Many of our Christian testimonies have the same elements: Someone told us about Jesus, we saw the horror of our sin and understood our need for a Savior, we cried out to Him and were saved. And we have loved and followed Him ever since.
Those testimonies are true accounts of our conversion, but they are also told from our human perspective. In today’s passage, Paul shifts camera lens to show us what our salvation looks like from God’s perspective. Here, we see that even before we were born (v. 4), God was at work to make us His possession. According to “his pleasure and will” (v. 5), He chose us for holiness, predestined us for adoption, redeemed us by His blood, made Himself known to us, and marked us with the seal of His Holy Spirit.
Three times in this passage Paul lays out God’s purpose in His saving work through Christ. He saved us “to the praise of his glorious grace” (v. 6), “for the praise of his glory” (v. 12), and “to the praise of his glory” (v. 14). Jesus came to Earth to live and die for sinners so that God might be known and magnified. When one sinner repents, the heavenly angels rejoice because God receives all the glory (see Luke 15:10).
This means that our evangelistic efforts are not merely focused on the salvation of lost people—though that is important! Our evangelistic efforts aim for something even higher: the glory of God. We evangelize not only because we love people. We evangelize because we love God. As John Piper wrote: “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.”
APPLY THE WORD
The goal of evangelism is the glory of God. When sinners trust in Christ, He is honored and lifted high. As evangelists, we need to set our hearts on this ultimate goal. When you share the gospel with people, pray for God’s glory to be magnified in their lives. When people repent and believe, give thanks to God for glorifying Himself.