The Church Has Been Purchased
The church, the body of faithful believers in God, is unique in that God has adopted us to be His children. The apostle Paul addressed the saints at Ephesus and cited their spiritual blessings in Christ. As saints, they were chosen to be holy and blameless. He mentions their adoption by God. It was by Christ that they were made acceptable. Christ also afforded them redemption and forgiveness of sins. These blessings were not miraculous, rather they were abundant in “wisdom and prudence”. God simply revealed His will and His eternal purpose. That purpose was to unite heaven and earth in Christ. The union resulted in an inheritance to the souls who trusted in Christ. That resulted in praise to the glory of God. The Ephesians heard the gospel, believed it, and trusted in Christ also. Their faith allowed the Holy Spirit to secure their inheritance until “redemption of the purchased possession”. (Ephesians 1:1-14)
What is that “possession”? The apostle Paul reveals that to us also in a subsequent address to the Ephesian elders. Paul called them to meet him as he traveled from Melitus to Jerusalem. “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:25-28 NKJV) The church is that purchased possession.
Knowing that the church is comprised of saints we rightly conclude that we are His possession. This was true of the saints at Corinth. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV) This also was the motive behind Paul’s admonition to the Ephesian elders to mind their own conduct and to shepherd their flock (Acts 20:28). It was their responsibility to guide and protect the souls in their care.
Another unique attribute of this possession is the price that Jesus paid. His blood makes the value of His possession priceless. “The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience– concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God”? (Hebrews 9:8-14 NKJV)
Jesus sacrificed himself to sanctify us. Yes, He sacrificed His life but He also sacrificed His rightful place in order to be our sacrifice. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9 NKJV) We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:10-14 NKJV) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1 NKJV)
We are His possession. Go forth to Him.