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 A meditation on Ephesians 1:6,12,14 and 2:10


This question can be answered from a number of different perspectives. In Ephesians Paul teaches us that: 

The initiating cause of our salvation is the will and purpose of God [1:5,9,11].

The motivating cause of our salvation is the love of God [1:4].

The necessitating cause of our salvation is our spiritual deadness and sin [2:1-5].

The enabling/facilitating cause of our salvation is the grace of God [1:6-8; 2:5-9].

The meritorious cause of our salvation is the blood of Christ [1:7].

The legal cause of our salvation is the imputed righteousness of Christ [1:4].

The effective cause of our salvation is the power of God [1:18-23].

The subjective cause of our salvation is hearing and understanding the message of Christ [1:9,13].

The instrumental cause of our salvation is faith [Ephesians 1:1,13; 2:8].

The locational cause of our salvation is union/identification with Jesus Christ [1:3,4,7,11; 2:5-6].

The resultative cause of our salvation is the praise and glory of God [1:6,12,14; 2:10].

The last of these looks beyond our salvation to the expected impact and effect of salvation. It is here that we realize that we ourselves are not the terminal point of salvation. God did not save us just to get us out of hell and into heaven. He saved us with a further end in mind: that we would do 'good works'.

This purpose of salvation goes right back to our original creation: God created us in his image [Genesis 1:27] – that is, he created us to reflect him. Human lives were specifically created to reflect the nature and the glory of God, and it is only in this imaging of God that true humanness occurs. We lost all of that when we turned our backs on God in Genesis 3. No longer living in a positive face to face relationship with him we could no longer image him, we could no longer live the God-glorifying human life for which we were specifically created.

Salvation reverses this impossible situation. In acknowledging Jesus Christ as God we are restored to the right relationship with God; through the death of Christ all the separation from God that resulted from sin is removed; the possibility and ability of once again reflecting God's nature is restored.

The 'good works' which God saved us to do and prepared in advance for us to do are all that is involved in living as his image in the world. These good works will cause others to praise and acknowledge God [Matthew 5:13-16; 1 Peter 2:9-12].

All of this takes humans out of the centre and puts God back in the centre. Our ego-centric pride shrinks away from this concept. The reality, however, is this: that it is when we glorify God that we maximize our God-given potential as humans; it is when we image God that we are most truly human.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2006, 2010.