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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ephesians 2:7

so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Adam Clarke Commentary

That in the ages to come - God has produced us an example, and one which shall be on record through all generations, that he quickens dead souls; that he forgives the sins of the most sinful, when they repent and believe in Christ Jesus. So that what God has done for the sinners at Ephesus will serve as an encouragement to all ages of the world; and on this evidence every preacher of the Gospel may boldly proclaim that Christ saves unto the uttermost all that come unto God through him. And thus the exceeding riches of his grace will appear in the provision he has made for the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles.

This observation of the apostle is of great use and importance; because we are authorized to state, in all the successive ages of the world, that he who saved the sinners at Ephesus is ever ready to save all who, like them, repent of their sins, and believe in Christ Jesus.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https: 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

That in the ages to come - In all future times. The sense is, that the riches of divine grace, and the divine benignity, would be shown in the conversion of Christians and their salvation, to all future times. Such was his love to those who were lost, that it would be an everlasting monument of his mercy, a perpetual and unchanging proof that he was good. The sense is, we are raised up with Christ, and are made to partake of his honor and glory in order that others may forever be impressed wish a sense of the divine goodness and mercy to us.

The exceeding riches of his grace - The “abounding, overflowing” riches of grace; compare the notes, Ephesians 1:7. This is Paul‘s favorite expression - an expression so beautiful and so full of meaning that it will bear often to be repeated. We may learn from this verse:

(1) That one object of the conversion and salvation of sinners, is to furnish a “proof” of the mercy and goodness of God.

(2) another object is, that their conversion may be an “encouragement” to others. The fact that such sinners as the Ephesians had been, were pardoned and saved, affords encouragement also to others to come and lay hold on life. And so of all other sinners who are saved. Their conversion is a standing encouragement to all others to come in like manner; and now the history of the church for more than eighteen hundred years furnishes all the encouragement which we could desire.

(3) the conversion of “great” sinners is a special proof of the divine benignity. So Paul argues in the case before us; and so he often argued from his own case; compare the notes at 1 Timothy 1:16.

(4) heaven, the home of the redeemed, will exhibit the most impressive proof of the goodness of God that the universe furnishes. There will be a countless host who were once polluted and lost; who were dead in sins; who were under the power of Satan, and who have been saved by the riches of the divine grace - a host now happy and pure, and free from sin, sorrow, and death - the living and eternal monuments of the grace of God.

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These files are public domain.

Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https: 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Ephesians 2:7

That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

The riches of God’s grace

1. The end of all God’s grace and mercy towards believers in Christ, is for the manifestation of His glory, and praise of His name. This must teach us, that whatever good things God has bestowed upon us, we make God known by it.

2. All the saving graces of God are most worthy the consideration of all Christians in all ages. If we be God’s children, let us show it by bringing forth eternal and immortal fruit to His glory.

3. The special favour of God consists in the giving of Christ. (1 John 4:9; Romans 5:6).

4. All God’s kindness, and the fruit thereof, must come to us through Christ.

5. All our blessings are treasured up in Christ.

6. In all things Christ hath the preeminence.

7. From hence note the stability of all the blessings given to the faithful. (2 Timothy 1:12).

Salvation by grace

Salvation is a term inclusive of all the benefits enjoyed by a penitent believing sinner through the mediation of Christ.

I. Illustrate it upon leading scriptural principles. The whole scheme of redemption is traced up to its source in the Divine benevolence--“God so loved the world,” etc. It means a principle of love, proving its reality by gifts; love to sinners, fraught with kindest volitions, costly blessings. This love was self-moved, not necessarily excited by any external cause. There was no excellence to provoke, but sin to prevent its exercise. Hence its freeness is made to appear distinctly--“Not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” Hence, too, the sovereignty of this love appears. He has placed mankind under a dispensation of forbearance.

II. Illustrate it by a reference to facts and doctrines belonging to Christian experience.

1. The declared depravity of human nature.

2. The doctrine of justification by faith.

3. The blessing of sanctification.

4. The prospects of the Christian eminently involve the grace of his salvation.

Let us observe from these remarks--

1. How completely the gospel meets the wants of sinners, their ignorance, their guilt, their pollution, their destitution. It represents God to be full of compassion, salvation to be an act of unqualified grace, while its proclamation is made to all, not excepting the most guilty.

2. How awful to abuse this grace.

3. How dreadful the character and prospects of unbelieving, ungodly men! They not only break the law of God, but despise the grace of His gospel. (Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

Blessings in the ages to come

Two interpretations are given of this verse.

I. By ages to come, some understand the times that were to succeed the apostle to the end of, the world. And then the sense of the verse is--That God poured out the exceeding riches of His grace upon the apostles and churches of old to be encouraging examples to the end of the world. Which they are--

1. As to the characters of those whom He has saved. They were sinners. They were the chief of them. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation,” etc. (1 Timothy 1:15-16). They were all sorts. “And such were some of you,” etc. (1 Corinthians 6:11). “Who will have all men to be saved,” etc. (1 Timothy 2:4). “For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed,” etc. (Romans 10:11, etc.).

2. As to the blessings given to them. They were sought out. Quickened, justified, adopted, sanctified, preserved, glorified.

3. As to the grace given them, suited to their trials. To Abraham, faith. Job, patience. To Daniel, integrity. Paul, zeal.

II. By ages to come, some understand future glory (Hebrews 6:5). Then the sense is--That God bestows various and inestimable blessings upon His people here, that they may see them more perfectly in glory (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). (H. Foster, M. A.)

God’s kindness to man

I. Describe God’s kindness to man in Christ.

1. In the assumption of our nature (Hebrews 2:16).

2. In His obedience and sufferings for us (1 Peter 3:18).

3. In the resurrection of that nature (Romans 6:9),

4. In taking it up into glory (Psalms 68:18).

5. In His intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

6. In finally bringing us to glory (John 17:24).

It is also further manifest that God’s kindness is experienced by the Christian in--

1. The personal remission of his sins (Ephesians 1:7).

2. In the donation of the Holy Ghost (Romans 8:16).

3. Uniting us to His person (John 17:21).

4. Bringing us into covenant relation with Himself (Genesis 17:7).

5. Justification of our persons (Psalms 32:1).

6. In the renewal of our nature (1 Peter 1:3).

7. In adopting us into His family (1 John 3:1).

8. In giving us victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:57).

9. In our final glorification (Psalms 73:24).

II. The objects of this grace or kindness. As creatures.

1. Frail creatures (Isaiah 40:6).

2. As worthless worms (Job 25:6).

3. As less than nothing (Isaiah 40:17).

As fallen creatures.

