If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…

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 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Just as the people of Israel were God’s covenant people, so are we who hope in Christ. How? Because we have been chosen, elected, set apart. Why? Because it brings Him glory. It is not about us, there is nothing special or unique about us as a creation, apart from Him. What makes any of us worthy of anything is simply His love, demonstrated by His purpose and will to choose us.

This bring Him glory because it drives us to praise Him. God’s name is magnified because we exalt Him upon recognition of His decision to lavish grace upon us. Our redemption, then, is not about us, it’s about Him. God’s purpose, God’s will, is that He should be glorified. So we are redeemed in order to bring Him praise and thereby glorify Him.This is the mystery of the gospel – that God would desire the praises of man as evidence of His glory.

It brings me to my knees. I don’t deserve to be evidence of God’s glory. I cannot help but be in awe of this truth. Because the fact that God desires the praises of man in order to demonstrate His glory also demonstrates His love. It could only be out of a deep, all-consuming, unconditional love that this God – creator of all things, omnipotent, whose way is perfect and word is true (as David says in Psalm 18) – would desire the praises of finite, weak man. Why should I seek love or adoration anywhere else when I have this kind of love? My life should be about glorifying Him. Anything else is a waste of time, and ultimately adulterous. If He loves me in order for me to glorify Him, then the most adulterous, whoring thing I could do would be to give glory to anything else.

This is why God is a jealous God. Not because He depends on our love or needs it, but because we have redemption through His great love and then choose to give glory to something other than Him. And what’s even greater is that He knows our fickle human hearts will do that, and yet this was His purpose and His will anyway. Wow.