This 8 ft. banner hangs in our church as a reminder, a motto, a mission and purpose statement: Everything to the Praise of the Glory of His Grace.
Where did we get this overarching theme? From heaven itself!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 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 . . . and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:6-7)
Why is it such good news to believe that the reason why we are saved is to display how gracious God is?
- You need to know that your salvation is not nearly as precious as God’s grace is.
- You need to know that your life has never been about you, it’s always been about displaying how gracious God is.
- You need to be comforted in knowing that every suffering in this life will one day be swallowed up in ecstasy and praise. Notice the future tense – “so that in the coming ages he might show . . .” One day, God is going to show you the infinite wisdom of his ways.
- You need assurance that he will “unite all things in heaven and on earth” to further your enjoyment of his grace in your life. Everything, all causes of both joy and sorrow will be brought to bear upon how gracious God is to you in Christ. Not one tear drop or pleasurable moment watching a sunrise will be lost. Everything is yours in Christ!
- You need a solid foundation from which to live for Christ. The promise of Grace precedes and is the basis for obedience (chapters 4-6 of Ephesians).
- You need to know that the ultimate reason why you’re on your way to eternal joy of the Lord is because of grace – a grace that preceded and caused your destiny. This means that no future sin can derail what grace has purposed.
- Finally, your enjoyment of Christ and all that you have in him will not be experienced alone or in a corner. Every pronoun used in this passage is plural; the Church is made up of every kind of person, every language, every people group, every class and caste of society, and every time period since Adam and Eve to the last martyr in Revelation. One day, the whole Universe will be filled with sinners saved by grace, enjoying all that they have in Christ.
Believe these things and all of this life’s troubles begin to take their proper small place.