1. As impotent creatures (Romans 5:6).

2. Impoverished creatures (Revelation 3:17).

3. As enemies to God (Colossians 1:21).

4. As dead to all good (Ephesians 2:1).

5. As being Satan’s children (John 8:44).

III. How God’s kindness is shown in Christ Jesus.

1. It is in Christ meritoriously (Ephesians 1:3).

2. God’s kindness to us flows through His kindness to Christ (Ephesians 1:6).

3. Given to us through Christ (Romans 6:23).

4. Dispensed by Christ (Acts 5:31).

5. As Christ includes all God’s kindnesses (Colossians 3:11).

IV. The reason for showing these riches.

1. Because God’s nature is love (1 John 4:8).

2. To exalt man, His chief creature (Titus 3:4).

3. And for His own glory (Psalms 106:8).


1. There is no cause of boasting in ourselves (Romans 3:27).

2. Meditate frequently on God s kindness and grace (Isaiah 63:7).

3. Prize that gospel that reveals this great kindness (Romans 1:16).

4. Pray truly to believe it (Mark 16:16). (T. B. Baker.)

The exceeding riches of grace

There is a story of Mithridates, a celebrated king in Asia, which illustrates this part of our subject very well. This king became interested in an old musician who had taken part in the music performed at a feast in the royal palace. On awaking one morning, this old man saw the tables in his house covered with vessels of silver and gold; a number of servants were standing by, who offered him rich garments to put on, and told him there was a horse standing at the door for his use, whenever he might wish to ride. The old man thought it was only a dream he was having. But the servants said it was no dream at all. It was a reality. “What is the meaning of it?” asked the astonished old man. “It means this,” said the servant, “the king has determined to make you a rich man at once. And these things that you see are only a small part of what he has given you. So please use them as your own.” At last he believed what they told him. Then he put on the purple robe, and mounted the horse; and as he rode along, he kept saying to himself, “All these are mine! All these are mine!” (D. L. Moody.)

Unappropriated riches

Men fail because they try to do too large a business on too small a capital. So with Christians; but God has grace enough and capital enough. What would you think of a man who had one million dollars in the bank, and only drew out a penny a day? That is like you and me; and the sinner is even blinder than we are. The throne of grace is established, and there we are to obtain all the grace we need. Sin is not so strong as the arm of God. He will help and deliver you, if you will come and procure the grace you need. (D. L. Moody.)

Good things to come

Rowland Hill tells a story of a rich max and a poor man of his congregation. The rich man came to Mr. Hill with a sum of money which he wished to give to the poor man, and asked Mr. Hill to give it to him as he thought best, either all at once or in small amounts. Mr. Hill sent the poor man a five pound note with the endorsement--“More to follow.” Every few months came the remittance, with the same message--“More to follow.” Now that is grace. “More to follow”--yes, thank God, there is more to follow. Oh, wondrous grace! (D. L. Moody.)

The ages to come

There is something very impressive and admirable in that long look ahead which distinguished the worthies of old. None ever lived so sympathetically in the present as they did. None ever lived so far away from the present, and so far ahead of it, as they did. They fed their Souls upon the visions of ages to come.

1. We need just such a forelooking. The condition of the human race as it now exists is not a theme for pleasurable meditation. To those who believe in the moral government of God and in the active administration of affairs in this world and in nature by the Divine mind, the actual condition of the race seems inexplicable.

2. The condition of the Church itself leads one to rebound from the present, and to seek comfort in looking into “the ages to come.”

3. Our knowledge of God in the present state of things, with all that has been done to winnow the wheat from the chaff, is exceedingly incomplete and unsatisfying.

4. The “ages to come,” will reveal a personal experience in us of which now we have but the very faintest trace in analogy. (H. W. Beecher.)

The believer’s future

We are quite certain that what we are cannot be the end of God’s design. When I see a block of marble half chiselled with just perhaps a hand peeping out from the rock, no man can make me believe that that is what the artist means it should be. And I know I am not what God would have me to be, because I feel yearnings and longings within myself to be infinitely better, infinitely holier and purer, than I am now. And so it is with you; you are not what God means you to be; you have only just begun to be what He wants you to be. He will go on with His chisel of affliction, using wisdom and the graving tool together, till by and by it shall appear what you shall be for; you shall be like Him, and you shall see Him as He is. Oh! what comfort this is for our faith, that from the fact of our vitality and the tact that God is at work with us, it is clear, and true and certain, that our latter end shall be increased. I do not think that any man yet has ever got an idea of what a man is to be. We are only the chalk crayon, rough drawings of men; yet when we come to be filled up in eternity, we shall be marvellous pictures, and our latter end indeed shall be greatly increased. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Unexpected developments

