“…we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7)
What word in any language could be more pleasing to someone guilty of sin than the word “forgiveness”? Is it truly possible that your sin can be altogether forgiven forever?
Forgiveness is the essential part of redemption (being freed from the consequences of sin). Paul used forgiveness in this verse in Ephesians as if it was everything that redemption is, since it is so prominent and important in redemption. In the Greek, the word translated ‘forgiveness’ here means the remission (release from the guilt or penalty of) of our transgressions (violations of a command or law), not merely passing over sin. It is the explanation of what it means to be redeemed. It includes not only deliverance from the penalty of sin, but also from its power to contaminate and conquer us. It is a proper satisfaction to a God who is just, which makes it possible for us to be reconciled (restored to friendship and harmony) to an offended God. When Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross, that very moment remission of our sins became possible for us. He covered over all our sins—past, present, or future—with His precious blood, when He died in our place.
But redemption is not just forgiveness; it is the cause of forgiveness.
Therefore, forgiveness is the effect of it. It is not only the adequate fruit of redemption, but the primary and principal fruit upon which the other depends. But don’t suppose that this is the total benefit we receive from Christ’s death, or that this is all that redemption consists of. Yet it is the main (and probably the most) important one. Have you believed in what Jesus Christ did for you when He was crucified on the cross to pay for your sins? Then all your sins were forgiven at that very moment you did so, and forevermore—due to the pain and death His suffered there on your behalf, as your substitute. He forgave you everything, and He did it freely, fully, and for all time! O, how His free forgiveness displays the riches of His grace!
But this is not all—there is more! You also obtain the hope of heaven, along with many more benefits, including the influence of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God to guide and support you in every trial. And when your time comes to die, then you will have peace, knowing your sins have been freely forgiven forever, and that nothing stands any longer between you and God.