One of the exercises I’ve used from time to time to get a better sense of what Scripture is saying, is to reword or rewrite the verses in my own words.
I did this with Ephesians chapter one and it helped illumine the Scriptures. This is not a version, or even a paraphrase as much as it is an aid to help me gain better understanding. It’s a good exercise, if you’ve never tried it.
God is inherently worthy of praise. He, the father of our Lord and savior Jesus, intervened and acted in such a way that our spirit might be made to conform to His Spirit in Christ.
He even selected me and you from among many choices. That is not to say that He rejected the rest. Rather He gave favor to us, keeping in view the relationship that would be established between us. What this means is that He chose us with the additional idea of kindness, favor and love toward us.
When did He choose us? Before the foundation of the world. In other words, before the earth was formed — the land and sea in place, the heavens and earth separated. Before all of that, God made the decision that we would be whole – separated and sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement. We would be holy and blameless before God in Christ.
Not only did God select us for Himself, but also He determined or decreed beforehand that we would be placed into the legal heir-ship of God. What was the basis of this adoption? The good pleasure of His will, which leads to the praise or the applause of His unmerited favor that He freely gave to us through Jesus Christ.
It is in Jesus that we have redemption – rescue or deliverance upon payment of ransom. We have this redemption through the blood of Jesus, and we are rescued from sin. The whole forgiveness that we so desperately need is by way of the riches of His grace, which He made abundant toward us through all His wisdom and insight.
In light of these awesome truths, we should not respond in a haughty way toward others or God. Instead, we should bow our heads and be ever thankful that even though we never cared, even though we would have never thought to seek Him on our own, God, in His infinite love toward us and His wisdom, called us out to worship, adore and serve Him. It makes me say, here I am Lord, what would You have me do?