Jeremy Sarber

Why should we praise God?

In the original Greek, Ephesians 1:3-14 is one sentence. Together these verses are one tightly-woven train of thought. They convey to us God’s plan of salvation, his eternal purpose for the church in terms of past, present, and future. Or we could divide this text another way based on the three Persons of the Trinity. Verses 3-6 focus on God the Father, verses 6-12 focus on Christ, and verses 13-14 focus on the Spirit. Regardless, we are shown God’s plan of redemption which began even before he created the world.

Paul’s subject begins this way: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph 1:3). From the very beginning, Paul compels us to praise God. He uses the word eulogētos or blessed. It’s the same word from which we get eulogy, or a message of praise and commendation. To eulogize a person is to praise him. Paul says, Before I even tell you why, let me encourage you to praise God.” Why? Because everything he says in this chapter leads to God’s praise.

Of course, God is praiseworthy simply because he is God. The atheist would disagree and probably point out what he perceives to be God’s flaws. Look,” he says, there’s evil in this world. What does that say about God?” What I’ll never understand about that argument is that the same person who makes it will also admire if not revere human celebrities. They’ll fall in love with an actor or musician despite his drug problems or eight divorces, but he won’t hold that against his favorite celebrity. Yet he’ll blame God for the existence of evil even though God has never caused evil. But we could be here all day if I tried to point out every flaw in the atheist’s thinking.

God is praiseworthy because he is God. Whether the atheist likes it or not, there is coming a day when every knee shall bow to God, and every tongue shall confess to God (Ro 14:11). The believer, the unbeliever, the celebrities of this world—everyone will bow before God and his Son, Jesus Christ. In Revelation 5, John writes:

I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)

Every creature without exception will be singing God’s praise. Even so, I suspect believers will be singing the loudest. After all, we have the most to sing about. God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph 1:3). If we have something worth rejoicing over, we know that it has come from God. James wrote, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (Jas 1:17). In Romans, Paul said, We know that for those who love God all things work together for good (Ro 8:28).