We share our opinions and insights at SBC Voices, but we believe that the Voice that matters most is the one that comes from God’s Word. We present these daily expositional devotions, beginning with a tour of Ephesians called, “Walk Worthy,” in hopes of encouraging our readers to remember to Voice above every voice.
In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory. Ephesians 1:11-12 CSB
Back in 1873, a blind rescue mission worker in New York City’s Manhattan slums penned the words to a beautiful hymn as she sat in her friend’s home listening to a new tune that her friend had composed (Morgan, Then Sings My Soul, 181):
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
The opening verse of “Blessed Assurance” written by Fanny Crosby stands as a faithful echo to these two wonderful verses in the opening chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. As this tune runs through my mind, I just want to share with you a few important truths this passage of Scripture highlights for us.
The only way anyone receives the promised inheritance—encapsulated with the entirety of the great salvation our Lord provides (which is the focus of these verses and the paragraph in which they are found in the Bible)—is to be “in him”…that is, to be a new creation in Jesus Christ. God’s word teaches us that forgiveness of sin and eternal life is contingent upon repentance—no repentance = no forgiveness = no inheritance. We don’t just get assumed into a relationship with Jesus. We must intentionally repent of our sin and place our faith in Jesus Christ alone as our Savior and Lord.
God absolutely has a plan, and, as even Nebuchadnezzar recognized in the Old Testament, His plan will certainly happen. We find great hope in this most excellent of theological principles: God is God, and we are not. He who created everything has a purpose for everything He created. This truth includes you and me!
Our great God also needs no counselor. Many in the Bible, including Job and Paul, clearly recognized this fact. We need to recapture this understanding and position of awe and wonder at the perfection of God. He is complete all by Himself. He didn’t create everything we see and about which we have learned because He was lonely or needed us. He created us to show His glory to another (us) that we also bring praise and honor to His name. I am convinced that we see the pinnacle declaration of God’s glory in His choosing to save us.
As many wise Christians who lived before any of us were born once stated, “The chief and of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Ephesians 1:12 reminds us that this truth is the most important reason why we have the privilege of receiving an eternal inheritance, including forgiveness of our sin and the blessing of eternal life and our heavenly home. We might be tempted to think that God’s salvation of us is centered in His preoccupation with us. The truth of the matter is that in saving us from the just consequences of our sin, God glorifies Himself and consistently shows that His glory is far above anything or anyone else. This truth brings us peace, strength, and joy beyond anything we could or would ever accomplish on our own.
As Paul starts out this letter focused on the great truths which surround the fact that our God is mighty to save, we find ourselves echoing further the wonderful chorus of Miss Crosby’s time-honored hymn:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.