Daily Devotional: Ephesians 1:7-12

In the Beloved (i.e. Christ; cf. v. 6) we have redemption through His blood. Paul defines this redemption as “the forgiveness of trespasses according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” Those who are in Christ, then, have been entirely forgiven of their sins. God doesn’t merely apply a sufficient amount of grace in order to redeem past sins. He lavishes His grace upon His people such that present and future sins are also already redeemed. God does not withhold any amount of grace from His people but lavishes His abundant grace upon us—meaning that it brings Him great joy to do so. Growing up, I believed that God would withhold things from me if I sinned. Here, I learn something different. God lavishes His grace, grace upon grace, overabundantly and absolutely forgiving each trespass. If He withholds something material from His people, it is not in reaction to their sin. It cannot be. Instead, it is simply for their good, that they may profit.

In all wisdom and insight, because He is omniscient, God made known to His people the mystery of His will. Paul often refers to the mysteries of God, and He is always talking about the same thing—the gospel. The mystery has been made known. Here, Paul writes about the summing up of all things in Christ—things in heaven and on the earth. This was done at the cross in the fullness of time. Such an administration, that Christ would administer the grace of God, is suitable to the fullness of time, when all things were accomplished and the work of God in redemption complete at the cross. In Christ, despite our sin, we have obtained an inheritance because He predestined us before the foundation of the world (cf. v. 4) according to His purpose. He works all things together after the counsel of His own will, not our wills.

What is the endgame? Paul tells us. Those who were first to believe in Christ in the First Century would be to the praise of His glory. If they were redeemed to the praise of Christ’s glory, how much more are we also redeemed to the praise of Christ’s glory? Paul doesn’t beg people to make a decision so that they will get to heaven if they suddenly die in a bus accident. He tells people that Christ has chosen to redeem them by His will so that He will receive glory for His abundant grace, which He lavishes upon His chosen people. This is quite a different gospel presentation than western ears have grown accustomed to in the last 200 years.

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