By Stan Brown
Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Everything is ultimately to the praise of His Glory. The description of the work of the Father ends with to the praise of the glory of His grace. The description of the work of the Son ends with to the praise of His glory (v.12). The description of the work of the Holy Spirit also ends with to the praise of His glory (v.14). In the description of the Father, Paul includes the phrase of His Grace. The NIV translates it to the praise of His glorious grace. I prefer the rendering of the NASB the praise of the glory of His grace which emphasizes the intimate relationship of God’s grace to His Glory. Neither glory nor grace are diminished as together they are worthy of His praise. Vincent writes “Glory is an attribute of grace: that in which grace grandly and resplendently displays itself. Praise is called forth from the children of God by this divine glory which thus appears in grace. The grace is not merely favor, but it reveals also the divine character. In praising God for what He does, we learn to praise Him for what He is.”
The word translated freely bestowed is the verbal form of the word grace. Hence, we might translate this verse to the praise of the glory of His grace with which He graced us. The only other place this verb is used in the New Testament is in Luke 1:28 where the angel Gabriel refers to Mary as the highly favored one. Mary was highly favored as she was chosen to be the mother of our Lord in His humanity. We are highly favored as God has bestowed on each one of us (without cost to us) the unfathomable riches that are present in His magnificent grace. It is His grace that enables us to stand in His presence as holy and blameless because of His great love with which He has favored us to the highest degree possible. It is His Grace that has placed us into God’s family as joint-heirs with Christ.
As Paul transitions to the section describing the works of the Son, he writes that this praise to the glory of His grace has occurred in the Beloved that is the One whom He loves. Elsewhere, Paul writes, For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col. 1:13). Just as His Son Jesus is the Beloved One, we also, being in Christ, are the objects of the same divine love. We are born again; indeed, adopted as adult children into God’s family. We are His children. We are fellow heirs with Christ. We are to the praise of the glory of His grace. Let us live in light of that fact remembering that our salvation screams out to the world both His glory and His grace. The world must see this in us as we are His message to the world.