Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. 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. Ephesians 1:1-6
This is our helpless estate apart from God’s grace in Christ—we are left unable in both ability and right to make amends for our sin and so remain objects of God’s holy wrath aimed at us like the arrows of a hundred thousand armies.
The cost at which God, in Christ, purchased for us every good, every lasting, every beneficial, every true blessing of His eternal kingdom is unimaginably great. I fail to even begin to comprehend the enormity of the dowry that was paid for us. God the Father, the Almighty, just Judge of the universe, whose holiness our sin offends, whose goodness our rebellion rejects, whose rule our pride ignores, whose justice our depravity distorts, whose character our obscenity mocks, has absorbed the penalty of our transgression against Him in His only Son. We have sinned against the eternal God! And we being the finite creatures we are have no sufficiency in ourselves to pay the penalty of our sin against the Holy One. Not only do we lack sufficiency, we lack the right to pay the penalty. God is the offended One, and so only He can deal with our transgression—either by annulling the law of death to which we are enslaved and by so doing infringing upon the perfection of His own justice or by absorbing the penalty of our transgression in Himself and by so doing upholding the perfection of His own justice. This is our helpless estate apart from God’s grace in Christ—we are left unable in both ability and right to make amends for our sin and so remain objects of God’s holy wrath aimed at us like the arrows of a hundred thousand armies. And yet it was according to the purpose of His will that He made Christ to stand in our place, to bear our sin against Him in His body and to absorb the deadly blow of His own wrath due our sin. And if this were all He had done for us in Christ it would be sufficient reason to praise His glorious grace for a thousand eternities.
Every blessing, every right, every privilege, every inheritance belonging to the true and faithful Son now belongs to us.
But He has done greater things still! We have not only been saved from God’s wrath, we have been adopted as sons and daughters. We, who in our sin stood as hostile and treasonous rebels against the High King of Heaven, have received the blessing of adoption. And this because the true Son suffered the penalty owed the enemies of God so that the enemies of God might receive the blessings owed the Son. Every blessing, every right, every privilege, every inheritance belonging to the true and faithful Son now belongs to us. Can it be? The wonder! The mystery! We are constrained to praise His glorious grace! Have we any other option? Can we dare rise up in prideful arrogance and claim the blessings we have received from God in Christ are merited? Can we dare gaze unimpressed and unmoved at this glorious gospel? Surely not! Oh, may all our praise well up in joyful and eager anticipation at the mere thought of these things to adorn the glorious grace of God with which we have been blessed in the Beloved.