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To Praise God’s Glory: Ephesians 1:3-14

As I read this recently, these words jumped out at me:

“…to the praise of his glorious grace…” – verse 6

“…in order that we might be…for the praise of his glory.” – verse 12

“…to the praise of his glory.” – verse 14

In the King James Version, Ephesians 1: 3 -14 is a single sentence, one of the most grace-filled sentences in the Bible. The NIV and other translations break it into multiple sentences, or even multiple paragraphs. (Of course, the autograph has no punctuation marks or paragraph breaks. Where they come is a part of the translators’ work.)

In these verses, each person in the trinity appears. Each is the object of praise, and each works for the believer.

Praise be to the Father… (Verses 3-6)

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because:

He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with all spiritual blessings in Christ.

He chose us in Christ even before the creation.

He chose us to be holy and blameless in His sight.

He pre-planned our adoption as His sons through THE Son, Jesus Christ.

Why would anyone fail to praise Him for all of that? He had our redemption in view before we sinned, yea even before He created the world! His purpose is that we be like Him – holy and blameless. In fact, this is why He created us.

“The truth that is in Jesus” teaches us what to do with the old man and how to live as a new man.

Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:21-24

That is why Adam was created in the first place – and that is why God, in Christ, comes to make us a new creation. His interest in us is that we be like Him.

For Redemption In Christ… (verses 6b-12)

What has God done for us in Christ? We already noted that He predestined our adoption as His own sons through Christ. What else is there?

He freely gave us His grace in Christ, the One whom He loves.

He has redeemed us in Christ.

He has forgiven us of our sins through the blood of Jesus.

He not only freely gave us His grace, He lavished His grace on us “with all wisdom and understanding”

He made His will and purpose for us known in Christ, a will and purpose that reach their fruition in the fullness of time when all things in heaven and earth come together under Christ as the one head.

To this destiny, He chose us and planned for us, ourselves, to be for the praise of His glory.

God’s plan to bring the entire creation back into subjection to God begins with us. His plan is to reverse the curse, starting with our redemption in Christ. You see, redemption is more than the forgiveness of sins. It is reforming us into the image of the Creator. It is not enough to forgive us; redemption includes our overcoming the power of sin in our lives. Yes, I know this is a process that will continue as long as we live in Christ. It climaxes “when the times will have reached their fulfillment” and He brings “all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”

Until then, we walk in the light with Him, marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit.

And for the Gift of His Spirit. verses 13-14

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. – Galatians 4:6-7

The Holy Spirit is the seal God places upon us. A seal does two things: first, it marks us as authentic sons of God; second, it protects us.

As the mark of authenticity as God’s children, the Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. The Spirit guarantees that we will participate in the fullness that comes when all things become new.

As protection, the seal of God upon us keeps the Tempter from tampering with us “more than we are able to bear” (1 Corinthians 10:13). We do not stand in our own power alone – but also in the power of the Holy Spirit, which we have in Christ.

What assurance we have in these opening verses of one of Paul’s most profound epistles! What a glorious plan He has for us in Christ!

Let us praise and worship Him for it – not only with the fruit of lips and hearts that praise His name, but also with Spirit-filled lives that honor Him as our Creator and New-Creator.

Ephesians 1:15-23 – Resurrection Power

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