Who gave himself for us - See the notes at Ephesians 5:2.
That he might redeem us from all iniquity - The word here rendered “redeem” - λυτρόω lutroōoccurs only here and in Luke 24:21; 1 Peter 1:18. The noun, however - λύτρον lutronoccurs in Matthew 20:28; and Mark 10:45; where it is rendered “ransom;” see it explained in the notes at Matthew 20:28. It is here said that the object of his giving himself was to save his people from all iniquity; see this explained in the notes at Matthew 1:21. And purify unto himself - (1) Purify them, or make them holy. This is the first and leading object; see the notes at Hebrews 9:14 (2) “Unto himself;” that is, they are no longer to be regarded as their own, but as redeemed for his own service, and for the promotion of his glory; - Notes, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. A peculiar people - 1 Peter 2:9. The word here used ( περιούσιος periousios) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, having abundance; and then one‘s own, what is special, or peculiar (Robinson, Lexicon), and here means that they were to be regarded as belonging to the Lord Jesus. It does not mean, as the word would seem to imply - and as is undoubtedly true - that they are to be a unique people in the sense that they are to be unlike others, or to have views and principles unique to themselves; but that they belong to the Saviour in contradistinction from belonging to themselves - “peculiar” or his own in the sense that a man‘s property is his own, and does not belong to others. This passage, therefore, should not be used to prove that Christians should be unlike others in their manner of living, but that they belong to Christ as his redeemed people. From that it may indeed be inferred that they should be unlike others, but that is not the direct teaching of the passage. Zealous of good works - As the result of their redemption; that is, this is one object of their having been redeemed; Notes, Ephesians 2:10.
And purify unto himself -
(1) Purify them, or make them holy. This is the first and leading object; see the notes at Hebrews 9:14
(2) “Unto himself;” that is, they are no longer to be regarded as their own, but as redeemed for his own service, and for the promotion of his glory; - Notes, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
A peculiar people - 1 Peter 2:9. The word here used ( περιούσιος periousios) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, having abundance; and then one‘s own, what is special, or peculiar (Robinson, Lexicon), and here means that they were to be regarded as belonging to the Lord Jesus. It does not mean, as the word would seem to imply - and as is undoubtedly true - that they are to be a unique people in the sense that they are to be unlike others, or to have views and principles unique to themselves; but that they belong to the Saviour in contradistinction from belonging to themselves - “peculiar” or his own in the sense that a man‘s property is his own, and does not belong to others. This passage, therefore, should not be used to prove that Christians should be unlike others in their manner of living, but that they belong to Christ as his redeemed people. From that it may indeed be inferred that they should be unlike others, but that is not the direct teaching of the passage.
Zealous of good works - As the result of their redemption; that is, this is one object of their having been redeemed; Notes, Ephesians 2:10.
Who gave himself for us - Who gave his own life as a ransom price to redeem ours. This is evidently what is meant, as the words λυτρωσηται and λαον περιουσιον imply. The verb λυτροω signifies to redeem or ransom by paying a price, as I have often had occasion to observe; and περιουσιος signifies such a peculiar property as a man has in what he has purchased with his own money. Jesus gave his life for the world, and thus has purchased men unto himself; and, having purchased the slaves from their thraldom, he is represented as stripping them of their sordid vestments, cleansing and purifying them unto himself that they may become his own servants, and bringing them out of their dishonorable and oppressive servitude, in which they had no proper motive to diligence and could have no affection for the despot under whose authority they were employed. Thus redeemed, they now become his willing servants, and are zealous of good works - affectionately attached to that noble employment which is assigned to them by that Master whom it is an inexpressible honor to serve. This seems to be the allusion in the above verse.
