Magnify God’s Name

It is true that the Holy Spirit often sets forth other reasons why we should magnify God’s name, as (for example) the order of nature, the fruits which the earth yields, the aid and help which God gives us, and other such things.

And these are sufficient matter for which to praise God. But Saint Paul leads us higher here, and will have us to glorify God above all things. He thinks it not enough to own (or acknowledge) that God has placed us in the world and that He nourishes us here, and that He provides all things needful during the passing of this transitory life, but he also says that God has chosen us to be heirs of His kingdom and of the heavenly life.

We are then doubly bound to God, and that, much more closely than ignorant and unbelieving wretches are. For although they are sufficiently indebted already, yet the good He has done us in Jesus Christ is beyond all comparison more excellent and noble, because He has adopted us to be His children.

Thus you see that of the things which Saint Paul meant to say in this text, the first is that we are exhorted to apply ourselves wholeheartedly to the work of praising God, just because we are too cold and indifferent in that respect, if we are not pushed and constrained to it.

Besides this, Saint Paul had one other intention more, namely, to feed us in such a way with the grace that we have by the gospel, that we may no more covet this thing and that thing after our customary manner.

John Calvin, Sermon on Ephesians 1:1-3

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