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Volume 12 - Page 142 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
The Forfeited Inheritance.
pp. 177 - 180
If we take the inspired type of Redemption as our guide, much that is dealt with under
different heads of systematic theology will appear somewhat beside the mark.
Let us take as our guide in this article the underlying thought contained in the Hebrew
goel, or kinsman-redeemer, namely that of the redemption of a forfeited inheritance. And
further, let us adjust our focus upon that passage of Scripture which is the Charter of the
Church of the One Body (Eph. 1: 3-14). The general arrangement of the passage is
known to most readers. In these few verses we have:--
The blessings of the Father (3-6).
The blessings of the Son (7-12).
The blessings of the Spirit (13, 14).
As we read through these verses we observe that each set has its own distinctive
features. Verses 3-6 are taken up with the great purpose of the Father before the
overthrow of the world, which chose certain sons of Adam in Christ and blessed them
with every spiritual blessing in the super-heavenlies, the great purpose in this choice
being that such should be holy and without blemish before Him. These happy and
blessed children of men, moreover, have an inheritance (the adoption--a term which
necessitates a separate article) in those heavenly places, love having predestined them for
this high honour, and their choice by the Father "in Christ" is filled out in the closing
"To the praise of the glory of His grace wherein He hath highly favoured us in the
Beloved" (verse 6).
Now, contrary to what most teach, and contrary to what we ourselves have held, we
submit that in these verses there is no place for redemption. This choice was definitely
made BEFORE the overthrow (it makes no difference if any reader chooses to retain the
word "foundation"). Sin is nowhere in sight. The choice "in Christ", and the high favour
"in the Beloved", are in perfect harmony with the high glory which Christ had before the
overthrow of the world (John 17:) as the Firstborn of all creation. Sinless beings,
chosen that they may be holy and without blemish and destined to occupy the very
highest conceivable position in glory, such is the inheritance provisioned by the Father
"before age times".
When we come to the second set of verses (7-12) we are in a different atmosphere.
Here we read of redemption, and that through the blood of Christ, Who therefore must
have become partaker of flesh and blood and hence our Kinsman. Here we read of sins
and their forgiveness as something essentially connected with this redemption. Not only
do we read now of grace, but of riches of grace, for the truth is that those who were