Commentary on Ephesians, 1:8


Ephesians 1:7,8

in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, that he caused to abound to us in all wisdom and insight, “  LEB
“that he caused to abound to us in all wisdom and insight”

God caused His grace to “abound” or to overflow to us in the redemption and forgiveness of our sins in Christ. This abounding grace through Christ was according to “all wisdom and insight.”  Here “insight” is the same as understanding.

As God considered the plight of mankind, He understood our need, and provided a plan that was according to infinite wisdom, one that would meet that need. Even before He created man, He had us and this plan in mind. Verse 4 mentions the love of God. It was the wisdom and understanding and love of God all working together to provide for our spiritual need.

God’s love was proved when He created us. Think about this. When God created us, He knew that He would have to come to earth in the Person of Christ, and suffer terribly on our behalf. He didn’t have to create man, but He did so anyway, even though He knew what it would cost Him.

Jesus created us knowing that He would have to leave His throne in Glory, and put on human form, and then be raised in a glorified body. Christ had never been in a body before, but when He created man, He knew that it would mean being in a resurrected body for the rest of eternity….the same resurrected body that we will have one day as His redeemed (Scripture gives no indication that Jesus will ever put off this resurrected body).

Who can comprehend a love like that? But it’s a plan of redemption that’s according to perfect wisdom and understanding, working in perfect harmony with perfect love.

Colossians 2:3 says that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden” (LEB) in Christ. Man seeks God in all sorts of different ways and religions, but they are not according to wisdom or knowledge. Man tries to satisfy the deepest longings of their hearts with many different things, but it’s not according to wisdom or knowledge. Apart from Christ, man is given to total foolishness. The wisdom of man is at total odds with the wisdom of God:

18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will confound.” 20 Where [is] the wise person? Where [is] the scribe? Where [is] the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. 22 For indeed, Jews ask for sign miracles and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a cause for stumbling, but to the Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those [who are] called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human [wisdom], and the weakness of God [is] stronger than human [strength].

26 For consider your calling, brothers, that not many [were] wise according to human standards, not many [were] powerful, not many [were] well born. 27 But the foolish [things] of the world God chose in order that he might put to shame the wise, and the weak [things] of the world God chose in order that he might put to shame the strong, 28 and the insignificant of the world, and the despised, God chose, the things that are not, in order that he might abolish the things that are, 29 so that all flesh may not boast before God. 30 But from him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “The one who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”  LEB (words in bold mine).How ironic that that which is according to perfect wisdom and understanding, should be considered foolishness by those who believe themselves to be wise. The truth of wisdom will come to light when they all stand before Christ, “in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.” Hidden now, but to be clearly revealed someday by His glory.