By Stan Brown
Ephesians 1:12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
This verse is a good example of why we sometimes should ignore reading the commentaries, although reading the commentaries gave me something to say today. In fact, I read two commentaries from the same author and over the years his view had changed from one view to the other. Now, I dare not be too harsh on commentaries, else I could not expect you to read my comments on the book of Ephesians. My point is this. There is discussion in the commentaries about who the “we” of verse twelve and the “you” of verse thirteen are. Does “we” mean Paul and his companions or the Jews? Does “you” mean The Ephesians or the Gentiles in general? OK, enough of that. I find that discussion to be of little practical consequence while the verse itself has much practical application.
In this case, it really doesn’t matter who is who, because everyone of us as believers are fully in possession of all these magnificent blessings that God has so greatly bestowed on us through His awesome grace. As believers, we are all redeemed, all the sins of all of us have been forgiven, we all are recipients of the inheritance of verse eleven, all of us are His possession, all of us have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, we are all to the praise of His glory. We are all One in Him.
As Paul draws to close the second section emphasizing the works of the Son with the words to the praise of His glory, it is worth noting that Paul does not keep the distinctions among the three persons of the trinity as absolute as I might have suggested earlier. The works of the Father slide down into the deeds of the Son and the Spirit just as the works of the Spirit and the Son slide up into the works of the Father. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit work together in perfect harmony to provide us with all that is involved in the blessings of our salvation. It is all to the praise of His glory.
Ah, so you might ask, ‘what is the point of all this?’. In addition to the glorious promises described here, as believers we are all in cahoots with one another and with the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Whether Paul or the believing Jews, or believing Ephesians or believers in general; we are all in partnership with God, Himself. He has chosen us as His message of life to this dying world. It is all to the praise of the glory of His grace. Let us together get on with the task to which we are called. We cannot do it alone.