Our acceptance in Christ is not just an arbitrary random action on God’s part. He did not overlook one part of his character to show His great benevolence toward us to meet our need. It is quite in keeping with God’s spotless perfect character to demonstrate His love and mercy through undeserved grace. Our acceptance by a holy God into His presence and His family has been made possible because of the sacrificial death of Christ on our behalf that has been made. We are “justified by His blood.” The death of Christ has brought about both redemption and forgiveness. The Ephesian believers would have been well aware of slavery and its consequences. That was common-place among those who lived in the Roman empire. In order for a slave to be freed, there had to be another slave given of equal or greater value to take the place of the one who would be set free, or a price paid that would equal or exceed the slave’s worth in money. “His blood,” His death has paid the ransom price the righteousness of God demanded for the sinner that I am. He is of far greater value than I could ever be. That same blood was shed that I might be forgiven for what I have done. We needed the blood of Christ to be shed for redemption because of who I am, and for forgiveness because of what I have done. Though His death He had provided the legal means to meet both of these needs.
Love, because that is who God is, and mercy, because that is what God shows to the guilty, led Him to lavish His grace upon us. The motivating factor of love and mercy was followed by the action factor of grace being poured out abundantly on us. God’s loving, voluntary favor toward us is not because of any reason or merit whatsoever on our part. It is by His great grace alone that we are redeemed and forgiven. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” We wonder at the “riches of His grace” because the riches of God are limitless. Infinite grace would mean that no one is outside the scope of divine interest and provision for sin. Even though grace has “abounded toward us,” that does not mean everyone will eventually be saved. True, grace is limitless and available to all, but its benefits become ours only when there is faith place in the One who provided that grace and the One who paid for such benefits as grace can bestow. When the Gospel is preached, we can tell people of a full provision made for our guilt and sin. To those who respond to Jesus Christ as Lord, and trust Him, and thereby receive the provision of salvation, when they receive Him they will know personally the value of that grace. There is an abundant supply of grace. The needs of all can be met but we must avail ourselves of that which has been offered by “amazing grace.”
That grace has been directed toward us in “all wisdom.” That means the best possible way for it to be given to meet our need has been done. That means, preserves God’s honor and justice, and yet saves sinful people from the righteous “wrath of God” that “abideth on him.” God could not ignore the fact that we were slaves to sin who practiced sin and accept us into His divine favor and into heaven on the basis of His love alone. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (the riches of His grace), that whosoever believeth in Him (wisdom, the best possible means) should not perish, but have everlasting life (prudence, an intelligent design).” In infinite wisdom, God’s grace “abounded” toward us and at the same time His moral integrity has not been compromised in any way, while His infinite love has been demonstrated to our benefit.
All of this arrangement, this design, this planning has demonstrated God’s grace also. The best possible way has been done to bring the best possible blessing, for the best possible reason – to bring glory to God through means of feeble people like us. We have been saved by His grace. God has kept His own standards of righteousness intact by giving His sinless, beloved Son to redeem us from sin’s slavery and make it possible for us to be forgiven. What riches has the riches of God’s grace brought to us! Not only redemption and forgiveness, but multiplied blessings have accompanied these riches.