more. There was spiritual suffering – He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). think of Jesus on the cross, and remember, “You have been bought with a price.” we worship as those who know that we “have been bought with a price.”
(2) We have received the forgiveness of our sins.
Our redemption is like a coin with two sides. On one side of the coin, there is the suffering of Christ, the death of our Saviour. On the other side, there is the forgiveness of our sins, the removal of our guilt. In one sense, our redemption is costly. In another sense, it is free. How costly it was for Jesus! How freely it is given to us!
The forgiveness of our sins – we do not speak here of the forgiveness of our sins as a general but impersonal principle. We add one short word, a word that is highly significant, a word that is very important. The word is “our” – the forgiveness of our sins, your sins, my sins. This is what it means to be a Christian. Our sins have been forgiven.
We worship as those who have those who have received the forgiveness of our sins.
(3) We are learning to live for Jesus Christ.
Why did Jesus Christ die? – “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).
“You were bought with a price.” How are we to respond to this? Do we just say, “Thank you, Lord”, and leave it there? No! We are to glorify God. We are to worship him. How are we to worship him? – “Glorify God in your body.” Our worship is to be practical. It is to be life-changing. The words, “you were bought with a price”, are repeated in 1 Corinthians 7:23, This time, it is followed by this sentence – “Do not become slaves of human beings.” The forgiveness of our sins – This is a great blessing, but it is not the end of the Christian life. It’s only the beginning. We must go on from there to live for Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is just the beginning of a new life, a life in which we are learning to live as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ in Christ.