For The Praise of His Glory - Past, Present & Future
I don’t know if you have ever felt what I have felt but I think I’m a very unlikely person to have become a follower of Jesus. I didn’t grow up in a church going family, spiritual things were rarely, if ever, discussed. Religion and politics were topics to be avoided in our house and in my world in general as they just create arguments. I was even called a “sullen boy” by a scripture teacher at school! I’m sure I was being annoying.
My path in life in my most impressionable years as a teenager and young adult from the late 80’s and into the 90’s was filled with Hip Hop (I moved from B-Boy to MC) and health sciences as I studied Physiotherapy (Physical Therapy for the north Americans reading this). But there was always something about life after death, heaven and hell, spiritual and physical that intrigued me. I look back and remember kinda sceptically believing in the paranormal, UFO’s, telepathy etc. And there was always something about this Jesus guy where I thought in my heart – one day I’ll look into that (despite the scripture teachers best efforts to put me off!). Little did I know that my spiritual life and path had been planned out before I was born.
Having a deep dive into Ephesians ch. 1 I can see it now. To answer the question “why did He save us?” and more directly “why did He choose me?” Ephesians Chapter 1 has answers. I have used the hip hop breakdown and scratch method to pull apart some verses and phrases:
He did it before we were even born:
v4 For He chose us…
v6 to the praise of His glorious grace
Ok so it wasn’t actually for me it was for HIM. So that changes things a bit, especially for my modern individualistic mindset. He chose us, me and you to praise Him and his glorious grace. Hmm… sounds like an old hymn. Not sure if I’m getting it.
v11 In him we were also chosen…
v12 in order that we… might be for the praise of His glory.
Ok so here we are again, He chooses us (I thought I chose to be a Christian, anyway…) in order that we (not just me) might praise His glory. Ok well He is God right, the creator of the universe, all powerful yet an incredibly benevolent caring Father willing to forgive and love us rather than oppress us. Ok I think I’m getting there.
He did it during our life:
v7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
v13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth…
v14 to the praise of His glory.
v17 so that you may know him better.
So there was a certain method that was enabled before we were born but is able to be used during our life – by his blood that (was in the past) shed for the forgiveness of our sins (now). So He connects the Before plan with the Now plan. We hear the gospel during our life for the same reason V14 “to the praise of His glory.” Ok so we can praise His awesome glory and grace that he has shown us NOW. Why now again? V17 “so that you may know him better.” OKAY so He’s not just a historical God, Jesus was not just a historical figure who did great things back then, He enters our life now, while we live and He makes a difference to our every day. And He can be known by us – DING! Now that’s pretty great. The all powerful wants us created beings of His to know Him and experience Him in our lives. Ok makes sense.
He did it for our future:
v18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance
v21 not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
Usually when someone else dies and we might receive an inheritance from them and we get to enjoy the fruits of their labour. And Jesus did die, and we get to enjoy the fruit of His labour – forgiveness, love, acceptance and lots of good things in our life now. But here it is talking about OUR afterlife. Weird, we die and then we get an inheritance “the riches of his glorious inheritance”… “not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Ok so He connects the Now plan with the Future plan. Firstly its exciting and comforting to know we are going to be with Him, where He is. That’s awesome. Secondly we are going to praise Him and His glory in the next life. We will see Him face to face, be in His presence – now that is going to be very awesome! – literally. Better than any movie with CGI effects, better than any imagination can dream up. Praising Him in His glorious presence, His glorious grace. Words cannot even begin to describe.
I’m glad He chose the unlikely and put us on this path of His glory. I hope you have a glorious day ☺