Ephesians 1:7 The Hope We Have In Christ

In him (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:7-12)

If you were to ask me what I would want this sermon to produce in you, I would say:

  • I want it to make you joyful because we are talking about being redeemed

  • I want you to be comforted because we are talking about the forgiveness of your trespasses

  • I want your heart to be at peace because of the riches of God’s grace

  • I want your you to consider your inheritance because it is established by the will of God

  • I want your soul to be filled with praise because your hope is in Christ

Yet, if you are like me, as we read this text your heart may not have been moved in these ways. Therefore, I would like to begin this morning in Lamentations 4:13-17. The story that is contained in these verses will help us to see the desperate situation that all sinners find themselves in. We were without God and without hope in the world. When we remember this hopeless state I think that we will more fully appreciate the text that we have come to today.

14 They wandered, blind, through the streets; they were so defiled with blood that no one was able to touch their garments.

15 “Away! Unclean!” people cried at them. “Away! Away! Do not touch!” So they became fugitives and wanderers; people said among the nations, “They shall stay with us no longer.”

16 The Lord himself has scattered them; he will regard them no more; no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders.

17 Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save.

Jeremiah is describing a time when Jerusalem has been destroyed. No one thought that this could ever happen. We see this in Lamentations 4:12, “The kings of the earth did not believe, nor any of the inhabitants of the world, that the foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem.”

Let us observe three things that made their situation so dire.

First, During this calamity the priests, prophets and the elders of the people were covered in the blood of others which made them unclean. They wandered, blind, through the streets; they were so defiled with blood that no one was able to touch their garments. (v.14) The blood here can be a reference to a couple of things. First, this speaks of their own guilt concerning the injustice that they had committed upon God’s people. Secondly, it can refer to this day of judgment when they would be covered in the blood of the people as they tried to walk through the streets in which a great multitude of dead people laid.

Secondly, We are told twice in this passage that these people are blind. Consider the following:

Lamentations 4:14 – “They wandered, blind, through the streets...” Or consider Lamentations 4:17 - “Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help...” There are three ways of considering this blindness that is referred to here.

First, their sinfulness had blinded them from being able to see the things of God. They were blind to all that was good; and they were quick to do all sorts of evil. They were ignorant, not knowing the only way to advert this calamity that had come upon them.