The Bible is God’s book, it is a revelation of God, and our thinking must always start with God. Much of the trouble in the Church today is due to the fact that we are so subjective, so interested in ourselves, so egocentric. That is the peculiar error of this present century. Having forgotten God, and having become so interested in ourselves, we become miserable and wretched, and spend our time in ‘shallows and in miseries.’ The message of the Bible from beginning to end is designed to bring us back to God, to humble us before God, and to enable us to see our true relationship to Him. And that is the great theme of this Epistle; it holds us face to face with God, and what God is, and what God has done; it emphasizes throughout the glory and the greatness of God—God the Eternal One, God the everlasting, God over all—and the indescribable glory of God. This great theme appears constantly in the various phrases which the Apostle uses. Here are examples—‘Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will’; ‘having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself’; ‘in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.’ God, the eternal and everlasting God, self-sufficient in Himself, from eternity to eternity, needing the aid of no-one, living, dwelling in His own everlasting, absolute and eternal glory, is the great theme of this Epistle. We must not start by examining ourselves and our needs microscopically; we must start with God, and forget ourselves. In this Epistle we are taken as it were by the hand by the Apostle and are told that we are going to be given a view of the glory and the majesty of God. As we approach this study I seem to hear the voice that came of old to Moses from the burning bush saying, ‘Take off thy shoes from off thy feet for the ground whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ We are in the presence of God and His glory; so we must tread carefully and humbly.
But not only so, we are at once face to face with the sovereignty of God. Think of the terms which we find constantly running through the Scriptures, the great words and expressions of true Christian doctrine and theology. How little have we heard of them in this present century with our morbid, pre-occupied subjectivism! how little have we been told about the glory, the greatness, the majesty and the sovereignty of God! Our forefathers delighted in these terms; these were the terms of the Protestant Reformers, the terms of the Puritans and the Covenanters. They delighted to spend time contemplating the attributes of God.
*Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1978). God’s Ultimate Purpose : An Exposition of Ephesians 1, 1 to 23 (13–14). Edinburgh; Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth Trust.