The Holy Spirit and the Praise of God’s Glory
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
In the last few weeks, our reflections focused repeatedly on the truth revealed in Ephesians 1:12: you exist for the praise of God's glory. Now, just when you thought we had moved on into new territory, we come upon a second instance of this truth. Ephesians 1:13-14 affirms that we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is also God's "earnest money" guaranteeing our future in God. All of this, we now learn, is "to the praise of his glory" (1:14).
This verse points to a close connection between the Holy Spirit and God's glory. In fact, the Spirit helps us exist for the praise of God's glory. If we seek to glorify God in our own strength, we will inevitably fail. Yet God has supplied us with his own strength through the Spirit. Thus, with divine help, we can live for God's glory.
Moreover, the Spirit is helping us, not only to glorify God, but also to share in his glory. We see this most clearly in 2 Corinthians 3:18: "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." Did you catch that? You and I not only get to contemplate God's glory, but also to share in his glory by becoming more like him.
Thus, with the Spirit's help, we glorify God, not only in our actions, not only in our thoughts, not only in our feelings, but even in our very existence. As we grow more deeply in our relationship with God, we become more like him, even sharing in his glory. As this happens, we reflect God's glory to the world, so that people might be drawn to him in faith and worship.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Can you think of ways that the Holy Spirit has been transforming you to be more like God? Will you ask the Spirit to help you live this day for the praise of God's glory in everything you do?
PRAYER: Thank you, gracious God, for the gift of your Spirit. Thank you for helping me, by the Spirit, to see your glory. Thank you for your power in me that is helping me to live for the praise of your glory. Thank you even for beginning to transform me so that I might share in your glory. How amazing!
May your Spirit have free reign in my life today, in all that I do, whether at home or at work, whether riding on the subway or driving in my car, whether I'm with friends, colleagues, neighbors, or family members. Glorify yourself through me, O God. Amen.