even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Paul is not talking about material blessings here, but spiritual ones. He goes on to list the some of the most amazing of these blessings. First, before the foundation of the world God chose us to become Holy and Blameless before Him. Before the world existed God saw and understood the fall of His future creation, the fall of me, and every other human, and He chose and predestined to restore a portion of our fallen race. He chose each believer before they were ever born, before the Universe was made, to one day receive His blessings, be freed from sin and made holy and blameless by the sacrificed blood of Christ. In other words He predestined to adopt us as sons. He determined whom He would adopt, and then carried out His plan of redemption and brought us into His family.
All this is done according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace. And He wields this grace in order to bless us. There is an order here. God will’s to do these things. The shape of these mighty works begins with Him. He creates this master plan, incorporating all of humanity’s short falls, wickedness and atrocities, and determines through them a path of redemption, victory and joy. This is the end result, Satan wreaks unfathomable destruction and misery throughout the course of this age, and yet somehow in the end finds himself utterly outplayed, so that the end result is beautiful, joyous and to the praise of God’s glory. So He works His will, in order to bring praise to Himself for His glorious grace.
This praise is our response. And not only ours but all the angels in heaven, all the creatures of this earth, all nature itself. All turns, beholds the magnitude of God’s grace, and praises Him for it. It is our response in particular because to us in particular God has extended in Christ this amazing gifts of predestination and adoption. Because He chose us, when we did not deserve to be chosen, we praise Him. Because while we were sinful and guilty, He determined and succeeded to convert us into holy and blameless sons and daughters, we praise Him.
Part 2 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays.View Series