Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Study in Ephesians: Pt. 6, Ephesians 1:3-14

Your Life's Purpose

Not only is the centrality of Christ a theme in these few verses, but the purpose of why we are here  and why everything exists is as well. I hinted at this at the end of part 4, and I want to expand on it now.
  • The Father adopted us through Jesus to the praise of His glorious grace (Eph 1:6)
  • Our forgiveness comes not from anything we have done, but it is according to the riches of His grace (Eph 1:7)
  • The mystery of God's plan that He revealed to us was planned according to His good pleasure (Eph 1:9)
  • We have received an inheritance from the Father, in Christ, for the purpose of bringing praise to His glory (Eph 1:11-12)
  • We received the Holy Spirit as a down payment on that inheritance, again for the purpose of bringing praise to His glory (Eph 1:14)
Ultimately, your salvation was not an end unto itself. God did not save you simply because you needed saving. That is part of it, but the ultimate purpose of your salvation and your sanctification is to bring glory to God. He gave us His grace because it pleased Him to do so as a means to bring Himself glory.

Why is this important to know? It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that God just wants for us what will make us happy. That's not the case. If we understand that we were saved for a reason greater than simply being saved, that we are being made Christ-like for a greater purpose than simply being made Christ-like, then we can begin to lay hold of the truth that our lives are not our own. They were bought with the price of the blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). 

Being made Christ-like is hard and often painful. But as the writer of Hebrews reminds us, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, Who is perfecting our faith, and run with endurance the race that God has called us to (Hebrews 12:1-2). You are not just running for the sake of running. You are not just enduring hardship for the sake of enduring hardship or even just for the sake of being made more Christ-like as a result. You are running and enduring for the sake of bringing glory to God.

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