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In Praise of God’s Glorious Grace

January 24, 2018 • Life for Leaders

[In love] he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Ephesians 1:5-6

 

Three times in Ephesians 1:3-14 we find language that links praise of God and God’s glory: “to the praise of his glorious grace” (1:6), “for the praise of his glory” (1:12), and “to the praise of his glory” (1:14). Verse 6 is distinctive because it refers to praise not just of God’s glory but of “the glory of his grace” (as the Greek might be translated more literally). This phrase makes us wonder: What exactly is God’s grace? And how is it glorious? And why does this matter to us?

A child delighting in God's praise, glory, and grace.The grace of God is his unmerited favor. It is similar to God’s love, though grace underscores the fact that God’s goodness to us is not something we earn or deserve. It is given in light of God’s own grace-full nature. Grace can never be earned, by definition. It is a gift, a generous and glorious gift.

God’s glory is that which makes God wonderful and exceptional. In Scripture, the glory of God is frequently revealed through brilliant light (for example, 1 Kings 8:10-11; Isa 60:1; Ezek 10:4; Luke 2:9; Heb 1:3). Moreover, God’s glory is glimpsed in his saving actions. According to Ephesians 1:4-6, God’s glory is “seen” in the fact that he chose us to be his beloved children. God’s grace is glorious, not only because it is wonderful for us, but also because it reveals God’s own character as a giving and forgiving God.

Thus, as we meditate upon God’s grace, as we reflect on the glory of God’s grace, we are drawn to worship. We yearn to praise God for the glory of his grace. We lift up our words and songs of praise. Indeed, we offer our lives in worship as a thankful and humble response to the God who has made us his own because he freely loves us and delights to be in relationship with us. All of this is a reflection of God’s grace, his amazing, glorious grace, his grace that changes everything.

Something to Think About:

As you consider the glory of God’s grace, what thoughts or images come to mind?

How do you experience God’s glorious grace?

How do you respond to God’s grace in your life?

Something to Do:

As you pray this week, be sure to praise God for his glorious grace. Reflect upon how you have experienced this grace and offer praise to the Lord.

Prayer:

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin. Amen.

“Marvelous Grace of Our Loving Lord” by Julia H. Johnson, 1911. Public domain.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Christ Created and Sustains the World (Hebrews 1:1–2:8)

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Ephesians

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