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.
Passage: Overview of Ephesians 1:7-14 – In Him
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
In Him. His Will. In Him. In Him. Purpose of Him. His Will. In Christ. His glory. In Him. In Him. To the praise of His glory. Like a machine gun, we are mowed down with Christ being the main subject of this passage over and over again while we are the beneficiaries of His grace and blessing. It is all about Jesus.
2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
We have everything thing we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Jesus. Knowing Christ – relationally, experientially knowing Him opens us up to the riches of his own glory and excellence. Everything we need and are created for is found in Christ.
We are forgiven through the blood of Jesus – our trespasses are forgiven not according to how great our sin is but according to how great the riches of God’s grace are, which He pours out in excess over us. God’s grace is extravagant and overwhelms our sin like a pebble is overwhelmed when it is hurled into the ocean. God pours out this grace in all wisdom and insight, meaning that His grace is revealed to us exactly as needed so we can know His great love for us and the mystery of His will which is the uniting of all things in Him.
Many Christians have trouble seeing this. We can often see our sin so clearly and it is ever before us. We see the sins of others too. Or, sometimes, it seems that our main focus is on ourselves, what has gone wrong, what is wrong with others, with our churches, our families, our nation … everything. And, our hearts can grow weary in criticism and analysis. While we want to fix things that are broken, but, a constant focus on what has gone wrong instead of what God is doing to set things right can lead to despair and hard-heartedness. God is pouring out His grace on us – grace greater than all our sin.
We have an inheritance in Christ. We were predestined to be to the “praise of His glory.” Do we think about that? Our lives are to be to the praise of God’s glory, not our own advancement or accomplishment, but God’s glory. The word of truth is made available to us, we hear it, and we believe in Him. This is God’s work working through His Word bringing faith and dead men to life. Then, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit guaranteeing that inheritance in Christ. God is working and all of what we could ever hope for is found … In Him.
The life that God has for us is a life that He initiates. We can rest and receive and know that God is working out His purpose in us and revealing the mystery of His will in us. He seeks to bless us with His presence, His call, and His life. We are to reflect all of that and be to the praise of His glorious grace. As great as our sin is, God’s grace is greater still – all the more greater. What if our primary focus wasn’t our sinfulness and how we fail so often (yes, we must be aware and repent constantly), but in repentance and faith we are more conscious of God’s immeasurable grace and the blessings we can only find in Christ? What if our primary focus was not ourselves, but God, and we looked to Him first and foremost instead of constantly seeing the whole spiritual life from our own perspective?
Living to the praise of His glorious grace! This is the life that God has designed for us in Christ, and by His grace and will, he will unite all things together in Him.