We cannot at present form a conception of perfection in the elements which constitute character. You never can tell what the ripe is from looking at the green. If an unknown seed be brought to you, and you plant it in the ground, and it sprout, and grow for five years, only throwing out leaves, and for five years more, still only throwing out leaves, can you tell how its blossoms are going to look? You never saw them. The tree is a new one. You have seen the root, the leaves, and the bark, and you have cut into the wood; you know its habits for the first ten years; you know when its leaves appear in the spring, and when they fall off in the autumn; you know everything about it as far as it has gone during those ten years; but you cannot guess whether its blossoms are white or yellow. You cannot tell whether they will hang in racemes, or rise up in circles. You cannot tell whether they will stand out in spikes, or be pendant. You cannot tell whether they will be early or late. You cannot, if the shrub or tree be unknown, find out the prophecy of the blossoms. But at last the blossom comes out. Now tell me what that blossom is going to produce. Look at it. Is it going to put forth a pod, or is it going to be a fruit? Is it going to be a seed, or luscious food? You cannot tell from a blossom what the fruit is going to be, except by analogues; and I am now supposing a new plant of which there has been no congener within your knowledge, and that you are attempting, from a lower state, to conceive of the higher. Now, in regard to human beings, there is nothing in the unripe state of the mind which is a fair interpretation of what ripeness in it is going to be. You could never have told, except by seeing it, what the human reason was competent to do. Consider the force of reason, by which the whole physical universe is being now unbarred; by which the most distant orbs are being searched, weighed, analyzed; by which we are unwrapping the sun, and taking off coat after coat; by which we know more about the sun itself than oftentimes men do of the province in which they live on earth. What an education! What an outstretch of thought! What development of the reasoning, searching power of the mind! Who Could have suspected it in the days of barbarism? No man could then have told that. And who now can fortell what new development the human reason is capable of? As from the lower stages you could not suspect the higher, so from the present stages you cannot anticipate those which are yet to come. Now we think; but in the higher forms of thinking there is the intuition, the jump, as it were, the flash of thought, with which our present thinking is not to be compared. We call it intuition, we call it inspiration, we call it names; but names are not things. There is evidently the hint of a wondrous disclosure of power in the direction of reason “in the ages to come.” We do not see it here. We cannot know it. We can only know what is the perpetual suggestion of it. Says the apostle St. John: “We are the sons of God; but it doth not yet appear what we shall be.” (H. W. Beecher.)

How grace operates

The kindness of God in Christ Jesus is a phrase expressive of the manner in which grace operates. His grace is in His kindness. Grace may be shown among men in a very ungracious way, but God’s grace clothes itself in kindness, as well in the time as in the mode of its bestowment. What kindness in sending His grace so early to Ephesus, and in converting such men as now formed its Church! Oh! He is so kind in giving grace, and such grace, to so many men, and of such spiritual demerit and degradation; so kind as not only to forgive sin, but even to forget it (Hebrews 8:12); so kind, in short, us not only by His grace to quicken us, but in the riches of His grace to raise us up, and in its exceeding riches to enthrone us in the heavenly places in Christ! And all the grace in this kindness shown in the first century is a lesson even to the nineteenth century. What God did then, He can do now and will do now; and one reason why He did it then was to teach the men of the present age His ability and desire to repeat in them the same blessed process of salvation and life. (J. Eadie, D. D.)

Restraining grace

During the ministry of the Rev. Ralph Erskine at Dunfermline a man was executed for robbery, whom he repeatedly visited in prison, and whom he attended on the scaffold. Mr. Erskine addressed both the spectators and the criminal, and after concluding his speech he laid his hands on his breast, uttering these words--“But for restraining grace I had been brought, by this corrupt heart, to the same condition with this unhappy man.”

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ephesians 2:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https: 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Exceeding riches ... in kindness ... The marvelous tenderness and consideration of God for his erring human children must ever inspire with admiration, wonder and awe the soul that becomes conscious of the fullness and glory of such wonderful love.

In Christ ... Like a constant drumbeat, this Pauline concept is hammered into every line of his writings. The love, the goodness, the hope, the forgiveness, the joy, the salvation - everything is in Christ.

In the ages to come ... The apostle Paul did not anticipate the end of the world in a few days, or a few weeks, or in his lifetime, but on the other hand considered that God's grace would be available in the salvation of sinful men for "ages to come." This is only one of a very great many such texts and intimations in the New Testament which demonstrate the perverse error, both of those who charge all of the sacred writers with expecting the Second Coming any minute and those who refer this to "the ages that will follow Christ's Parousia."[21]


[21] William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary, Ephesians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967), p. 120.

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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https: Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

That in the ages to come,.... This is the end of God's permitting sin, in which men are morally dead; and of his suffering them to go on in sin, in a state of unregeneracy; and of his quickening them with Christ, and raising them up, and causing them to sit together with him: namely, that

he might show the exceeding riches of his grace: riches being added to grace, denote the valuableness of it, as well as its plenty and abundance; and also the freeness and liberality of God in giving it; and likewise the enriching nature of it: and these riches are exceeding; they exceed the riches of this world, in the immenseness of them, being unsearchable; and in the inexhaustibleness of them, for though such large treasures have been expended upon such numbers of persons, yet there is still the same quantity; and in the duration of them, they last forever; and in the profit and satisfaction they yield, when other riches fade away, are not profitable nor satisfying; and they exceed the conception, knowledge, and comprehension of men; and intend the utmost stretch of the grace of God: and which are evidently and remarkably displayed,

in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus; in providing him as a Saviour for his people; in the mission of him into this world; in not sparing, but giving him up as a sacrifice to justice for their sins; and blessing them with all spiritual blessings in him: all which God designed to show forth, in the ages to come; meaning either the ages following to the end of time, in distinction from the ages that were past: hence it appears, that the world was not expected to be immediately at an end; and that the writings of the New Testament were to be continued, and the Gospel preached unto the end of time, in which the riches of divine grace are held forth to view; and that these ages to come, are seasons and days of grace; for a day of grace will never be over, as long as the Gospel of grace is preached; and that the instances of grace through Christ, and in the times of the apostles, are encouraging to men in ages succeeding; and that the same grace that was displayed then, is shown forth in these: or else the world to come is meant, which will take place at the end of this; and may lead us to observe, that there will be ages in the other world; and that God has not only prepared a great deal of grace and glory for his people, but he has appointed ages enough for them to enjoy it in; and that their riches lie in another world, and are in some measure hid; and that these are the produce of the grace of God; and that the exceeding riches of that will be then manifested, when it will also appear that God's giving grace to men, is not only with a view to his own glory, but is an act of kindness to them; and that eternal happiness will be heartily and freely bestowed upon them, and that through Jesus Christ their Lord: the Syriac version renders it, "that unto ages to come he might show", &c. that is, to men in ages to come; the sense is much the same.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Gill, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Greek, “That He might show forth (middle reflexive voice; for His own glory, Ephesians 1:6, Ephesians 1:12, Ephesians 1:14) in the ages which are coming on,” that is, the blessed ages of the Gospel which supersede “the age (Greek, for ‹course‘) of this world” (Ephesians 2:2), and the past “ages” from which the mystery was hidden (Colossians 1:26, Colossians 1:27). These good ages, though beginning with the first preaching of the Gospel, and thenceforth continually succeeding one another, are not consummated till the Lord‘s coming again (compare Ephesians 1:21; Hebrews 6:5). The words, “coming on,” do not exclude the time then present, but imply simply the ages following upon Christ‘s “raising them up together” spiritually (Ephesians 2:6).

kindness — “benignity.”

through Christ — rather, as Greek, “in Christ”; the same expression as is so often repeated, to mark that all our blessings center “IN HIM.”

