Grace in Kindness
“…so that… he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7)
Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:6-7
The idea that we have been raised with Christ and seated with him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) carries with it a purpose. It is, Paul tells us, “so that in the coming ages he [God] might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ” (v. 7).
This is another incredible statement that I confess is beyond my full comprehension. It is clear enough that the apostle is referring to something that will happen in the future – when this present age ends and the age to come is fully realised. That is typically what he and other Bible writers mean when they talk about “the ages to come”.
It is God’s purpose in raising us together with Christ to sit with him in heavenly places, he says, that in these “ages to come”, he might show “the immeasurable riches of his grace toward us” in his “kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”. Usually, when Paul speaks of the grace of God shown toward us it relates to our deliverance from death and condemnation. That is the meaning of the term in this context. We have already noted that idea in v. 5, and Paul will have more to say about it in the following verses. What lies before us will be an ever-deepening appreciation of the “immeasurable riches” of God’s grace toward us in Christ in saving us from our sins.
This will be true, no doubt, on account of seeing so much more of God’s beauty and glory and our native sinfulness. For now, we see these things only dimly. We have no real appreciation of God’s utter abhorrence of sin, and we have just as poor an idea of how sinful we are. All these things will become clear to us in the light of the splendour to come.
Then, perhaps we will also come to see the immensity of God’s grace to us not simply in what God has saved us from but what he has saved us for. For surely, as the wonder of the things before us breaks upon our sight – as we enter into our heavenly inheritance as sons of God – we will marvel that God should have been so kind to us in Christ to bring us into such a state of things.
For it is God’s “kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” that will become especially evident. We have seen earlier how it was out of his great mercy toward us that God made us alive together with Christ when we were dead in our trespasses (v. 4). Here it is his kindness to us that is emphasised. Kindness has to do with giving good things to others – God’s kindness is his goodness in action.
God’s kindness in Christ will be seen not only in our being rescued from death but brought into a life of eternal glory.
- Do you think you see fully now how gracious God has been toward you in Christ?
- Are you looking forward to when his kindness to you will be fully displayed?
– Andrew Young