A soul united with Christ, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, in accepting and living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God will war against all transgression and every approach of sin. He becomes every day more like a bright and shining light, and more victorious. He goes on from strength to strength, not from weakness to weakness. TM 441.1
Let no one deceive his own soul in this matter. If you harbor pride, self-esteem, a love for the supremacy, vainglory, unholy ambition, murmuring, discontent, bitterness, evil speaking, lying, deception, slandering, you have not Christ abiding in your heart, and the evidence shows that you have the mind and character of Satan, not of Jesus Christ, who was meek and lowly of heart. You must have a Christian character that will stand. You may have good intentions, good impulses, can speak the truth understandingly, but you are not fit for the kingdom of heaven. Your character has in it base material, which destroys the value of the gold. You have not reached the standard. The impress of the divine is not upon you. The furnace fires would consume you, because you are worthless, counterfeit gold. TM 441.2
There must be thorough conversions among those who claim to believe the truth, or they will fall in the day of trial. God's people must reach a high standard. They must be a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen generation—zealous of good works. TM 441.3Read in context »
As a family, you need to be sanctified through the truth. Dear sister, will you see the work to be done for you and take hold of it without delay, that your influence may be saving? Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 2T 317.1
There are enough profitable subjects upon which to meditate and converse. The conversation of the Christian should be in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour. Meditation upon heavenly things is profitable, and will ever be accompanied with the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Our calling is holy, our profession exalted. God is purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He is sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver. When the dross and tin are removed, then His image will be perfectly reflected in us. Then the prayer of Christ for His disciples will be answered in us: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” When the truth has a sanctifying influence upon our hearts and lives, we can render to God acceptable service and can glorify Him upon the earth, being partakers of the divine nature and having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2T 317.2
Oh, how many will be found unready when the Master shall come to reckon with His servants! Many have meager ideas of what constitutes a Christian. Self-righteousness will then be of no avail. Only those can stand the test who shall be found having on the righteousness of Christ, who are imbued with His spirit, and walk even as He walked, in purity of heart and life. The conversation must be holy, and then the words will be seasoned with grace. 2T 317.3Read in context »
After the decision of the council at Jerusalem concerning this question, many were still of this opinion, but did not then push their opposition any farther. The council had, on that occasion, decided that the converts from the Jewish church might observe the ordinances of the Mosaic law if they chose, while those ordinances should not be made obligatory upon converts from the Gentiles. The opposing class now took advantage of this, to urge a distinction between the observers of the ceremonial law and those who did not observe it, holding that the latter were farther from God than the former. 6BC 1111.1
Paul's indignation was stirred. His voice was raised in stern rebuke: “If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” The party maintaining that Christianity was valueless without circumcision arrayed themselves against the apostle, and he had to meet them in every church which he founded or visited: in Jerusalem, Antioch, Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome. God urged him out to the great work of preaching Christ, and Him crucified; circumcision or uncircumcision was nothing. The Judaizing party looked upon Paul as an apostate, bent upon breaking down the partition wall which God had established between the Israelites and the world. They visited every church which he had organized, creating divisions. Holding that the end would justify the means, they circulated false charges against the apostle, and endeavored to bring him into disrepute. As Paul, in visiting the churches, followed after these zealous and unscrupulous opposers, he met many who viewed him with distrust, and some who even despised his labors. 6BC 1111.2
These divisions in regard to the ceremonial law, and the relative merits of the different ministers teaching the doctrine of Christ, caused the apostle much anxiety and hard labor [1 Corinthians 1:10-13 quoted] (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 121, 122). 6BC 1111.3Read in context »
10 (Ephesians 1:6; 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 2:14; 3:5; James 2:22). Good Works No Plea for Salvation—Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God's free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ's sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul. 5BC 1122.1
But are good works of no real value? Is the sinner who commits sin every day with impunity, regarded of God with the same favor as the one who through faith in Christ tries to work in his integrity? The Scripture answers, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favor, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ's merit alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. When we have done all that it is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as unprofitable servants. We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures. 5BC 1122.2
The Lord has bidden us to draw nigh to Him and He will draw nigh to us; and drawing nigh to Him, we receive the grace by which to do those works which will be rewarded at His hands (The Review and Herald, January 29, 1895). 5BC 1122.3
28-30 (Genesis 19:24, 25). Rocked in Cradle of Carnal Security—As the sun arose for the last time upon the cities of the plain, the people thought to commence another day of godless riot. All were eagerly planning their business or their pleasure, and the messenger of God was derided for his fears and his warnings. Suddenly as the thunder peal from an unclouded sky, fell balls of fire on the doomed capital. “So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” The people will be eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, until the wrath of God shall be poured out without mixture of mercy. The world will be rocked to sleep in the cradle of carnal security.... The multitudes are striving to forget God, and they eagerly accept fables, that they may pursue the path of self-indulgence undisturbed (The Review and Herald, October 26, 1886). 5BC 1122.4Read in context »