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https: 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

That he might shew (ινα ενδειχηταιhina endeixētai). Final clause with ιναhina and first aorist middle subjunctive of ενδεικνυμιendeiknumi See note on Ephesians 1:8 for “riches of grace” and note on Ephesians 1:19 for “exceeding” (υπερβαλλονhuperballon).

In kindness toward us (εν χρηστοτητι επ ημαςen chrēstotēti Ephesians' hēmās). See Romans 2:7 for this word from χρηστοςchrēstos and that from χραομαιchraomai here God‘s benignity toward us.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https: Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The ages to come ( τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις )

Lit., the ages, those which are coming on. Which are successively arriving until Christ's second coming.

He might show ( ἐνδείξηται )

The middle voice denotes for His own glory. See on Colossians 1:6.

In kindness ( ἐν χρηστότητι )

See on easy, Matthew 11:30. The grace of God is to be displayed in His actual benefits.

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The text of this work is public domain.

Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https: Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

The ages to come — That is, all succeeding ages.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.That in the ages to come. The final and true cause — the glory of God — is again mentioned, that the Ephesians, by making it the subject of earnest study, might be more fully assured of their salvation. He likewise adds, that it was the design of God to hallow, in all ages, the remembrance of so great goodness. This exhibits still more strongly the hateful character of those by whom the free calling of the Gentiles was attacked; for they were endeavoring instantly to crush that scheme which was destined to be remembered through all ages. But we, too, are instructed by it, that the mercy of God, who was pleased to admit our fathers into the number of his own people, deserves to be held in everlasting remembrance. The calling of the Gentiles is an astonishing work of divine goodness, which ought to be handed down by parents to children, and to their children’s children, that it may never be forgotten or unacknowledged by the sons of men.

The riches of his grace in his kindness. The love of God to us in Christ is here proved, or again declared, to have had its origin in mercy. That he might shew, says he, the exceeding riches of his grace. How? In his kindness towards us, as the tree is known by its fruit. Not only, therefore, does he declare, that the love of God was free, but likewise that God displayed in it the riches, — the extraordinary pre-eminent riches of his grace. It deserves notice, also, that the name ofChrist is repeated; for no grace, no love, must be expected by us from God, except through his mediation.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Ver. 7. In his kindness toward us] We come not to the knowledge of God but by his works. And even this way of knowing him we naturally abuse to idolatry.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

These words are expressive of the final cause, or special end, of that salvation which God propounded in his gracious workings upon the hearts of these Ephesians; namely, that in all present and succeeding ages, to the end of the world, he might give a convincing proof and example of the exceeding riches of his grace, for the encouragement of the greatest sinners to hope for mercy in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Learn hence, That the instances and examples of God's mercy, grace, and goodness, love and kindness, towards lost sinners, in one age, are and ought to be an encouragement to future generations to hope in the same fountain of rich grace, for pardon of sin, and salvation by Christ.

O! when we consider that others as unworthy as ourselves (these Ephesians, for instance) have been admitted to the participation of such divine favours, Lord, what encouragement is it to us, and to others, to venture our salvation upon the same grace!

Verily, the primitive Christians were intended by God as patterns of grace to succeeding Christians; nay, God did not only design them as patterns, but as pledges, that he would go on as he had begun, in after-ages to magnify the riches of his grace, in the conversion of the vilest and worst of sinners.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https: 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

7.] that He might shew forth (see Romans 9:23 : and for ἐνδείξηται, reff. The middle voice gives the reference which the English sentence itself implies, that the exhibition is for His own purpose, for His own glory (see ch. Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:14)—see note on Colossians 2:15. This meaning of præ se ferre is illustrated by Liddell and Scott sub voce: or far better by Palm and Rost, Lex.

Beware of the rendering ‘might give a specimen of, (Rückert, Eadie), which the word will not bear either here or in reff.) in the ages which are hereafter to come (what are they? the future periods of the Church’s earthly career,—or the ages of the glorified Church hereafter? The answer must be given by comparing this with the very similar expression in Colossians 1:26-27, … τὸ μυστήριον τὸ ἀποκεκρυμμένον ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων κ. ἀπὸ τῶν γενεῶν, νυνὶ δὲ ἐφανερώθη τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ, οἷς ἠθέλησεν ὁ θεὸς γνωρίσαι τίς ὁ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ κ. τ. λ. Here it is manifest (1) that the αἰῶνες from which the mystery was hidden are the past ages of this world; (2) that those to whom, as here, God will make known the riches of His glory, are His saints, i.e. His church on earth. Therefore I conceive we are compelled to interpret analogously: viz. to understand the αἰῶνες ἐπερχόμενοι of the coming ages of the church, and the persons involved in them to be the future members of the church. Thus the meaning will be nearly as in ch. Ephesians 1:12.

The supposed reference to the future state of glory seems not to agree with αἰῶ νες, nor with ἐπερχόμενοι:—nor with the fact that the second coming and future kingdom of Christ are hardly ever alluded to in this Epistle) the exceeding riches of His grace in (of the material of which this display of His grace will consist, the department in which it will find its exercise) goodness (see especially Romans 2:4) towards us in (not ‘through,’ as E. V.) Christ Jesus (again and again he repeats this “in Christ Jesus:” HE is the great centre of the Epistle, towards whom all the rays of thought converge, and from whom all blessings flow; and this the Apostle will have his readers never forget).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https: 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Ephesians 2:7. Aim of God in connection with what is said, Ephesians 2:5-6.

