… to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6
As we have already seen, God’s divine purpose in all that He does from eternity past, to the present, and on to the eternal future, is toward the attainment of praise for His own glory. As it has been said, God’s chief end is to glorify God … ‘Glory,’ as it is used in the Bible describes the manifestation of God’s saving presence. Though we have seen it similarly phrased in Ephesians chapter 1 verses 12 and 14, here in verse 6, the word ‘glory’ is used adjectivally to describe one particular aspect of God’s presence, namely His grace (in Greek, charis). It may be accurately understood to translate this phrase as, “to the praise of His glorious grace” (as the ESV and RSV do). To say that God’s grace is glorious, means that it is a reflection of His glory, that is, His revealed character. To praise God’s grace then is to praise His name.
“Grace!” Phillip Doddrige wrote, “’tis a charming sound, harmonious to the ear.” John Newton sang it, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound!” Pastor Tim James wrote…
“Grace is such a singular and absolute thing that it will countenance no rival and tolerate no adornment. It stands alone. No words can do it justice. No song can encompass its true melody. No sermon or theological treatise can expound the depths or heights of its glory. Every redeemed sinner rests in it and is motivated by it. … Those who have experienced the beauty and the power of it find their minds and hearts consumed by it. Grace is mystery and revelation. Our language is salted with it. Our relationships are monitored and measured by it. Our souls are permeated with it. God’s grace is his glory.”
Our text in Ephesians doesn’t end here, but rather drives us on with a relative clause which emphasizes another aspect of God’s glorious grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. This statement prepares us for the following verses which declare the manifestation of God’s grace in history, in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (the Beloved), in whom we then trust and believe. This reminds us once again that all of God’s blessings, including most of all His grace, come only in Christ, “the Beloved” – Can there be a more appropriate name and title for the glorious Bridegroom of our soul! Blessed is the one who can say of Him, with a heart of faith, “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.” (SS 6:3) Is Jesus Christ your Beloved? If so, then be encouraged by His promise here in this verse.
He made us accepted in the Beloved. With these words, the Holy Spirit declares one of the most beautiful and comforting truths in all of Scripture, the fact that there is an inviolable, immutable union between Jesus Christ and His people. This union is entered into upon the initiative of God who “accepts” (in Greek the verb is, charito-o) literally, “favors” or “graces” us. The verb, e-charit-osen (from the noun charis which remember means grace) is an aorist indicative verb, which describes a past tense single action taken by God, which in turn, changes our position. I Corinthians 15 speaks of our either being in Adam or in Christ; this positional change initiated by God, is because He has graced us in the Beloved. Chosen from all eternity to be the bride of Christ, when we come to faith in Him and are born again, we enter into a marriage covenant – a vital union whereby everything that is His is ours. To be “graced in the Beloved” means that, as objects of His love, we become highly favored. We become pleasing to the Father and He accepts our offerings in Christ (1 Pet 2:5).
This week read the Song of Solomon – as you do, consider your relationship with Christ, with whom you have been brought into union, by grace.
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