Pastor David B. Curtis

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Redeemed By the Blood

Ephesians 1:7

Delivered 10/13/2013

We are studying the letter of Paul to the Ephesians. After a very brief salutation, Paul launches into a lengthy sentence of twelve verses in praise of the redemptive purpose of Yahweh. I think 1:3-14 is a b'rakhah, in which Paul is blessing Yahweh for all He has given believers.

Let's talk about the personal pronouns in this section. Jeff (McCormack) has been trying to convince me that 1:3-12 is speaking to the Jews. And last week at the end of the message Larry Seigle asked, "Is it possible that verses 1-11 refer to Israel, 'we' and 'us,' and beginning with 12 'you also' is a reference to the Gentiles?" And my first thought was that Jeff put him up to this. To answer Larry's question, Yes, it is possible. I'm still not completely comfortable with it, but it is certainly possible.

It is possible that in verses 3-12 the "us" refers exclusively to the Jews. In verse 2 Paul says, "Grace to 'you' and peace," speaking to all the saints in Ephesus or wherever this letter went. Then in verse 3 Sha'ul starts a b'rakhah and says, "Who has blessed 'us,'" he uses 'us' five more times, he uses 'we' three times, then notice what he says in12:

to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:12 NASB

Who was first to hope in Christ? It was the Jews. For about the first ten years of the New Covenant it was all Jews. Now notice the shift in the next verse:

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13 NASB

"You also"—could be a reference to the Gentile believers. So Paul could be following his usual pattern here of Jew first and then the Gentiles. Now listen, please, all these blessings that Paul lists in verse 3-12 the Gentiles also receive. They were promised to the Jews, and the believing remnant received them first, but so did the believing Gentiles. When we get to chapter two Paul says to the Gentiles:

But now in Christ Yeshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13 NASB

Now, the Gentiles receive all of the Jewish blessings: We were chosen, predestinated, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, and we have obtained an inheritance. So if you want to take verses 3-12 as speaking specifically to the Jews, you can as long as you don't try to say that these blessing are exclusively Jewish.

Another way to look at this is that this b'rakhah is referencing the blessings that all believers share. Jeff would say that Gentiles get all these blessings, but that here Paul is speaking exclusively about the Jews.

Some scholars take the view that verses 3-10 are a reference to all believers. But the "we" of verses 11-12 is restricted to Paul and his fellow Jewish believers. What is being asserted here is that within the wider purposes of God's saving plan, it was those of Jewish origin, the more immediate heirs of the "covenants of promise," who accepted the Lord Yeshua first. They represent the believing remnant of Israel. Then he says in verse 13 that the Gentiles also get in on these blessings:

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13 NASB

Paul does talk about this in chapter 2. So he may be saying it here, or he may not. Paul really does not take up the discussion of the Jews and Gentiles until 2:11 and even then in 2:11-3:21 "we" is used of all believers.

Some scholars regard the "we" as Paul and those with him in Rome and the Ephesians, while the "you" is referring to the Ephesians. And then there are some scholars who think that the interchange of "we" and "you" has no significance, but is normal epistolary style.

So, I said all that to say that in verses 3-12 the "we" may be referring to the Jews and then in verse 13 the "you" is the Gentiles. But I lean more to the view that the comparison is just in verses 11-13. Either way Jeff and I agree that all the blessings listed in this b'rakhah belong to all believers. It just seems to me that the b'rakhah is celebrating the blessings that all believers have. Either way, all these blessings belong to all believers.

At the end of the sixth verse, the things that Paul has been saying about the work of the Father merge now into the work of the Son. There appears to be a progression in emphasis from the Father's work in predestination to the Son's work in redemption, and then to the Spirit's work in application.

The work of the Son is the emphasis of verses 6b-10, although the entire text deals with God's blessings "in Christ." The blessing of God cannot come to us by mere edict. Justice must be satisfied. And unfortunately, those upon whom God has set His love are sinners. They stand under divine condemnation. The Holy Spirit cannot indwell unholy people. Something must be done for them. This is the word of the Son.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace Ephesians 1:7 NASB

Paul now speaks of the blessing of redemption, which God has bestowed on us through the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary. We see again the repetition of the "In Him" phrase, pointing to the union that we as Christians have with Christ. "In Him" is literally, "in whom," and refers back to Christ, whom Paul calls "the Beloved" in verse 6. Yeshua is God's beloved Son, in whom He is well-pleased (Matt. 3:17). His perfect life and His substitutionary death on the cross obtained redemption for all whom God has predestined to adoption as sons. Because of our union with Christ, the Father can say of every Christian, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased." How awesome is that?