ἵνα ἐνδείξηται] prefixed with emphasis: in order—not to leave concealed and unknown, but—to exhibit and make manifest, etc. Comp. Romans 9:23.

ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσι τοῖς ἐπερχ.] in the ages coming on, i.e. in the times after the Parousia, as being already on the approach (comp. LXX. Isaiah 44:7; Isaiah 45:11; Judith 9:5; 3 Maccabees 5:2; Luke 21:26; James 5:1; Hom. Od. xxiv. 142; Thuc. i. 126; Plat. Soph. p. 234 D Aesch. Prom. 98: τὸ παρὸν τό τʼ ἐπερχόμενον, Pind. Ol. x. 11: ἕκαθεν γὰρ ἐπελθὼν μέλλων χρόνος). In the times from the Parousia (conceived as near at hand) onward, the manifestation designed by God of His grace towards believers was to take place, because not before, but only after the Parousia, would the making alive of the believers, etc., implicitly contained in the making alive of Christ, be actually accomplished in the subjects. Incorrect, seeing that the apostle was previously speaking, not of the spiritual, but of the real resurrection, etc., is the rendering of Morus: “per omne vestrum tempus reliquum quum in hac vita tum in futura quoque,” as well as that of Wolf (comp. Calvin, Piscator, Boyd, Estius, Calixtus, Michaelis, Zachariae, Meier, Matthies, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bleek): “tempora inde ab apostolicis illis ad finem mundi secutura.” Koppe brings out, “ut aeternum duraturum argumentum extaret,” which is quite mistaken, since, while it is true that the αἰῶνες οἱ ἐπερχόμενοι are eternal times, the words do not signify tempora aeternum futura. Respecting the plural τοῖς αἰῶσι, comp. on Ephesians 3:21. To infer from this that the setting in of the Messianic period will not be accomplished suddenly, but by way of successive development (Schenkel), is at variance with the whole N.T. The future αἰών sets in through the Parousia very suddenly and in an instant, Matthew 24:27; 1 Corinthians 15:52, al. Hence we have not mentally to supply with ἐνδείξ. anything like: “ever more completely” (Flatt), or “ever more effectively” (Schenkel), which is sheer caprice.

The form τὸ πλοῦτος is here also decisively attested. See on Ephesians 1:7.

ἐν χρηστότητι ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ] is to be taken together, and the instrumental ἐν indicates by what God will manifest the exceeding great riches of His grace in the ages to come, by kindness towards us in Christ Jesus, i.e. by means of the fact that He shows Himself gracious towards us, of which the ground lies in Christ (not in us, see Ephesians 2:8). The article was not at all requisite before ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς, since χρηστότητι is anarthrous, and besides χρηστότης ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς, like χρηστὸν εἶναι ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς (Luke 6:35), can be closely joined together in thought. Comp. on Ephesians 1:15.

The χάρις is the source of the χρηστότης, which latter displays itself in forgiving (comp. Prayer of Manass. 11; Titus 3:4; Romans 2:4) and in benefiting, and therefore is the evidence of the former, the opposite of ἀποτομία, Romans 11:22. Comp. Tittmann, Synon. p. 195; van Hengel, ad Rom. II. p. 682.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https: 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Ephesians 2:7. ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσι τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις, in the ages to come) The plural, in opposition to the one bad age [ τὸν αἰῶνα τούτου κόσμου], Ephesians 2:2, which blessed ages effectually succeed [upon which the blessed ages come unexpectedly with power]. This expression is in accordance with Paul’s idea regarding the last day, the approach of which he believed not to be immediate [2 Thessalonians 2:2].— ὑπερβάλλοντα, the exceeding) Romans 5:20.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https: 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

That in the ages to come; in all succeeding generations while the world continues.

He might show, &c.; as in an instance or specimen, 1 Timothy 1:16: q.d. God’s kindness to us believers in this age, since Christ’s coming, is such an instance of

the exceeding riches of his grace, as may be an encouragement to future generations to embrace the same Christ in whom we have believed.

Through Christ Jesus; by and through whom God conveys all saving benefits to us.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture



Ephesians 2:7

One very striking characteristic of this epistle is its frequent reference to God’s purposes, and what, for want of a better word, we must call His motives, in giving us Jesus Christ. The Apostle seems to rise even higher than his ordinary height, while he gazes up to the inaccessible light, and with calm certainty proclaims not only what God has done, but why He has done it. Through all the earlier portions of this letter, the things on earth are contemplated in the light of the things in heaven. The great work of redemption is illuminated by the thought of the will and meaning of God therein; for example, we read in Chapter i. that He ‘hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him,’ and immediately after we read that He ‘has predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will.’ Soon after, we hear that ‘He hath revealed to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself’; and that our predestination to an inheritance in Christ is ‘according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.’

Not only so, but the motive or reason for the divine action in the gift of Christ is brought out in a rich variety of expression as being ‘the praise of the glory of His grace’ {1-6}, or ‘that He might gather together in one all things in Christ’ {1-10}, or that ‘we should be to the praise of His glory’ {1-12}, or that ‘unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.’

In like manner our text follows a sublime statement of what has been bestowed upon men in Jesus, with an equally sublime insight into the divine purpose of thereby showing ‘the exceeding riches of His grace.’ Such heights are not for our unaided traversing; it is neither reverent nor safe to speculate, and still less to dogmatise, concerning the meaning of the divine acts, but here, at all events, we have, as I believe, not a man making unwarranted assertions about God’s purposes, but God Himself by a man, letting us see so far into the depths of Deity as to know the very deepest meaning of His very greatest acts, and when God speaks, it is neither reverent nor safe to refuse to listen.

I. The purpose of God in Christ is the display of His grace.

Of course we cannot speak of motives in the divine mind as in ours; they imply a previous state of indecision and an act of choice, from which comes the slow emerging of a resolve like that of the moon from the sea. A given end being considered by us desirable, we then cast about for means to secure it, which again implies limitation of power. Still we can speak of God’s motives, if only we understand, as this epistle puts it so profoundly, that His ‘is an eternal purpose which He purposed in Himself,’ which never began to be formed, and was not formed by reason of anything external.

