Ephesians 2:6-7 (NASB)
“and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
I had always skimmed over Ephesians 2:6-7 before, subconsciously placing it in the category of ‘after this life is over,’ and never took the time to really think about it. Not long ago I came across this scripture again and it seemed to beckon me to take a closer look.
The first thing I noticed was the phrase “ages to come.” Considering that Paul wrote Ephesians around 60-62 AD, we are living in the “the ages to come”. So that would suggest that this isn’t only an ‘after this life is over’ announcement. Our lives should show that this is a fact, but if our hearts are not circumcised to God so that we are the fragrance of Messiah as we go through all of life – not just in the presence of other people (at church, etc.) – we have failed to show “the ages to come” this truth.
What really demonstrates to “the ages to come” this truth and glorifies God’s name, truly praises Him and gives Him glory, is…for a professing Christian to be a real Christian…one who walks his/her talk…someone whose walk is a “fragrance” of Messiah. “But thanks be to God, who in the Messiah constantly leads us in a triumphal procession and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of what it means to know him!” 2 Corinthians 2:14 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
It wasn’t long before I found myself staring at another scripture I had always dismissed as something less than an important directive from God: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Peter says that we are created to declare the praises of the One who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light, so logic dictates that He didn’t save us in order to ignore Him. I must admit that I don’t ever feel qualified to carry out that mission and have even whined to God about all the reasons I am not able to do what Peter says we are here to do. But we are able do it - because of who we are!
Reading the same passage in the Complete Jewish Bible seemed a little less intimidating than “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.” The CJB puts it, “But you are a chosen people, the King's Cohanim [Priests], a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” sounds more realistic, more do-able, to me…and makes me want to do it instead of finding excuses not to!