"In Him we have redemption"—what is redemption? It's a very churchy word, isn't it? We hear the word tossed around a lot, but do we really know what it means? The Greek word used here for "redemption" is "APOLUTROSIS," (ap-a-lou-ter-o-sis), and it was used ten times in the New Testament (Lu 21:28; Ro 3:24, 8:23; 1Co 1:30; Eph 1:7, 14, 4:30; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15, and 11:35). This word literally means: "a releasing effected by payment of ransom, liberation procured by the payment of a ransom" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon).

Let's consider the meaning of redemption as defined by its use in the Tanakh. The first great act of redemption in the Tanakh is what? The exodus, the deliverance of the nation Israel from her bondage in Egypt. From the time of the exodus on, this event epitomized redemption:

"Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Exodus 6:6 NASB

"Redeem"—is from the Hebrew word ga'al, which is the Hebrew letters, Gimel , meaning: "to raise up, pride"; Alef , which can mean: "first,strong, primary"; and Lamed , which can mean: "controller,control,guide." So, the Hebrew word picture for the word redeem or redemption means: "to raise-up or lift-up the primary or first controller." In other words, the purpose of redemption is to raise-up or lift-up God. To bring Him honor and glory.

The Hebrew verb "ga'al" has a central meaning in: "to regain possession of by payment" or "buy back something that was lost." In the Tanakh, the verb "ga'al" has been translated as: "to redeem," "ransom," and "do the part of a kinsman." Ga'al also has the meaning of: "to avenge bloodshed" or "to require blood," and has been translated as: "avenge" or "revenge."

Over and over the Scriptures say that Yahweh redeemed Israel:

"And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? 2 Samuel 7:23 NASB
Was it not You who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; Who made the depths of the sea a pathway For the redeemed to cross over? Isaiah 51:10 NASB

The exodus was accomplished by Yahweh through a series of plagues. These plagues answered the Pharaoh's question and challenge:

But Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go." Exodus 5:2 NASB

The final plague was so devastating that Pharaoh could no longer stand the sight of the Israelites. It was the divinely dealt death blow to the first born males in the land of Egypt, both men and animals (see Exodus 11:1-8; 12:29-36).

Yahweh made one provision for escaping this death plague. A lamb was to be sacrificed and eaten by those who gathered in one house. The blood of that lamb was to be applied to the two doorposts and on the lintel of the house in which the lamb was eaten. All the first-born of that household would thus be spared from death (see Exodus 12:1-14). This was the first of the Passover celebrations, which Israel was commanded to observe in remembrance of the redemption of Yahweh at the exodus.

When Yahweh gave the Law to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, He provided for the redemption of people and property. It was anticipated that some Hebrews would become so poor that they would have to sell their inheritance and perhaps even their own selves as slaves to another. Yahweh set down clear commands which provided for the redemption of such property and people (Leviticus 25:24-28).

The most dramatic illustration of the redemption of the land is found in the Book of Ruth, when Boaz served as the "kinsman redeemer" for Naomi and thus bought back her property and then took Ruth as his wife, to raise up descendants for Naomi's oldest son, who had died:

Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. "May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him." Ruth 4:14-15 NASB

Throughout the Tanakh, individuals expressed faith in Yahweh as their redeemer. Jacob and David confessed God as their redeemer as did Job:

"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Job 19:25 NASB

The exodus of the nation Israel from Egypt was not to be the greatest redemption of all time. In time, the prophecies of Deuteronomy 28-31 and of later prophets were fulfilled when the nation Israel was sent into captivity because of their rebellion and disobedience to God's Law. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated and dispersed by the Assyrians, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah was later taken hostage by the Babylonians.

The Old Covenant prophets foretold of a redemption even greater than the exodus. The first redemption concerned the release of the nation Israel from its foreign captivity, and its return to Israel, and particularly to Jerusalem. The second phase of her redemption was in the first coming of Messiah. The final phase of Israel's redemption was the final redemption when God's enemies were subdued once and for all, and when His eternal Kingdom was established.

