Ephesians 1:12. 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… 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.
Before we get going, just a real quick explanation of the language in the verses above. Notice in verse 12 Paul says we…to the praise of his glory. The we here is the Jews. The Jews were the first to hope in Christ. Now look at verse 13-14. Paul says you….to the praise of his glory. That’s the Gentiles. When we add the Jews in Christ to the Gentiles in Christ we get the CHURCH (much more on this in future verses). So why does the Church exist? Why do you and I exist? To the praise of his glory!
One of the greatest spiritual blessings that is ours in Christ is that we are not God. We will never be God or even a god. We are not headed toward divine status. In fact, the very first sin in the Garden was when Adam and Eve tried to “be like God.”
Jafar wants to be God…but for us that’s bondage.
I know this may come as a shock to many of you, and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you but you are not the center of the universe. The truth is far better – we exist for something much bigger than ourselves, we exist for the praise of God’s glory.
Even your salvation is not ultimately about you. It’s about God. And Christ. And the Spirit. Our salvation is not God’s end goal for all of history. It’s his glory. Do you remember verse 10? The end goal of history is that all things be united to Christ. It’s all for the glory of Christ. And the glory of Christ is for the glory of God. God’s glory is the end goal. Not us. And that’s good news.
The fact that life and salvation are not ultimately about us is the truth that actually frees us. We simply were not meant to be worshiped. Any attempt to gain worship, be worshiped, or bask in the glory of self-worship is spiritual suicide for us. It only leads to narcissism, self-righteousness, and despair. Seeking worship will kill all of your relationships as you devolve into a colossal jerk. Seeking worship will increase your stress and literally destroy you from the inside out. Seeking worship will make you your main priority thus effectively killing your ability to love.
Aladdin’s self-worship almost destroyed him and those he loved.
You may be thinking at this point “wait a minute Brady, why doesn’t all of this happen to God? If everybody worships him why aren’t we calling him a narcissistic jerk who only seeks his own glory thus losing all his ability to love?” Good question.
The answer is because God is a Trinity. Look at the scripture at the beginning of this blog again. Look at all of Ephesians 1. Look at all of Ephesians. It is all thoroughly Trinitarian. God is Father, Son, and Spirit. God is not a narcissistic, unloving, jerk because he is not only ONE. He is THREE IN ONE. And this gives each of the three an outlet for their love and glory. God is no hoarder. He is by nature a grace giver, a glory sharer, a lover.
And God shares his glory, grace, and love with us by creating us to worship him. We exist to the praise of his glory. This not only takes the pressure off of us and frees us, it also gives us our purpose. Every part of our lives is meant to be lived to the praise of the glory of God. If you think this means you go to church one day a week and sing some hymns you are falling way short of what Paul had in mind.
Christ is alive in us, and he is living his life to the praise of the glory of God through our lives. This includes ALL that we do. Our work. Our play. Our relating. Our resting. Our emotions. Our thinking. Our sexuality. Our serving. Our entire life. Not just the “spiritual” things. All things.
“To live is Christ” means that all of life is worship. All of life is Christ’s life, and every second of it is meant to be lived to the praise of God’s glorious grace. The pressure’s off and our purpose is set. What grace!
Sorry no CityAlight today. This song is straight from Ephesians 1:12 so it had to be done. Sing along!