Ephesians 1:4-10

Ephesians 1:4‑10  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 7
There is only one thing in which God does not suffice for Himself, and that is, in His love. His love has need of other beings besides Himself, in order to make them happy. He desires to have before Him beings in harmony with what He is, and He sets us before Him "holy and without blame." (The first of these words speaks of the character, the other rather of the conduct.) This is what He is Himself, He who is the Holy One, He who certainly is without blame; for it is impossible to find any fault in Him. He calls Himself the Holy One; He is love! Well; He sets us holy and without blame before Him in love. Precious and most important thought for us! He has resolved that the Church should be such that He could take delight in her, and behold in her before Him the reproduction of Himself- the most perfect happiness possible. He sets before Him beings like to Himself, in order to make them as happy as it is possible; He communicates to us His nature, and takes His delight in us. In order for that, He makes us "holy and without blame in love"; and these things are accomplished here below by the Spirit, though the effects are not fully shown till above in the place of perfectness. So, where is our place even now below? Before Him; and this place is not a joy only, but the most precious thing that can be imagined—to be before Him!
We do not like to be before Him when we are not holy; but when the conscience is cleansed by the blood of Christ, we are truly happy before Him. In order that we may be happy before Him, we must be holy, we must understand the tastes of the divine nature. We ourselves must find our happiness in being "holy and without blame in love." The Apostle John shows in his first epistle (chap. 4:13), that the divine nature is produced in the Christian: the Christian has received God's own Spirit; it is a man who loves, and God is in him and he in God. What is granted is nothing less than the communication of the divine nature, by which we dwell in God, and God in us, "that we might be holy and without blame before Him in love."
What we shall be above ought to be our aim here below, not as a task imposed, but as being made partakers of the divine nature to the glory of God. Now if we would realize these things, our thoughts must be above, according to the nature of the grace which we have received. It is most strengthening for us to think of the things which are above—of their source, of Jesus, of the fulfillment of this purpose of God in glory.
The Apostle has ever this adoption in view; God wills to have us for Himself before Him through Jesus, according to the good pleasure of His will, as His children. Now this is the glory of this grace which has placed us there. In these verses Paul speaks to us of the basis, of the means which God has employed, and on the certainty of which we can count. He speaks of it as a settled thing, as of a thing which we possess, and the possession of which, indeed, is necessary to us, in order that we may partake of all that of which He is about to speak to us.
This is the door by which we have come in; and having passed through the door, in Jesus, I have the certainty of being in the house. But it would be sorrowful to have Jesus only as the door, though it is precious to understand that. If we are not sure of a hearty welcome, and of the love of the Father, we depreciate the riches of His grace, for "we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." v. 7. If in uncertainty we do not enjoy this grace, we do not really acknowledge it; and in order to do so we must give ourselves up entirely to God, to the power of the love of Him who tells us to come inside. Here we may remark, that the Spirit, while declaring to us very plainly what is the means of our salvation, does not reason upon it as elsewhere, making known to us its character and its sufficiency; but He speaks of it as a privilege that we possess; He tells us what we have in Christ, before showing what belongs to those who enjoy the effect of this redemption. We have redemption; and instructed in all things, we wait for the redemption of the body, in order to enjoy it. The only thing that we have to do is to contemplate the riches of the grace of God; this will be a means of drawing us close to Him.
We have seen in the preceding verses the purposes of God with regard to us, and the means which He employs to render us partakers of them; namely, redemption through Christ's blood, according to the riches of His grace. Now what we have before us is the portion we have now here below, the understanding of the mystery of God.
God has given us of His grace in all wisdom and prudence. He is not content with only giving us this portion, by bringing us into it hereafter; but He wishes to give us now, here below, the knowledge of it in all wisdom and prudence, according to His good pleasure. We have not to do with a God who sets us before His justice, but with a God of grace who acts according to His own thoughts. God wills that the Church should not be only such before Him, but that it should be also, here below, the depository of all His counsels; that it should have the understanding of the mystery of His will.
Verse 10 gives us the explanation of this mystery. God gathers together in one all things in Christ in the dispensation of the fullness of times. All that which preceded was preparatory; as the law, the prophets, etc. This verse speaks of the fullness of times, when God will arrange all things according to His mind, by setting Christ at the head of all things; and it is by being united to Him that we are made partakers of the inheritance. God acts of His own will to bring about what He wills. All shall be gathered together in one in Christ. It is by Him that all has been created, and by Him all is to be reconciled; and this is set forth here as the result of the counsels of God.