The Tanakh speaks often of redemption. A primary element in our understanding of redemption is that of deliverance. Redemption is the deliverance from bondage or distress or opposition, from which one cannot otherwise escape:

"For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. "In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer. Isaiah 54:7-8 NASB

Israel was to have a future redemption. This redemption is not physical, as so many today assume. And if we didn't have the New Testament to expound on these prophecies, we could see how people would assume they were physical. But these prophecies are being fulfilled in the Church, the true Israel. To see this, look with me at Isaiah:

"And foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you. "And your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession. "For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, And the nations will be utterly ruined. "The glory of Lebanon will come to you, The juniper, the box tree, and the cypress together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious. "And the sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. "Whereas you have been forsaken and hated With no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, A joy from generation to generation. "You will also suck the milk of nations, And will suck the breast of kings; Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Isaiah 60:10-16 NASB

Apart from the New Covenant truth, we would view this as a physical redemption. But the New Testament writers give us the true meaning of these verses:

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: 'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie— behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Revelation 3:7-9 NASB

Who would say they were Jews, but weren't? Physical Israel. Yeshua said that an unbelieving Jew was of the synagogue of Satan. A true Jew, a true Israelite is one who has trusted in Yeshua the Christ and has been circumcised in heart.

Those who are the Israelites of God's prophetic purpose are not those who are Jews ethnically or outwardly. But those who are the Israelites of God's prophetic purpose are those who are Jews spiritually and inwardly. Notice that what Yeshua says in Revelation 3:9 He is quoting from the text we read from Isaiah 60:

"And the sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 60:14 NASB

If we were an Old Covenant Jew, we would understand this prophecy of Isaiah as our Gentile enemies being subservient to us. But Yeshua uses this verse and applies it to the Church, that is true Israel, and it is Old Covenant Israel that is persecuting the Church. Yeshua said that the Old Covenant Jews were going to come and bow before the feet of the Church, the true Israel of God. The redemption of Israel takes place in Christ, the Beloved of the Father. From the time of the announcement of our Lord's birth in the Gospels, men and women of God recognized that He was coming to redeem His people, as it was prophesied in the Tanakh:

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, Luke 1:68 NASB
At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:38 NASB

So redemption has the meaning of paying a price, or ransom, to bring about the redemption. A price was paid for those who were redeemed. How was Yeshua to bring about this redemption? Paul says in our text, "Through His blood"—the preposition "through" expresses means. Blood is metonym for His death. Yeshua couldn't just cut Himself and bleed on somebody and redeem them. This is simply a way of saying that He poured out His life. It is speaking of a sacrificial, substitutionary, violent death for sin.

Think back to Yeshua's own words:

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28 NASB

The redemption which our Lord was to accomplish was to be through the shedding of His blood on the cross of Calvary. John the Baptist introduced the Lord Yeshua as a sacrificial lamb:

The next day he saw Yeshua coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 NASB

We see this idea of the necessity of bloodshed throughout the Old Covenant Law. When Yeshua said that He came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it, this bloodshed was partly what He was speaking about. The sacrificial laws of the Old Covenant were very clear on the necessity for the blood to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. You see, the Levitical high-priest in the Old Covenant entered once a year into the holy of holies to make atonement for the people, taking with him the blood of a sacrificed bull and goat to sprinkle on the mercy seat before Yahweh. Every year, the cycle had to be repeated if Israel was to be obedient to and in covenant with their God. The author of Hebrews comments:

And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22 NASB

The blood of bulls and goats, even the entire sacrificial system, were all pointing to one, biblical, humbling truth—the price for sin was blood, and for every sin, blood was required.

It was, from the beginning, God's purpose that Yeshua the Christ would die on the cross of Calvary to redeem sinful men:

Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21 NASB

After our Lord's death, resurrection, and return to the Father; the Gospel which the apostles preached was one of the redemption, of the forgiveness of sins by faith in the shed blood of Yeshua:

being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Yeshua; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; Romans 3:24-25 NASB

What is so great about these verses is that they are all about what God has done to save us, NOT what we do to save ourselves. Justifying is something that God does, not something that we do. They are "being justified." God is justifying. He is the actor here. We are the ones acted upon. This is the way salvation is. It is finally and decisively the act of God the Father. And He did this through the redemption which is in Christ Yeshua.

