“who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
At the end of this magnificent description (verses 3–14) of the blessings of God to those in Christ … is this phrase: “to the praise of his glory.” But it is the third time it appears in the passage. We observe a variation of this phrase in verse 6, and then again two more times in this passage:
- In verse 6: “to the praise of his glorious grace…”
- In verse 12: “to the praise of his glory.”
- In verse 14: “to the praise of his glory.”
“The praise of his glory” is, indeed, the end for which all things are created, the overarching theme of the Story. But I also see three nuances relative to time in the above three Scriptures:
- In verse 6: “to the praise of his glorious grace” refers to eternity past, because it follows the words in verse 5, “he predestined us for adoption as sons…”
- In verse 12: “to the praise of his glory” refers to present tense believers—“that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” The little word be—this is refers to present time existence, the first generation of Christ-followers who believe in him in present moment of history.
- In verse 14: “to the praise of his glory” refers to the Holy Spirit being “the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it…” It is a future time reality.
So we see the comprehensive nature of all of reality—eternity past, eternity in the present moment, and eternity future—all of it exists to the praise of his glory.
This means that all of life, all of eternity, all of the cosmos exists for the glory of God, and although there is indeed a cosmic fallenness and depravity from sin on this planet, it will one day all be healed. It will one day all be united in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Beloved.
What does this mean for me today?
- I pray, Lord, that you would give me passion for your presence, for your glory. As Moses prayed, “Lord, show me your glory.” Lord, show me your ways.
- I see, O God, that I can live with more integrity concerning your glory. I fall far short, Lord Jesus, in expressing this passion for your honor.
- When I fail to pray, I miss the transcendence of your honor and glory.