. . . 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.
What’s God’s ultimate goal? It’s His glory! When we’re more specific, though, we’ll also have a more specific answer. What’s God’s ultimate goal for His church? It’s the glory of His grace. Of all God’s attributes, He wants His grace to receive the greatest glory. It’s like the trinity: all God’s attributes are co-equal and co-eternal, but have different functions. For his church, His grace is first among equals, so to speak. It’s the fountainhead by which we receive and enjoy all His other attributes.
When we look at Paul’s train of thought, we see that he ends up with: “To the praise of his glorious grace.” Everything that preceded that statement—the Father choosing us in Christ and predestining us for adoption through Jesus—is meant to glorify His grace.
When we consider God’s grace, we consider it in light of our unworthiness. We don’t deserve any favor or goodness from Him. There’s no entitlement at all. In order to highlight God’s grace, Paul wrote: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins . . . and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Eph. 2:1-5).
By nature we only deserve God’s wrath. Yet, God made dead, hardened, unresponsive sinners spiritually alive in order to “be holy and blameless before him.” That’s grace! It’s not based on any supposed goodness or worthiness that we may claim. We have none! That’s why God’s desire to glorify His grace is the best news ever. It’s our only hope!
Not only did God graciously make us alive, He also blessed us with His glorious grace “in the Beloved.” He has chosen us in Christ and “in him” we have God’s infinite grace. Because Jesus lived a perfect righteous life on our behalf and died a sacrificial death for all our sins, God has declared us righteous. In Him we’re “holy and blameless before him” because Jesus is holy and blameless. That will not only be our eternal state, but also our eternal experience, “to the praise of his glorious grace.”
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“