Ephesians 2:7


Cornelia was a 2
nd century B.C. Roman mother. He was married to Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. After her husband died she refused to remarry and instead devoted herself to her children. She had a reputation for goodness and wisdom. Once, when a wealthy aristocratic woman showed Cornelia a box of her jewels and asked to see hers, Cornelia pointed to her sons and said,

"These are my jewels!"



What a wonderful story. She was so proud of her children.

As incredible as it seems, that's the way it is with Christ and His church. We are His jewels. There's a beautiful children's hymn about it called, "
When He Cometh, When He Cometh". The words of the refrain are incredible.

"Like the stars of the morning, His bright crown adorning, They shall shine in their beauty,Bright gems for His crown."



Daniel 12:3 and Matthew 13:43 may be the basis of that chorus. Daniel 12:3 says,

"Those who are wise will shine
like the brightness of the heavens, and
those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars for ever and ever."

In Matthew 13:43 Jesus spoke about the glory of His people after the consummation, (Matthew 13:43)

"Then the righteous
will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father."

Our text tells us one of the reasons we shall shine in glory. It says, (Ephesians 2:6-7)

"And God raised us up with Christ
and seated us with him
in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the coming ages
he might show
the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in his kindness to us
in Christ Jesus."

One of the things we are told here that after the consummation, in the eternal age, your presence is going to be one of the ways of God's grace and kindness is displayed.

Your presence in the new heaven and the new earth is going to be a lasting tribute to God's grace and kindness.

It's one of the reasons for God to be honored and glorified.

This is an incredible concept. We are going to like jewels exhibiting Christ's glory—showing forth the riches of His grace for ever and ever. We are going to be examples, glorious examples, of His grace and kindness. Our presence there is going to be a testimony illustrating some of His perfections—namely His grace and kindness. The whole heavenly host, the four living creatures, the archangels, the seraphim and cherubim, and all the other angels—are going to see you there and they are going to praise and honor God for His love, grace and kindness to you. Of all the creatures in heaven, we human beings, will be the ones that will be unlike all others—because we were once sinners. What God did for you will astound all of heaven. He is going to receive glory, honor and praise because of your presence.

In a very real sense we are, even now, God's treasure, His jewels. In Malachi 3:17 God said about His people,

"'They will be mine,'
says the Lord Almighty,
'in the day when I make up
my treasured possession.'"

He calls us His 'treasured possession'. The KJV translates it,

"in that day when I make up my jewels…"

This Hebrew word is used in Ecclesiastes 2:8 where the Teacher said,

"I amassed silver and gold for myself,
and the treasure of kings and provinces."

And in 1 Chronicles 29:3 it is used to refer to the personal treasures of David, 'silver and gold'.

What an amazing thought. We, His people, are God's treasure, His jewels. In the coming age we will be the pride and joy of our great God.

There are some passages in Scripture which zero in on us being the pride and joy of Jesus.

Hebrews 12:2 says,

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set
before him endured the cross,
scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand
of the throne of God."

In His suffering Jesus knew that there was joy in the future. There is no doubt that a great part of His joy consisted of redeeming His people and presenting them to His Father. In Matthew 10:32 Jesus said,

"Whoever acknowledges me before men,
I will also acknowledge him
before my Father in heaven."

Hebrews 2:13 sheds some light on Jesus' joy at that time. Jesus will stand with His people, with us, and declare for all to hear,

"Here am I, and the children
God has given me."

The context there is about Jesus, (Hebrews 2:10)

"bringing many sons to glory."

It tells us that the One who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. It says, (verses 11-12)

"So Jesus is not ashamed
to call them brothers.
He says,
'I will declare your name
to my brothers;
in the presence of the congregation
I will sing your praises."

Jesus will standing with us, calling us brothers. He is declaring God's name to us, revealing the Father to us. In our presence He leads us in singing the Father's praises. This section of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 22 and points us to the sufferings of the Messiah. In the midst of that suffering the Messiah cries out, (Psalm 22:22-23)

"I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise you.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob,
honor him!
Revere him,
all you descendants of Israel!"

He saves us, He is one with us, our brother, and He leads us in the worship of God. We are His glory.

We see the same thing in Isaiah 53, the great chapter that shows us we are saved by the Messiah, by His suffering for us. Verse 11 says,

"After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light[of life]
and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant
will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities."

After the Messiah has saved us He is satisfied. He is filled with satisfaction because He has justified many. He will rejoice in them praising God.

This reminds me of Paul's words about the Thessalonian Christians in 1 Thessalonians 2:19–20. Paul tells them that when Jesus comes again that he's going to delight in them. Paul said to them,

"For what is our hope, our joy,
or the crown in which we will glory
in the presence of our Lord Jesus
when he comes?
Is it not you?
Indeed, you are our glory and joy."

