“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined
according to the plan of him who works out everything
in conformity with the purpose of his will,
in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ,
might be for the praise of his glory”
( Ephesians 1:11-12)
Three times within the space of eight verses Paul uses similar words to denote our purpose before God – the purpose for which we were predestined and chosen.
- He predestined us to be adopted as His children “to the praise of His glorious grace” (6)
- We were chosen and predestined that we “might be for the praise of His glory” (12)
- We received the Holy Spirit as the mark that we were God’s possession “to the praise of His glory” (14)
The glory of God is His revelation of Himself in His glorious majesty, breath-taking splendour, blinding purity, absolute power and overwhelming love. The glory of His grace is His self—disclosure of the most heart-rending and amazing grace. Therefore for us to live to the praise of His glory and His grace is to worship Him ourselves with increasing wonder, delight, awe, humility, obedience and love and also to be the vehicles through whom others catch sight of Him and turn to Him in praise and trust themselves.
This is what Jesus would have had in mind when He taught His disciples that
“You are the light of the world … let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16)
It is what God had in mind for the first people whom He chose.
- “the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise” (Isaiah 43:21)
- “For as a belt is bound around a man’s waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,’ declares the LORD, `to be my people for my renown and praise and honour. But they have not listened” (Jeremiah 13:11)
It is still God’s purpose and the reason that Jesus Commissioned His people before His ascension.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
This will of God that we should live to the praise of His glory is not to indulge Himself with pleasure. It is because He is so wonderful, so beautiful, so glorious, so gracious, so majestic, so creative, so forgiving and so powerful that He desires with all His being for us to know and enjoy Him in all His fullness. He would do anything to achieve this – and has done so. For us to now withhold it from others would be a terrible act of selfishness and deprivation, and the opposite of what he had in mind.
I have a treasure that needs to be shared
Lord God, so fill me with the wonder and love of You that I desire to share it with others. May they see something of You in the way that I live and speak and desire to know more. Amen.