With that caution Paul would have us think that God’s chiefest purpose in all the wondrous facts which make up the Gospel is the setting forth of Himself, and that the chiefest part of Himself, which He desires that all men should come to know, is the glory of His grace. Of course very many and various reasons for these acts may be alleged, but this is the deepest of them all. It has often been misunderstood and made into a very hard and horrible doctrine, which really means little else than all-mighty selfishness, but it is really a most blessed one; it is the proclamation in tenderest, most heart-melting fashion of the truth that God is Love, and therefore delights in imparting that which is His creatures’ life and blessedness; it bids us think that He, too, amidst the blessedness of His infinite Being, knows the joy of communicating which makes so large a part of the blessedness of our finite selves, and that He, too, is capable of being touched and gladdened by the joy of expression. As an artist in his noblest work paints or chisels simply for love of pouring out his soul, so, but in infinitely loftier fashion, the great Artist delights to manifest Himself, and in manifesting to communicate somewhat of Himself. Creation is divine self-revelation, and we might say, with all reverence, that God acts as birds sing, and fountains leap, and stars shine.

But our text leads us still farther into mysteries of glory, when it defines what it is in God that he most desires to set forth. It is the ‘exceeding riches of Grace,’ in which wonderful expression we note the Apostle’s passionate accumulation of epithets which he yet feels to be altogether inadequate to his theme. It would carry us too far to attempt to bring out the whole wealth contained in these words which glide so easily over unthinking lips, but we may lovingly dwell for a few moments upon them. Grace, in Paul’s language, means love lavished upon the undeserving and sinful, a love which is not drawn forth by the perception of any excellence in its objects, but wells up and out like a fountain, by reason of the impulse in its subject, and which in itself contains and bestows all good and blessing. There may be, as this very letter shows, other aspects of the divine nature which God is glad that man should know. His power and His wisdom have their noblest illustration in the work of Jesus, and are less conspicuously manifested in all His work; but His grace is shrined in Christ alone, and from Him flows forth into a thirsty world. That love, ‘unmerited and free,’ holds in solution power, wisdom and all the other physical or metaphysical perfections belonging to God with all their energies. It is the elixir in which they are all contained, the molten splendour into which have been dissolved gold and jewels and all precious things. When we look at Christ, we see the divinest thing in God, and that is His grace. The Christ who shows us and certifies to us the grace of God must surely be more than man. Men look at Him and see it; He shows us that grace because He was full of grace and truth.

But Paul is here not propounding theological dogmas, but pouring out a heart full of personal experience, and so adds yet other words to express what he himself has found in the Divine Grace, and speaks of its riches. He has learned fully to trust its fulness, and in his own daily life has had the witness of its inexhaustible abundance, which remains the same after all its gifts. It ‘operates unspent.’ That continually self-communicating love pours out in no narrower stream to its last recipient than to its first. All ‘eat and are filled,’ and after they are satisfied, twelve baskets full of fragments are taken up. These riches are exceeding; they surpass all human conception, all parallel, all human needs; they are properly transcendent.

This, then, is what God would have us know of Himself. So His love is at once the motive of His great message to us in Jesus Christ, and is the whole contents of the message, like some fountain, the force of whose pellucid waters cleanses the earth, and rushes into the sunshine, being at once the reason for the flow and that which flows. God reveals because He loves, and His love is that which He reveals.

II. The great manifestation of grace is God’s kindness to us in Christ.

All the revelation of God in Creation and Providence carries the same message, but it is often there hard to decipher, like some half-obliterated inscription in a strange tongue. In Jesus the writing is legible, continuous, and needs no elaborate commentary to make its meaning intelligible. But we may note that what the Apostle founds on here is not so much Christ in Himself, as that which men receive in Christ. As he puts it in another part of this epistle, it is ‘through the Church’ that ‘principalities and powers in heavenly places’ are made to ‘know the manifold wisdom of God.’ It is ‘His kindness towards us’ by which ‘to the ages to come,’ is made known the exceeding riches of grace, and that kindness can be best estimated by thinking what we were, namely, dead in trespasses and sins; what we are, namely, quickened together in Christ; raised up with Him, and with Him made to sit in heavenly places, as the immediately preceding clauses express it. All this marvellous transformation of conditions and of self is realised ‘in Christ Jesus.’ These three words recur over and over again in this profound epistle, and may be taken as its very keynote. It would carry us beyond all limits to deal with the various uses and profound meanings of this phrase in this letter, but we may at least point out how intimately and inseparably it is intertwined with the other aspect of our relations to Christ in which He is mainly regarded as dying for us, and may press upon you that these two are not, as they have sometimes been taken to be, antagonistic but complementary. We shall never understand the depths of the one Apostolic conception unless we bring it into closest connection with the other. Christ is for us only if we are in Christ; we are in Christ only because He died for us.

God’s kindness is all ‘in Christ Jesus’; in Him is the great channel through which His love comes to men, the river of God which is full of water. And that kindness is realised by us when we are ‘in Christ.’ Separated from Him we do not possess it; joined to Him as we may be by true faith in Him, it is ours, and with it all the blessings which it brings into our else empty and thirsting hearts. Now all this sets in strong light the dignity and work of Christian men; the profundity and clearness of their religious character is the great sign to the world of the love of God. The message of Christ to man lacks one chief evidence of its worth if they who profess to have received it do not, in their lives, show its value. The characters of Christian people are in every age the clearest and most effectual witnesses of the power of the Gospel. God’s honour is in their hands. The starry heavens are best seen by reflecting telescopes, which, in their field, mirror the brightness above.

