The Greeks Have A Word For It (Part 2)

There is a reason why we need to look back time and again. Image credit

We have a saying here in the Philippines, “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” (“He who does not look back cannot go forward.”) Though we are not supposed to dwell in the past, it is good to remember from where the Lord redeemed us. 

We already saw the first verb that Paul used for redemption. The first is agarazo, “to purchase in the marketplace.” [1] The second verb, exagorazo, is akin to the first one.

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The prefix ex emphasizes separation of what has been purchased from the slave market altogether. Exagorazo is used two times to stress that believers have been set free from bondage to the Law and its condemnation (Gal. 3:13; 4:5). This adds the idea of being taken out of the slave market. Twice this word refers to “buying back” time (Ephesians 5:16; Col. 4:5). [2]
If we would try to earn our way to heaven, we have to keep the Law perfectly. “But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.’” (Galatians 3:10, NLT) Because we all fail to keep all the commandments of the law, we are all under a curse. “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” (James 2:10) 

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Through His death on the cross, our Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us from this curse. We are no longer under it.
But Christ has rescued [from exagorazo] us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ (Galatians 3:13, NLT)
In basketball, when a player substitutes for another player, the scores and the penalties (like fouls) of the previous player are not transferred to the new player. Also, the scores and the penalties of the new player are not transferred to the player he replaced. But, when Christ died for our sins, He took upon Himself all the penalties incurred by our sins. We have not even “scored” at all as far as righteousness is concerned since we are under a curse for lawbreaking. And we who believe in the Lord as our Savior received His “score” or His righteousness. 

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“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Significant Step

Three times Paul declared in Ephesians 1 that the spiritual blessings we received in Christ is “to the praise of his glorious grace” (vv. 6, 12, 14). Praise God for His glorious grace by reflecting on the lyrics of the classic “Amazing Grace” hymn. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, / That saved a wretch like me. / I once was lost but now am found, / Was blind, but now I see.” Think back from where God redeemed us. 

NOTE: This is Day Three of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 3) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message last Sunday, March 15, on Know How Much You Are Worth Part 2” (“Significance” series, a verse-by-verse study of the book of Ephesians).

[1] Earl D. Radmacher, Salvation (TN: Word Publishing, 2000), 57.

[2] Ibid, 57-58. Italics his. Emphasis added.


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