To Show His Kindness to Us
We read in verse four of the “great love with which [the Father] loved us.” Today we read that having raised us up with Christ and even seated us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, He does this “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
It seems that this God who has called out of darkness and into light, transferred us from the dominion of Satan to the His own Kingdom, and made us children of grace rather than of wrath—it seems that this God delights in “lavishing” (1:8) more grace and kindness upon us still. As if He had not done enough for us already in saving us from certain damnation, He now magnifies that salvation by telling us what He is going to do for us throughout the coming ages and that is to “show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” “Coming ages” refers to the new age of which we are a part even now while still alive on this earth, the new age that has dawned in the resurrection of Jesus Christ who has made us alive with him such that even now we live a heavenly life with him in the Spirit. But of course its primary reference is to the fulfillment of this new age when our Lord returns on the clouds of glory to receive us and usher us into that Kingdom which shall have no end. And we are told here that in that Kingdom, the Father has no greater desire but to lavish grace and kindness upon us. Each new day (to the extent one can speak of “days” in eternity) will bring fresh new kindnesses from our heavenly Father for which we shall never grow weary.
And all of this is the result saving grace that we have come by through faith. But we are made to know that even this faith is not ours—it is the gift of God; otherwise faith itself would be a work, for we could say, “I believed.” But salvation is not by works, lest anyone should boast. Indeed, 1:1-14 of the letter is spent in teaching us that our salvation is not our doing but God’s, for He chose us before the foundation of the world.
We are a people who have been completely and totally blessed. We have absolutely nothing to show for our salvation but what God has done for us—and that’s exactly the way God wants it. He wants all the glory, and He deserves all the glory, and He shall have all the glory. The believer understands the justice of this and desires to give Him all the glory for all the kindnesses shown to him, and that will be shown to him in the coming ages.