In our text in Ephesians Paul says, "we have redemption"—the present tense implies redemption and forgiveness are present possessions. They had redemption, but they waited for its consummation at the return of Christ.

I think that it is safe to say that most believers think redemption was completed at the cross. But this is not what the Bible teaches, redemption is tied to the Second Coming:

"Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:27-28 NASB

When Christ returned, He brought redemption. As long as the Old Covenant existed, the believers were not perfect and did not have access to God. This was the already but not yet condition of the transition period. The New Testament saints looked for the prophesied redemption of Israel that was to come in their lifetime:

And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23 NASB

The "redemption of our body" is a reference to the resurrection. The promise of resurrection was a promise made to who? Israel. Ezekiel 37 connects the Spirit and the resurrection, and Romans 8 talks about the Spirit and the resurrection. The resurrection was Israel's hope. God had promised to redeem His people from the grave:

Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight. Hosea 13:14 NASB

This verse expresses hope that God will provide salvation beyond the grave, one of the few Tanakh references to life after death. This is what Paul calls "the redemption of our body"—the body talked about here is not our individual physical bodies. The "our" is plural and "body" is singular. This is referring to the corporate body of Christ. "Our body" is the body of Christ, and it has been redeemed! Redemption is tied to the destruction of Jerusalem that happened in A.D. 70.

The teaching of the Scripture is that Christ's blood atonement is perfect, complete, final, actual, effective, and particular, and that faith itself is a gift that He obtained for us by His sacrifice, so that there is no room for us to boast, except in what Christ has done:

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace Ephesians 1:7 NASB

"The forgiveness of our trespasses"—is appositional to redemption and further defines it. "Forgiveness" is aphesis, (af'-es-is), which means: "release" as from captivity, or "pardon, cancellation of an obligation, a punishment, guilt."

This verse shows that as a result of redemptionin Christ through His blood, God has cancelled or forgiven sins and the necessary punishment that goes with them. Redemption is the cause, and forgiveness is the effect.

The most distinctive message of Christianity is the reality that sin can be forgiven. We can forgive someone for a wrong done to us personally, but we have no authority to declare a person forgiven from all of his sins. That authority belongs to God alone.

Our sins are forgiven. All of them? Every bad thought, every bad action, every rejection of God's rightful rule in his life, every unwillingness, every denial of his dependence on God; all of that's forgiven. Most people do not realize that God forgives sins once for all. All our sins, whether past, present, or future are forever forgiven. The slate is wiped clean. Every sin, no matter how vile or ugly, is forgiven. That's how great our God is. That's how wonderful His salvation is. Indeed, we are people who have much to bless God for.

What does a person have to do to have this forgiveness? Peter said:

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." Acts 10:43 NASB

Because of our faith in Christ, we are forgiven. At the end of verse 7 in Ephesians 1 Paul says, "According to the riches of His grace"—this forgiveness that we are given is not something that goes against the nature of God, something He was constrained to do. He is rich in grace, so much so that He lavishes it on us. Paul does not say, "out of the riches of His grace," but "according to the riches of His grace." If you go to a multi-millionaire and ask for a contribution for a worthy cause, and he gives you $100, he has given out of his riches. But if he hands you a blank check and says, "Fill in what you need," he has given according to his riches.

I said that the most distinctive message of Christianity is the reality that sin can be forgiven. Well, because we have been forgiven, we are to be forgiving. How many of you have ever been hurt by another Christian? Everyone has. How many of you have ever hurt another Christian? You can count on it, just like death and taxes. When we are hurt, how are we to deal with it, what do we do? We are to forgive.

Are you aware that forgiveness is not an option or a suggestion that God makes to us depending on how we feel? As children of God, we are under a mandate to forgive all those who wrong us. Where would you go to get the clearest picture on how the Lord views forgiveness and unforgiveness? I think it's the parable that the Lord gave us in:

"For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. Matthew 18:23 NASB

This parable deals with the importance of us forgiving one another. It presents a very clear and powerful truth. The only question is whether we will choose to obey its application.

