(2). LOOK BACK TO THE SUPREME DEMONSTRATION OF HIS LOVE, WHICH REDEEMED US FROM SIN AND MADE US HIS OWN POSSESSION (2:14A).
“Who” refers back to “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” None other than He “gave Himself for us”! If that thought doesn’t grip your heart, you’re in deep spiritual trouble. Paul shows that this past grace that was shown to us produces godliness in us.
First, Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed” (2:14a). The word redeem would have gotten the attention of any slaves. It was the word used of buying a slave out of the market so as to give him his freedom.
Before we met Christ, we all were slaves of sin. He paid the redemption price in His own blood to free us from bondage to sin. How, then, can a believer go back into slavery to sin?
Second, Christ gave Himself for us that He might “purify for Himself a people for His own possession.” Verse 12 focused on our need to purify ourselves, but verse 14 focuses on Christ’s purifying us through His blood.
He bought us from the slave market of sin and washed off our filth. Now we belong to Him as His personal possession. He prizes us more than anyone prizes a valuable treasure, because He paid for us with His blood. Again, what a motivation to live to please Him!
One reason that we partake often of the Lord’s Supper is that it reminds us of these precious truths. Before we partake, we are to examine ourselves and confess any known sins. As we think on the great sacrifice that our God and Savior made by giving Himself for us, it will draw our hearts toward Him in love and devotion. It will make us long for the day of His appearing in glory, when we will be caught up to be with Him forever.
Thus God’s grace in Christ brings salvation to us. Then it trains us to live in godliness. Finally,
3. God’s grace trains us who are saved to be zealous for good deeds (2:14b).
“Good deeds” refer to deeds that are done out of sincere love for God and others in obedience to His Word. “Zealous” is a word that Paul used to describe his fanatical zeal for Judaism prior to his conversion (Gal. 1:14). It was also used to describe the fanatical Jewish sect that was devoted to ridding Israel of Roman domination. The Zealots were totally devoted to their cause, even to the point of risking their own lives to achieve their goals. You would not call them lukewarm!
Could you rightly describe yourself as a fanatic for good deeds? It seems to me that the vast majority of Christians dabble at good deeds when it is convenient, when they don’t have anything else that they’d rather do. But if we have been bought out of the slave market of sin by the blood of our great God and Savior, we should be fanatics for good deeds. We ought to be totally devoted to serving our new Master.