III. The manifestation of God through men ‘in Christ’ is for all ages.

In our text the ages to come open up into a vista of undefined duration, and, just as in another place in this epistle, Paul regards the Church as witnessing to the principalities and powers in heavenly places, so here he regards it as the perennial evidence to all generations of the ever-flowing riches of God’s grace. Whatever may have been the Apostle’s earlier expectations of the speedy coming of the day of the Lord, here he obviously expects the world to last through a long stretch of undefined time, and for all its changing epochs to have an unchanging light. That standing witness, borne by men in Christ, of the grace which has been so kind to them, is not to be antiquated nor superseded, but is as valid to-day as when these words gushed from the heart of Paul. Eyes which cannot look upon the sun can see it as a golden glory, tinging the clouds which lie cradled around it. And as long as the world lasts, so long will Christian men be God’s witnesses to it.

There are then two questions of infinite importance to us-do we show in character and conduct the grace which we have received by reverently submitting ourselves to its transforming energy? We need to be very close to Him for ourselves if we would worthily witness to others of what we have found Him to be. We have but too sadly marred our witness, and have been like dim reflectors round a lamp which have received but little light from it, and have communicated even less than we have received. Do we see the grace that shines so brightly in Jesus Christ? God longs that we should so see; He calls us by all endearments and by loving threats to look to that Incarnation of Himself. And when we lift our eyes to behold, what is it that meets our gaze? Intolerable light? The blaze of the white throne? Power that crushes our puny might? No! the ‘exceeding riches of grace.’ The voice cries, ‘Behold your God!’ and what we see is, ‘In the midst of the throne a lamb as it had been slain.’

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https:

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

7. ἵνα ἐνδείξηται, ‘to display as a trait of his own character.’

ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις. Cf. Ephesians 1:21 τῷ μέλλοντι and Ephesians 3:21. ‘The ages that are coming on.’ There is a vista ahead to which no limit can be assigned. There is nothing to show that in St Paul’s view the earth would pass away before these ages could begin. With ἐπερχ. cf. Luke 21:26; James 5:1; Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 41:22 f., Isaiah 42:23, Isaiah 44:7, Isaiah 45:11.

τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος. Cf. Ephesians 1:19.

ἐν χρηστότητι ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς. ‘By His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.’ Christ Jesus is the embodiment of God’s loving-kindness to us. χρηστότης, a fairly common word in the LXX. Psalms, used Romans 11:22, Titus 3:4 of the loving-kindness manifested in the salvation of men (cf. Hort on 1 Peter 2:3). It is ‘grace’ or ‘mercy’ in action.

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"Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https: 1896.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

(Ephesians 2:7.) ῞ινα ἐνδείξηται ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις—“In order that He might show forth in the ages which are coming”- ἵνα indicating design. The meaning of this verse depends on the sense attached to the last word. Harless, Meyer, Olshausen, de Wette, and Bisping, take them as descriptive of the future world. Thus Theophylact also- νῦν μὲν γὰρ πολλοὶ ἀπιστοῦσιν, ἐν δὲ τῷ μέλλοντι αἰῶνι πάντες γνώσονται τί ἡμῖν ἐχαρίσατο, ὁρῶντες ἐν ἀφάτῳ δόξῃ τοὺς ἁγίους; the idea being that the blessings of life, resurrection, and elevation with Christ now bestowed upon believers, may be hidden in the meantime, but that in the kingdom of glory they shall be seen in their peculiar lustre and pre-eminence. Thus Wycliffe also—“in the worldlis above comying.” But the language of this verse is too full and peculiar to have only in it this general thought. Why should the greatness of the grace that quickened and elevated such sinners as these Ephesians, not be displayed till the realms of glory be reached? Or might not God intend in their salvation at that early age to show to coming ages, as vicious as they, what were the riches of His grace? The verb ἐνδείξηται, which in the New Testament is always used in the middle voice, means to show for oneself-for His own glory. Jelf, § 363, 1. Still, the language of the verse suggests the idea of sample or specimen. Paul, who classes himself with the Ephesians in the ἡμᾶς, makes this use of his own conversion. 1 Timothy 1:16. The peculiar plural phrase αἰῶνες, with the participle ἐπερχόμενοι, denotes “coming or impending ages.” Luke 21:26; Luke 21:37; James 5:1. The αἰών is an age or period of time, and these αἰῶνες form a series of such ages, which were to commence immediately. These ages began at the period of the apostle's writing, and are still rolling on till the second advent. The salvation of such men as these Ephesians at that early period of Christianity, was intended by God to stand out as a choice monument to succeeding generations of “the exceeding riches of His grace”-

τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ. The neuter form is preferred by Tischendorf and Lachmann on the authority of A, B, D1, F, G. Gersdorf, Beiträge, p. 282; Winer, § 9, 2, note 2. The participle ὑπερβάλλον has been already explained Ephesians 1:19. The conversion of the Ephesians was a manifestation of the grace of God-of its riches, of its over-flowing riches. That was not restricted grace-grace to a few, or grace to the more deserving, or grace to the milder forms of apostasy. No; it has proved its wealth in the salvation of such sinners as are delineated in the melancholy picture of the preceding verses. Nay, it is couched-

ἐν χρηστότητι ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς ἐν χριστῷ ᾿ιησοῦ—“in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Four terms are already employed by the apostle to exhibit the source of salvation- ἔλεος, ἀγάπη, χάρις, χρηστότης-conveying the same blessed truth in different aspects. The first respects our misery; the second defines the co-essential form of this- ἔλεος; the third characterizes its free outgoing, and the last points to its palpable and experienced embodiment. Trench, Syn. p. 192. Winer suggests that ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς is connected with ὑπερβάλλον, § 20, 2, b. But the structure of the sentence forbids altogether such a connection, and the construction proposed by Homberg and Koppe is as violent- τῆς χάριτος καὶ χρηστότητος, supplying ὄντας also to the phrase ἐν χριστῷ ᾿ιησοῦ. The noun χρηστότης may be followed itself by ἐπί, as in Romans 11:22, or as when the adjective occurs, Luke 6:35. We do not understand, with Olshausen, that ἐν χρηστότητι is a closer definition of the more general χάρις. Nor is there any need of a metonymy, and of taking the term to denote a benefit or the result of a kindness. This kindness is true generosity, for it contains saving grace. It is not common providential kindness, but special “kindness in Christ Jesus,” no article being inserted to show the closeness of the connection, and the preposition ἐν again, as so often before, marking Christ Jesus as the only sphere of blessing. See under Ephesians 1:16. There is an evident alliteration in χάρις, χρηστότης, χριστός. The kindness of God in Christ Jesus is a phrase expressive of the manner in which grace operates. His grace is in His goodness. Grace may be shown among men in a very ungracious way, but God's grace clothes itself in kindness, a s well in the time as in the mode of its bestowment. What kindness in sending His grace so early to Ephesus, and in converting such men as now formed its church! O, He is so kind in giving grace, and such grace, to so many men, and of such spiritual demerit and degradation; so kind as not only to forgive sin, but even to forget it (Hebrews 8:12); so kind, in short, as not only by His grace to quicken us, but in the riches of His grace to raise us up, and in its exceeding riches to enthrone us in the heavenly places in Christ! And all the grace in this kindness shown in the first century is a lesson even to the nineteenth century. What God did then, He can do now and will do now; and one reason why He did it then was, to teach the men of the present age His ability and desire to repeat in them the same blessed process of salvation and life.

