As believers, we should always praise and worship our God. Every day, we can give God praise for our eternal hope and secure relationship with Him through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In Scripture, we witness the Apostle Paul demonstrate this time and time again in a variety of situations and different circumstances. He spells out our reason for celebration in Ephesians 1:3-14:
3 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, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 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.
11 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, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 3:3-14 (ESV)
Praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
The Trinity forms the foundation of Paul’s letter titled Ephesians. Likely written as a circular letter, Paul’s intent was for it to be shared among different churches and as such, not pointed at the Ephesians directly.
Paul’s opening volley offers a beautiful hymn of praise to the Triune God, beginning with God the Father in eternity (Ephesians 1:3-6). These four verses explain the Father’s love and purpose in Himself. The next section, Ephesians 1:7-12, focuses on Jesus Christ, the Son in time and lays out the Father’s love and purpose in Christ. The last two verses (13-14) of this magnificent section point to the work of the Holy Spirit in the future and the Father’s love and purpose in the Holy Spirit. Each of these three sections close with the phrase “to the praise of His glory.”
While the term “Trinity” is not found in the Bible, the concept is pervasive throughout both the New Testament as well as Old Testament. The word itself was first coined by Tertullian. The idea of the Trinity is genuinly a spiritual mystery and it can be hard for us to grasp and express clearly. However, the New Testament affirms that God is one divine essence with three eternal personal manifestations.
This section of Ephesians essentially eulogies (celebrates) God and explains why we, as believers, have reason to praise Him continually throughout each day. The Lord, our God, is blessed because of the blessings He has showered upon us. In response to God, Christians should bless (praise) God for bestowing His blessings.
God is worthy of our praises—our blessings—because God has blessed us.
You and I are blessed because God chose us, in Christ, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in the sight of His love. We are blessed because He predestined us and adopted us into a relationship with Him. God iniated our relationship with Him.
Through the sacrifice of Christ’s blood, we are positioned in right relationship with God. In the atoning work of Jesus Christ, God redeemed us, forgave us, lavished us with His blessings, and made us heirs. And finally, through the Holy Spirit, our redemption and salvation are sealed and secure for eternity.
These are the reasons for us to CELEBRATE and PRAISE GOD!
Why did God do this?
As Paul states at the end of each section, “to the praise of His glory.” Shrouded somewhat in ambiguity, the word “glory” could refer to “holiness” or “perfection” of God. It could point to God’s righteousness. Personally, I believe that the word “glory” reflects the image of God in which humanity was originally created before Adam and Eve’s rebellious desire for independence marred it. For me, “glory” speaks to the highly intrinsic value of God’s love for us and the brilliance of the beautiful relationship we had with Him prior to the Fall.
The Apostle Paul makes it clear that our relationship with God is not based on our works, or even the amount of our faith. The relationship we have with God is not because of our choosing our any foreknowledge we had. We are redeemed and saved simply because it pleased God to do so and He did it to the praise of His glory.
Believers must be people of praise. God created and chose us so that we might celebrate Him with our praiseful lips. Our thoughts, our speech, and our deeds should reflect that attitude of praise. When we bless others, we praise God.
I pray your Labor Day weekend is filled with great things and that you will find ways to praise God throughout each day.
What blessings are YOU praising God for today?
Know that you are loved!
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The Archaelogical Study Bible (2005). Zondervan. Grand Rapids.
Getz, Gene (2011) Life Essentials Study Bible. Holman Bible Publishers. Nashville.
Osbeck, Kenneth W. (2002) Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories. Kregel. Grand Rapids.