On the last day Paul is going to be able to point to his Thessalonian converts, the ones that came to Christ through his preaching and teaching—and Paul is going to say—these are my joy, my crown, the ones I glory in. He is going to be so excited that they are there and he is going to point to them and rejoice that they are there. They will be his joy.

In a much higher way—Jesus we are going to be part of Jesus' glory on that day. As Jesus said in John 17:24, 26,

"Father, I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
and to see my glory,
the glory you have given me
because you loved me
before the creation of the world…
I have made you known to them,
and will continue to make you known
in order that the love you have for me
may be in them and that
I myself may be in them."

Jesus is going to accomplish all that and on that Day He will stand with us and say to all creation,

"Here am I, and the children
God has given me."

But it's not just Jesus who will be glorified by our presence in the new heaven and new earth. Our salvation is the work of the Triune God—God in three persons. Our text is how our presence in the new heaven and the new earth

is for the praise and glory of the Triune God.

God in three persons is in view here. Our text says,

"And God raised us up with Christ
and seated us with him
in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
in order that in he coming ages
he might show
the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in his kindness to us
in Christ Jesus."

This is about the Triune God and His grace and kindness to us. Our standing there will be the result of the grace that God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit have shown to us. We are going to shine there for the glory of God, to the praise of His grace and kindness—for ever and ever.

For the past few months we're been looking at God's grace. We saw that it was first given to us before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9). We saw that we believed because of grace. We saw that we live and persevere because of grace. We saw that when we die we will receive grace. We saw last week that we will be given such grace on the day of Jesus Christ, at His second coming.

And here we have something that goes even beyond that—that in the coming ages, the triune God is going to use us to show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Kent R. Hughes says of Christ's grace, (Ephesians, Preaching the Word)

"He is going to show the all-surpassing riches of his grace to his children in the 'limitless future, as age succeeds age.' He will show his grace and kindness before his return, at his return, after his return, and in all ages."

F. F. Bruce adds, (Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, NICNT; p. 288)

"Throughout time and in eternity the church, this society of pardoned rebels, is designed by God to be the masterpiece of his goodness. When he brings into being the reconciled universe of the future, the church will provide the pattern after which it will be modeled."

There are three applications I want to make from this.

First,

In light of this glorious destiny,

how much you should focus on the grace and kindness of God and rejoice in it.

God's grace and His kindness to us are going to be one of the great themes of eternity. It should be one of the things that you are focused on here in this life. You should be praising God for it every day that you live. Your life, your salvation, your good works, your belonging to God's family, your hope of glory, your place in eternity—it's all because of the grace and kindness of God.

It's grace, grace, grace. How marvelous is the grace of God.

God is going to be praised for His grace and kindness forever and ever. The reason He's going to be praised for it for ever and ever is because His grace is going to be with us for ever and ever. Frank Thielman, (Ephesians, BECNT; p. 138)

"Paul… describes the reason why God has joined believers to Christ's new life, resurrection, and exaltation. He did this so that for all eternity he might show them, in Christ Jesus and by his kindness, the wealth of his grace."

So often we Christians have it all wrong. We're proud of ourselves. We look down on others who we think are bigger sinners than we are. We're proud of our attainments. We're self-centered, greedy, and we want others to think well of us. Our hearts are not inclined to praise God. We totally lose sight of the fact that it's all grace. We need to remember Jeremiah 9:23–24,

"This is what the LORD says:
'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD,
who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,'
declares the LORD."

How we need to take to heart the apostle Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 1:31

"Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

We need to be continually reminding ourselves that it's all of grace. We need to be stirring up our cold hearts to praise God for His grace to us. We need to be like David in Psalm 103:1–3,

"Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being,
praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord,
O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life
from the pit and crowns you
with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires
with good things so that your youth
is renewed like the eagle's."

Rejoice in God's grace.

Christians, what a destiny you have. You, as a people, are going to be declaring God's praises. Together you are going to be showing the incomparable riches of God's grace to all creatures. That's your destiny.

What this means is that

you need to be doing that now.

In our day much of the church is a mess. We are focused on ourselves and not God's grace. The world looks at the church and it sees sin. It sees impurity. It sees selfishness and greed. It sees pride. It sees self-centeredness. It sees Christians fighting over things they should not be fight over. To sum it all up, the world sees a church that has forgotten about grace. Such should not be. In John 17:22–23 Jesus said about His disciples,

"I have given them the glory
that you gave me,
that they may be one as we are one:
I in them and you in me.
May they be brought to complete unity
to let the world know that you sent me
and have loved them
even as you have loved me."

Christians, remember your destiny, your presence is a testimony to God's grace and God is to be praised because of His grace to you.

Lastly, for those of you who are not Christians,

unless you turn and go to Jesus you're going to miss out on the greatest purpose you could ever have.

For all eternity you could be show the incomparable riches of God's grace. There's nothing greater than that for human beings.

If you don't go to Jesus, you will not show the riches of His grace—but will miss out on it and instead find outer darkness. Go to Jesus now.