In this sermon, Pastor Neil continues his series on the top ten reasons for praising God. Here he adds God’s glorious grace and the mystery of His will made known. Here are some excerpts:
He has lavished His grace on us. This whole passage (1:3-14) is just dripping with grace. We see it explicitly in verse 6, where Paul speaks of God’s “glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves” (NIV). A more literal translation from the Greek would be “to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He graced us (charitoo) in the Beloved” – that is, in Jesus. The idea here is that God inundated us with His grace. He showered us with grace in great abundance.
God is not stingy with His grace. He does not give grace grudgingly. He does not give us the minimum necessary for Him to be considered gracious. No. He lavishes His grace on us. He gives us grace in unending abundance. In choosing us before the creation of the world, in predestining us in love for salvation, in adopting us as His children, in redeeming us through the blood of Christ shed for us, in forgiving our sins, in blessing us with every spiritual blessing in Christ – in all these ways, He has lavished His grace on us.
We praise God because He made known to us the mystery of His will in the person and work of Jesus Christ His Son (1:9-10).
God’s plan of salvation was once a mystery. But what was once hidden has been made known. And everybody needs to know it. Everybody. Which is one of the primary reasons the church exists: To get the word out– let everybody know– give everyone the opportunity to embrace the gospel. To embrace the Savior. It is not the only reason the church exists. Our church’s constitution, the EPC Book of Order, says that while “it is theprivilege and primary responsibility of the local church to worship God regularly – the primary mission of the local church (is) to evangelize, making disciples by extending thegospel both at home and abroad….” (EPC Book of Government, 4-2 and 4-3).