That in the ages to come - In all future times. The sense is, that the riches of divine grace, and the divine benignity, would be shown in the conversion of Christians and their salvation, to all future times. Such was his love to those who were lost, that it would be an everlasting monument of his mercy, a perpetual and unchanging proof that he was good. The sense is, we are raised up with Christ, and are made to partake of his honor and glory in order that others may forever be impressed wish a sense of the divine goodness and mercy to us.
The exceeding riches of his grace - The “abounding, overflowing” riches of grace; compare the notes, Ephesians 1:7. This is Paul‘s favorite expression - an expression so beautiful and so full of meaning that it will bear often to be repeated. We may learn from this verse:
(1) That one object of the conversion and salvation of sinners, is to furnish a “proof” of the mercy and goodness of God.
(2) another object is, that their conversion may be an “encouragement” to others. The fact that such sinners as the Ephesians had been, were pardoned and saved, affords encouragement also to others to come and lay hold on life. And so of all other sinners who are saved. Their conversion is a standing encouragement to all others to come in like manner; and now the history of the church for more than eighteen hundred years furnishes all the encouragement which we could desire.
(3) the conversion of “great” sinners is a special proof of the divine benignity. So Paul argues in the case before us; and so he often argued from his own case; compare the notes at 1 Timothy 1:16.
(4) heaven, the home of the redeemed, will exhibit the most impressive proof of the goodness of God that the universe furnishes. There will be a countless host who were once polluted and lost; who were dead in sins; who were under the power of Satan, and who have been saved by the riches of the divine grace - a host now happy and pure, and free from sin, sorrow, and death - the living and eternal monuments of the grace of God.
That in the ages to come - God has produced us an example, and one which shall be on record through all generations, that he quickens dead souls; that he forgives the sins of the most sinful, when they repent and believe in Christ Jesus. So that what God has done for the sinners at Ephesus will serve as an encouragement to all ages of the world; and on this evidence every preacher of the Gospel may boldly proclaim that Christ saves unto the uttermost all that come unto God through him. And thus the exceeding riches of his grace will appear in the provision he has made for the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles.
This observation of the apostle is of great use and importance; because we are authorized to state, in all the successive ages of the world, that he who saved the sinners at Ephesus is ever ready to save all who, like them, repent of their sins, and believe in Christ Jesus.
Read This Chapter Every Day—The Lord desires me to call the attention of His people to the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. Read this chapter every day, and from it obtain comfort and strength. Learn from it the value that God places on sanctified, heaven-born love, and let the lesson that it teaches come home to your hearts. Learn that Christlike love is of heavenly birth, and that without it all other qualifications are worthless (The Review and Herald, July 21, 1904). 6BC 1091.2Read in context »
Christ said of the Spirit, “He shall glorify me.” John 16:14. As Christ glorified the Father by the demonstration of His love, so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing to the world the riches of His grace. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.... OHC 154.3Read in context »
When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God has changed. He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. You are sure of the favor of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body will be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that His love provides. Let your faith be like Job's, that you may declare, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”... OHC 324.3Read in context »