Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goal: Praise for the Glory of God's Grace

Text: εις επαινον δοξης της χαριτος αυτου εν η εχαριτωσεν ημας εν τω ηγαπημενω

Translation:  "...to the praise of the glory of his grace with which grace he has bestowed on us in the beloved one..."

Truth:  First, this verse ends what we believe to be the first stanza of praise that revolves around the first person of the Trinity, which is God-The Father. In verses three through five Paul related the activity and the cause of the Father's election of some to salvation. Second, Paul will now reveal God's goal in electing some to be the recipient of his great salvation - the goal is the praise of the glory of God's great grace.

εις επαινον δοξης της χαριτος αυτου - "to the praise of the glory of his grace..."

The preposition εις is used by Paul three times in verses five and six. The first time Paul uses this preposition is to show the idea of direction or appointment. The use of this preposition in this manner shows us that God predestined us "to" adoption." The preposition shows the appointment of predestination resulted in the adoption of believers. The second use of the preposition εις is used by Paul to show "relationship." This use directs our attention back to God. The predestination and the adoption originates with God and this is why he is to be praised. The third use of this preposition, εις, by Paul is to the goal or the end of adoption by God. Everything that the Father does has the goal of ending in praise to God. God does not do one thing without the utmost intention of being the revelation of his nature resulting in him being praised.

This truth is so hard for egotistical, ego-centric, and fallen man to comprehend. The goal of God's actions to redeem you was not for your benefit but it was so that he would be praised. No doubt we who are the recipients of God's grace reap untold benefits. The actions of the Father have as their goal the praise of God.

What is "praise?"

From very early on in Greek literature the word for praise has carried the idea of "praise, approval, applause."  This word is used in the LXX ten times. This word translates three Hebrew words. Three of those five times that the word is used translate a word that is used many times in the Old Testament which means "praise" or "glory." Now in the New Testament this word is used eleven times (nine times by the Apostle Paul.) This term refers to the praise of God by believers.

δοξης  - "glory"

This word is a very elusive word. It has changed in how it was used. Today it seems that many believers are unclear concerning this word and have some form of a "mystical" or "esoteric" idea about its meaning.

In Greek it had the idea of "my opinion" or "reputation" (referring to the opinion of others.) This word is actually used in the LXX some 450 times and used in our Old Testament some 276 times and is actually translated from some twenty five different words. One hundred and eighty times it is translated from one main Hebrew word. 

The idea of this Hebrew Word comes from the idea of something that is "weighty" or "heavy" in a person giving the idea of significance or importance. This "weightiness" in turn makes a major impact on others. This word is used in relation to God's great name. δοξης carries the idea of the reflection of the essence of God's being, the summation of all his attributes. His essence makes an impact on others. God's reputation due to his character or attributes is the essence of his being. Therefore a believer is to praise God for the attributes or the essence of God's character that is revealed in his predetermining to adopt some as sons by redemption.

εν η εχαριτωσεν ημας - "with which grace he has bestowed on us."

The believer is visited by God with grace. As a matter of fact, the believer has been ingratiated with grace. The context speaks of God's gracious provision. In our preceding verse we have seen that God visited the sinner with grace by electing and predestining the sinner to become a child of God. God bestowed grace on sinners. This is the same grace, the same idea or concept that we find in Luke 1 where God bestowed favor or grace in choosing Mary as the mother of Jesus. 

Just meditate on that for a moment. Only for a moment though, if you spend to long in meditation you will swell up with absolute awe, amazement, bewilderment, and then melt in uncontrollable tears of thanksgiving and amazement. God, who created this world visited me, a condemned sinner, bestowing upon me unspeakable, indescribable, and unmerited favor or grace. When we think on the grace God visited Mary with in order to carry and deliver Jesus His unique Son we marvel and almost idolize her. But listen, dear Saint, she has nothing on you - she received no more grace than you did when God visited you, a condemned sinner and predestined you to become His Son by adoption!

Listen, if you study that passage in Luke intently you will find that when Mary becomes agitated or troubled for this selection Gabriel tells her not to fear God's grace in choosing her. The context emphasizes God's choice rather than Mary's worth. You are acceptable to God not because of any merit within you but because God chose to bestow or visit you with grace!

εν τω ηγαπημενω - "...in the beloved one"

What we see here is that the grace that God bestowed or visited upon us in Christ Jesus. Since believers are in Christ, they too are the object of God's love.

So, we finish the section which deals with God's Election For Himself in verses 4-6. We saw the Activity of God: Election prior to Creation (4); the Appointment of God: Predestination to Sonship (5); the Aim of God: Praise of the Glory of His Grace (6.)

Next Tuesday, Lord willing, we will look at the second stanza in the discussion of the Trinity's involvement of our salvation when we look at God's Redemption In Christ in verses 7-12.


Tuesday: "Priceless Pearls" - Stories of Christian Truths

-Weekly Devotions for Disciples

Follow along on Tuesdays as we offer filling and fruitful devotional commentary on various Scriptures.

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

Good thoughts Gregg. I liked your explanation of glory.