(Part 4) 2020 Resurrection Sunday Message:
Raised Up With Christ
By Pastor Robbie Casas
C. For What He Saved Us: The Eternal Purpose (2:7)
Read Eph 2:7: “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
In v. 7, although it would look like “might show” is future tense pointing us to the glorious prospect that awaits us, in the Greek, Paul actually wrote this in the past tense signifying that this was something God had already determined to do involving us in our future.
And what is it that God had determined to do involving us in our future? Through us and through what He had done for us in our redemption “… in the ages to come He [would]show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” We will be the testimony of the greatness of His grace –His grace manifested in kindness toward us through the redemptive work of Christ – to all the heavenly host “in the heavenly places” (v. 6).
A similar thought is found in Ephesians 3 where we are told that the purpose of the revelation of the “mystery of Christ” (v. 4), which is “… that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (v. 6) is “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (v. 10).
THIS IS THE ETERNAL PURPOSE FOR WHICH GOD SAVED US IN CHRIST – IT IS ALL TO HIS GLORY, TO THE MAGNIFICATION AND EXALTATION OF HIS GRACE (2:7) AND WISDOM (3:10). And we are to be the vessels that would bear that glory for God. Imagine: we are to be like trophies for God, declaring the triumph of His redemptive plan hatched from eternity past! I cannot even imagine what that day would be like.
Now think about what the implications of this are for us now.
First, if the ultimate purpose for our salvation is God’s glory through the magnification and exaltation of His grace and wisdom, then our future is secure! God will see to it that His holy purposes (especially this one!) are fulfilled. Isa 46:8-11: “8 “Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind, you transgressors. 9 Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; 11…. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.” THEREFORE NO MATTER WHAT WE FACE TODAY AND FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES HERE ON EARTH, FEAR NOT! OUR FUTURE IS SECURE; IT IS FIXED; IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED BY GOD HIMSELF.
Second, if we are saved by God to bring Him glory in the future in eternity, certainly that is also what He desires for us to do – and what we also must fervently long to do – now! As those who were bought by the blood of Christ, we must not wait for that future time to glorify God and honor Him. This eternal purpose has a profound bearing on our life now! This is the earthly purpose for why God saved us, as Paul mentions in v. 10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” ALL THESE GOOD WORKS HAVE AS THEIR HIGHEST PURPOSE THE GLORY OF GOD.
As we once more commemorate the most glorious event in both the story of our salvation and the history of the world, I pray that our deeper understanding and appreciation of this truth would help us live our lives today – and this includes the way we respond to the present crisis – not in fear but in absolute security in what we have today in Christ and what awaits us in the future with the Father. Responding this way, while at the same time seeking to perform the “good works, which God prepared beforehand” for us to do will no doubt bring our God the highest glory.
And this should bring us much joy.