In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
(Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV)
Yesterday we learned that one of the spiritual blessings that God gives to His children (born-again believers [John 1:12]) is an inheritance. That inheritance (as well as the other blessings) are all part of the plan (“the purpose”) that God had for the universe before it was even created (“having been predestined”).
The Greek word translated “works” here is the verb ενεργεο (pronounced: en-erg-eh’-o) and is the word that gives us our English verb “to energize”. This is very interesting. God not only has a plan but He energizes that plan – He brings it about. Our God is not a lazy God who stands idly by watching the events on earth. He is actively involved in them. And He uses them – all of them – to accomplish His goal.
The plan that God has for His creation was made intentionally “according to the counsel of His will”. He gave it much consideration and planned it out. And now He is working all things towards that plan. No matter what happens on this earth God can, and does, use it to achieve His purpose which is to bring everything under the control of Christ [Ephesians 1:10].
The ultimate goal of all this is “so that” those who place their hope in Christ (for the forgiveness of their sins) will bring glory to God. God is doing all this to bring glory to Himself.
This is a concept that human beings have trouble with because we label other people who seek glory for themselves as arrogant and selfish. This is true when it comes to human beings since none of us truly deserve to be praised. But not when it comes to God.
God is trying to draw people to Himself in order to save them from an eternity in hell. A phrase I often use is a quote from a pastor in Toronto: “God is creating a family and He wants to adopt you into it”. God glorifies Himself so that we would be attracted to Him and want to join His family (by placing our faith in Jesus).
God wants us to be drawn to Him like moths are attracted to light. In order to do that He needs to present Himself as the most attractive option in the universe. If God did not bring glory to Himself – if He glorified anything or anyone else – we would be drawn to that other thing or person. But that would be to our eternal detriment as there is no other way to be saved except by His grace [Acts 4:12]. Everything God does is for our benefit – even seeking His own praise and glory.
When God brings glory to Himself it is not arrogance. It is a necessity – our necessity.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.