A Hymn of Grace

As far back as we can follow God’s people, we can see singing as a natural expression of praise. Moses and Israel sing to Jehovah upon the Exodus; the book of Psalms is a collection of songs the Israelites used in their worship; Mary sings a song praising God when she learns of her pregnancy with Jesus; and we see songs in the New Testament as a way of teaching and edifying one another. While Paul may not have originally intended this passage as such, Ephesians 1:3-14 is traditionally considered a hymn of grace, and Paul reminds us of God’s good works toward us through this song.

The Three Verses of Ephesians 1:3-14

  • Verses 3-6 in our Bibles is considered the first verse or stanza of the song. This passage considers what it must have taken for God to take on flesh to be our redeeming sacrifice. It is a reflection of God’s love demonstrated in Christ. From Him all blessing s flow, and we praise Him for that grace.
  • Verses 7-12 comprise the second stanza. This passage considers Jesus’ role in redemption. It is praise to the Son for being the one to come and lay down himself so we may have an inheritance of salvation. In Him we have forgiveness and redemption with the shedding of His blood, and we praise Him for that sacrifice.
  • Verses 13-14 comprise the final stanza, focusing on the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit seals our promise and guarantees our inheritance, and we praise the Spirit for His work.

Conclusion

All of these stanzas end with glorification of God, embodied in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our lives are to glorify our God and be reflections of His glory. We praise Him for His work, for His inheritance, for His sacrifice, for His grace. He has done so much for us. How can we give less back than a life of praising Him and sacrificing ourselves for His glory?

lesson by Tim Smelser

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