In this parable, Yeshua is telling us how He wants the citizens in His kingdom to live. It could be said that the "kingdom of heaven" is illustrated by the following situation.

This parable is for us, now, we are living in the Kingdom of God.

The King, in this parable, represents God the Father. The servant is a picture of unsaved man. The King is settling his accounts. The servant is called before the King to give an account, to settle up financially. This would be an annual accounting. This pictures God calling into account unsaved man. This is not a final accounting, or the story would end here. This is picturing the conviction of sin as God calls the elect to Himself:

"And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents. Matthew 18:24 NASB

This man had been embezzling the king's money. Ten thousand talents would be the equivalent of 190,000 years work. This pictures the bankrupt sinner before God with nothing to pay. He has offended an infinitely Holy God. He is absolutely incapable of helping himself and is totally dependant upon God's grace:

"But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. Matthew 18:25 NASB

The point of the parable is that the amount of this debt is unpayable, picturing eternal judgment:

"The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.' Matthew 18:26 NASB

Notice that he didn't deny the debt. He falls down before God; an attitude of humility. He knew what he was facing, and he was devastated. He was in the very attitude where God wants men to be when He shows them their sin. This man is pleading for mercy. He is convicted of his sin, though he probably doesn't understand the depth of his sin. No matter how much patience God has, we could never repay the debt:

"And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. Matthew 18:27 NASB

It was out of sheer compassion that the master granted this servant far more than he had asked for; completely canceling the loan. That is salvation; free and total forgiveness.

"But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' Matthew 18:28 NASB

It seems that he forgot very quickly just what had happened to him. This was no accident, he was looking for this guy. The Greek word for "fellow servant" is sundoulon, which means: "another man who has been forgiven, another believer." This man had been fully forgiven, yet he would not forgive others. If he wasn't a Christian, we wouldn't expect him to forgive.

Notice the comparison: 10,000 talents, which equals about 190,000 years work, and 100 pence, which equals about 3 months work. The 100 pence debt could have been carried in one pocket. The 10,000 talent debt would take an army to carry it of about 8,600 carriers, each carrying a sack of 60-80 pounds in weight, and they would form a line about five miles long. The contrast is staggering. Do you often forget what God has done for you?

This man grabs his brother around the throat and begins to choke him. Roman law allowed this. You might say, "This can't be a Christian." Really, do you think that Christians don't have problems forgiving each other? Have you ever read 1 Corinthians 6:1-8? The Christians at Corinth were dragging each other into court, trying to get justice. Have you ever done this to another believer, verbally or mentally? How many times have you wanted to do this to a Christian who hurt or wronged you? Be truthful. We are a lot like the man in this parable; we want justice from those who have wronged us, but we want mercy from those we have wronged:

"So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' Matthew 18:29 NASB

Does that sound familiar? The difference is that this guy could have paid him what he owed him. Compared to our debt against God, our sins against each other are minute. Our debt to God is unpayable. Our debts to each other are easily payable:

"He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. Matthew 18:30 NASB

He would not forgive his fellow servant. At times, we act just like this man in the parable and cast others into prison. Not literally of course, but we cast them into the prison of rejection, we isolate them through gossip. We want full payment. Aren't you glad that God didn't demand full payment from you? We couldn't pay Him, but our brothers could pay us:

"And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. Matthew 18:34 NASB

Notice what he says, "until he should repay all that was owed him." He is not speaking here of the original debt, that was unpayable. He was to pay what was due for his sin of unforgiveness. Until he forgave, he would be turned over to the torturers. He was not sold as a slave but given over to the jailers to be tortured until he paid what he owed. The man was disciplined by the king. In the same way, when we fail to forgive, we'd better expect torturous discipline.

What does he mean by, "handed him over to the torturers?" I believe that he is referring to the physical and mental pain that God brings upon his disobedient sinning children. You really can't afford not to be forgiving because of the high cost of unforgiveness. There are physical consequences to not forgiving others:

"So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart." Matthew 18:35 NASB

Here Yeshua applies the principles of the parable to us: My father will do this same thing to you if you don't forgive each other. This parable teaches us that we should be willing to forgive any and all offenses, because we have been forgiven so much. It also teaches that if we don't forgive, it will cost us. If you want to spend your days on earth a tormented believer, it's your choice. There is a better option—forgiveness!

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