Monday, 25 July 2016
…that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7
This has been one continuous thought since verse 4 which contrasts the thought of verses 1-3. The words “that in the ages to come” are set against verse 2 which said, “the course of this world” which implies the past times in humanity during which the mystery of Christ was hidden. This is described by Paul in Colossians 1:26, 27 –
“…the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
In Christ, the mystery is revealed. Throughout the ages, it will be a source of richness to those who are His redeemed. This is that “He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” The words “He might show” are in the middle voice. Thus they denote that God intends that these things are done to reveal His own glory.
What is anticipated in these coming ages is to be revealed in “the exceeding riches of His grace.” The grace of God is one of His defining attributes. It is a part of His very nature. However, God cannot be gracious or merciful without also executing justice in a display of His righteousness. He cannot violate one of His defining attributes in the process of granting another. Therefore, these riches of His grace are revealed “in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
It is through the work of Christ that God’s righteousness, His justice, His mercy, His grace, and so on all shine forth in one dazzling display of who He is. Further, the Greek word en or “in” is given to show that only those who are “in Christ Jesus” are the recipients of this. The KJV unfortunately translates this as “through.” Because of this, it could include anyone. But such is not the case. It is only those who are “in Christ” that will receive this marvelous grace.
The Pulpit commentary describes the kindness of God towards those who are in Christ –
“Kindness in the matter of the blessing, forgiving us freely, and accepting and adopting us in him; kindness in the manner of the blessing, dealing with us as Jesus dealt with the woman that was a sinner, or with the thief on the cross, or with Peter after he had fallen, or with Saul of Tarsus; kindness in the extent of the blessing, providing amply for every want; kindness in the duration of the blessing – for evermore.”
The work of Christ is the proof of what is now realized and what will continue to be realized in the ages to come. It is thus to be an encouragement for us, right now, as we await its final consummation. We have an absolutely sure and trustworthy hope because of the work of Christ.
Life application: Marvelous things lie ahead as we walk in the presence of the King of the ages.
What could be more marvelous, O God, than anticipating what lies ahead of us. What we have in the world around us may be beautiful at times, but it is still a world filled with bitterness, hatred, and fighting against you. In the ages to come, that will all be swept away. There will only be joy, peace, and harmony in Your wondrous presence… all because of the giving of Christ for us. How marvelous it is to contemplate! Thank You for Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.