THE CHURCH—GOD’S NEW SOCIETY
Praising God our Father
Jerry A Collins
v What does it mean to be a saint?
v Why should we praise God our Father?
v What benefits are we praising God for?
One of the memorable phrases my dad often used was ‘we are family’ when referring not only to our immediate family but to our extended one as well. I grew up with this notion instilled by him. Actually, I have many memories of aunts and uncle visits and playing with my cousins. There were a few family reunions, holiday gatherings, birthday party’s, graduation party’s and 50th wedding anniversaries and even employed by my family. Trips to great grandparents homes, picnics, family golf outings, and even funerals.I am grateful to the Lord for the blend of personalities, experiences, influences, and memories of my family. God placed me in it and I have often praised him for doing so. God has also elected us out of the mass of humanity to bring us into His family. He predetermined that for each one of us in His family. Along with this, He has showered us with all of the spiritual blessings available for His family members. And we should praise Him for what He has done. In fact, that is exactly what is explained to us in this passage.
BELIEVERS ARE ALL UNITED WITH CHRIST IN SALVATION
Sender Paul is an apostle of Jesus Christ. 1. We know he used authority as an apostle—1 Cor 4:9; -12). 2. He performed miracles—Acts 13:8-11; 2 Cor . 3. He laid on hands that brot the HS to believers—Acts 19:6. 4. He greets himself as apostle in his letters as Peter did. The point here is referring to himself as an official delegate possessed by Jesus Christ as one sent by Christ Himself. So he sees himself as an authorized ambassador sent by Christ. It was not be personal ambition but God’s desire and initiative that made him an apostle. He was placed in this position thru God’s will. All of this was part of who he was—his life, teaching, and ministry was proof he was sent by God Himself.
Recipients First, we are called saints rather than churches. The idea is that they had the position of saints, which identified them as believers in Jesus Christ. Second, they are described as faithful in or believers in Jesus Christ. The point is that these are believers and as such are united with the one who provided salvation—in Jesus Christ. Greeting The use of grace and peace together is significant because of what it implies. God’s gracious work brings peace into our lives. God’s grace in our salvation effects peace between us and God and this same grace enables us to live peaceably with one another. You cannot reverse the order. Grace is first and peace follows. There is no way to earn grace or make peace with God. The source of this grace and peace is from both the Father and the Son. So this greeting summarizes his desire for us to appreciate and appropriate the grace that brot our salvation and the resulting peace both of which comes from the Father and the Son. They are in league together to bring about the full outcome of our complete salvation and everything is working toward to culmination of that final act.But what we are about to discover is the immense and expansive benefit package we possess in our union with Jesus Christ. We will learn that God’s blessings are amplified through the work of the Father 4-6; the work of the Son 7-12; and the work of the HS 13-14. Also, each person receives a closing proclamation of praise once their work is acknowledged—vs6, 12, 14. The Father, Son and HS are intimately involved and connected to your personal and spiritual welfare. God has only our best interests at heart.
WE PRAISE OUR FATHER FOR PLANNING THE SPIRITUAL BENEFITS WE HAVE IN CHRIST
Now we enter into an expanded explanation of the reason God is to be praised.
1. God is to be blessed by us 3. It is not that God is blessed but blessed be God. The use of this word ‘blessed’ implies that this is so because of who God is and not because of what he has done. God is deserving of being spoken well of simply because of His nature. He is worthy by nature of our words of praise to Him. You can never legally accuse God of being less than He is and what he is is always worth praising Him for. A further qualification tells us that God is also the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And notice the pronoun connects us to Jesus also which has implications we will see later. Since Jesus is the Son of God we are connected with God the Father. Still a further qualification is made—the one who has blessed us. We benefit and prosper in this relationship. God makes us blessed—we benefit and prosper—we pronounce Him blessed—speak well of, praise and advertise His character.
The extent of God’s blessing to us is with every spiritual blessing. The blessing we have is so complete there is absolutely nothing lacking. Notice the content of these blessings is spiritual in nature not material, or physical, or financial. To emphasize the non-earthly and material nature of these blessings their location is noted as in the heavenlies. And to be even more precise it is only by virtue of our union with Christ—in Christ, that these blessings are conferred. We are in Christ and that is how He has blessed us.
2. God has chosen us vs 4. First, this took place before the foundation of the world (Jn ; 1 Pt ). God had you in mind then to bless you in Christ as the head and representation of spiritual humanity, so he chose you, redeemed you, and sealed you. So our blessing is result of the work of the three persons of the Trinity. The purpose for choosing is so we will be holy and blameless before Him. I weary of people attempting to measure up to God’s standards of acceptance. Only in Christ are we no longer condemned or judged. His election gave us back what we lost in Adam and were helpless to get back again. So God planned for us to re-emerge without a spiritual blemish or defect. The purpose of God’s work in us today is to produce holiness within and love toward one another—in love. Let holiness and love work out.
3. God has predestined us vs 5. God also predetermined our destiny to be adopted in to His family. So we are members of a family we had no natural relationship originally by birth and the agency of our adoption is through Jesus Christ and the goal is to bring us to God the Father Himself—to Himself. We enter into God’s household! So understand God does not delegate our destiny or well being to any other person. No one else is in charge of your pain, pleasure, poverty, wealth, sickness, health or your destiny. The standard on which God chooses, predestines, and adopts us is the good pleasure of God’s will. So understand what life is about. It is about the pleasure of God that defines good. Evil is what doesn’t. Good is not what pleases you or me or what is good for society or mankind. Evil is to take on the roll of God and define good by your own pleasure or others. God gave the Bible to tell us what is and what is not His good pleasure.
4. God is praised through His plan 6. The goal of God’s activity is the praise of the glory of His grace. All the actions of the Father have the goal of praise to God. This grace was freely poured out on us in the beloved One—that is His Son. God’s plan is flawless. It has taken in to account the seriousness of the situation and applied the only possible remedy delivering to us all of the blessing possible and all of it in, and through, and by the Lord Jesus Christ.
A. We should live preparing for heavenly blessings not earthly prosperity.
B. Pursue being holy and blameless not fulfilled and happy.
C. God is in charge of your life situation not you, others, or your circumstances.
D. God predestined you as an advertisement of His unmerited favor not because you deserved it.