Home > Uncategorized > The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (Part 6 of 155)

The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (Part 6 of 155)

September 19, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ephesians 1.6:…to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Today’s verse concludes the sentence of yesterday’s verse, which told us how God has destined us for adoption as his children, through Jesus; he did so freely because he wanted to. This verse expands on this more. The “to the praise of…” is in reference to this adoption of us as his children.

As we’ve already seen, these opening words of Ephesians are a lot about grace. I was going to write that this verse shows us now one of the reasons that God made us his own by adopting us as children through Christ: that he did so in order to bring praise to his glorious grace. And yet now I hesitate in saying this, because I feel that something isn’t quite right about this way of seeing it. It seems to me out of tune with the character of God that he would do something so that he might be praised, simply to “put his attributes on display,” so to speak.

So maybe this is too rationalistic a way of looking at it. “To the praise of” doesn’t necessarily mean “in order to be praised.” Paul may not be telling us in the clause exactly why God did what he did, but only that he ought to be praised for it, or that he will be praised for it–by men and angels for all eternity–which is certainly true.

Anyway, the grace is certainly real. Glorious grace. God has given us what we couldn’t earn and what we don’t deserve. It occurs to me that I’ve heard so much about grace over the years that it is hard to say anything about it that doesn’t sound a little trite to me. But grace should never sound like that.

We can become bored with grace only if we hear it as a word and an idea rather than as an awesome reality that flows from the love of God. So one thing I think that should be stressed about grace is how deeply tied it is to the love of God, and to Jesus Christ. In this verse, this is done simultaneously as the source of grace is simultaneously identified as the supreme object of God’s love: “the Beloved,” which here must mean Jesus.

Tomorrow’s verse:

1.7: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. September 20, 2010 at 8:12 am

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