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God’s Purpose Through History

Ephesians 1:13–14 (ESV) … “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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

Paul offered praise to God for his glorious blessings in Christ. This section is one long sentence in the original text made up of carefully balanced clauses. This extended benediction surveys the redemptive activity of the Triune God. Some have seen here a hymn of three stanzas of uneven length (1:3–6, 7–12, 13–14). Each stanza concludes with a reference to the praise of God’s glorious grace. The theme of this section is God’s eternal purpose in history (1:9).

Paul theologized about God’s purposes. In Christ, God “chose us … before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (1:4). The spiritual blessings granted to believers (1:3) are the work of the Trinity: the Father’s electing (1:4–5, 11), the Son’s redemptive work (1:7), and the Spirit’s sealing (1:13). God now has made known His purposes (1:9), has forgiven our sins (1:7), and granted hope to His own (1:12).

God the Father loves His Son, and believers who have been redeemed by the Son are also the object of God’s love. [1]

[1] Dockery, D. S. (Ed.). (1992). Holman Bible Handbook (p. 713). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

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