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https:

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.’

And the final purpose of God in all this is that He might continually reveal His goodness and kindness towards us in every possible way through all ages. He will show to us ‘the exceeding riches of His grace.’ What could be greater than that? This is either saying that His grace (active, powerful love) towards us is like a vast treasure-house of riches, beyond comprehension, beyond counting, being showered upon us, or that of His grace we shall experience such treasure-houses of riches for ourselves. Both are in fact true.

‘In the ages to come.’ This is both in the remainder of the present age, and ‘to the ages of the ages’, into the everlasting future. There will be no time limit to the dispensing of His goodness. The ancient Hebrew did not think of ‘eternity’ as we think of it, he thought of ages and ages and ages, ‘the ages of the ages’. These are not necessarily theological ages, simply ages beyond measure. They express the idea of eternity.

‘In kindness towards us.’ The word for kindness is used in Romans 11:22 of God delighting in mercy towards those whom He has chosen. It is used in extra-Biblical literature of the beneficence of rulers as they shower gifts on their favourites and dispense favours to their people, and it is used of Isaac’s pacific nature. Thus it is God being at abundant peace with us, and pouring out His generosity on us in full measure, supplying us from His storehouse of grace.

‘In Christ Jesus.’ And, as ever, all this is ‘in Him’. It is the Messiah Jesus, sent by His Father, Who has brought all these blessings on us.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https: 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. Ages to come—The rolling cycles of eternity. So long as the immortality of the redeemed shall endure, the riches of his grace will be shown, shown to what new worlds we know not. This will commence at the blessed period of the glorious summing up in Christ of Ephesians 1:10, (where see note,) and is brought to its consummation by the wonderful display of omnipotent power described in Ephesians 1:19, (where see note,) to a vivid view of which the apostle offers his continued and glowing prayer that the Ephesian eyes may be opened.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God"s ultimate purpose is to glorify Himself. The "ages" to come include all future ages. God will use the regeneration of believers to demonstrate the wealth and richness of His grace (cf. Ephesians 1:7). Specifically His kindness toward believers as displayed in all that we have in Christ is in view. We see God"s kindness in His giving life to those who were dead in sin.

Note that Ephesians 2:1-3 describe what we were in the past, Ephesians 2:4-6 what we are in the present, and Ephesians 2:7 what we shall be in the future.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https: 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Ephesians 2:7. That he might show forth. More than ‘manifest,’ or, ‘make known;’ implying an active, effective, demonstration. This is the purpose of the redeeming facts (Ephesians 2:4-6).

In the ages to come. In the successive periods of time between the resurrection of Christ and His Second Advent. Comp. Colossians 1:26-27. This suggests that. Paul was already aware that there would be a long course of development during these intervening ages. In Paul’s later Epistles there are comparatively few references to the Second Advent, and in this Epistle only this incidental one.

The exceeding riches. Exceeding because triumphant, superior to wrath and Satan.

Of his grace in kindness toward us. ‘Grace’ is the free outgoing of love for the undeserving; ‘in kindness’ points out that this condescending love manifests itself in working benefits toward these who are undeserving.

In Christ. Jesus (not, ‘through’), repeated here, is not to be joined with ‘us,’ but with the verb. This is the ever blessed sphere in which the demonstration to all ages takes place. ‘In this entirely unique Person, including in Himself all that man needs for a renewal well pleasing to God, presenting in His resurrection and exaltation, not merely a type, but the dynamic principle for the elevation of humanity to sonship with God

in this Person is set forth all that is specifically Christian in Christianity’ (Braune). To ignore Him or vital fellowship with Him is to throw away the riches of grace for ourselves, and to hinder the showing forth of these riches to others.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https: 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Ephesians 2:7. ἵνα ἐνδείξηται ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις τὸν ὑπερβάλλοντα πλοῦτον τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ: that He might shew forth in the ages that are coming the exceeding riches of His grace. For the τὸν ὑπερβάλλοντα πλοῦτον of the TR the neuter form τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος is preferred by most editors (LTTrWHRV). The satisfaction of His love was God’s motive in quickening and raising them. The manifestation of His glory in its surpassing wealth is His final purpose in the same. The verb ἐνδείκνυσθαι occurs eleven times in the Pauline Epistles and Hebrews, and nowhere else in the NT. The active is very rare even in the classics, and is never found in the NT. Hence the ἐνδείξηται is to be taken as a simple active (not as = shew forth for Himself), all the more by reason of the αὐτοῦ. What is meant by the τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις? Some give it the widest possible sense, e.g., per omne vestrum tempus reliquum quum in hac vita tum in futura quoque (Morus), “the successively arriving ages and generations from that time to the second coming of Christ” (Ell.). But it is rather another form of the αἰὼν μέλλων (Harl., Olsh., Mey., Haupt, etc.), the part. ἐπερχόμενος being used of the future (e.g., Jer. 47:11; Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 41:22-23; Isaiah 42:23; Luke 21:26; James 5:1, etc.), and the future being conceived of as made up of an undefined series of periods. In other cases reduplicated expressions, αἰῶνες τῶν αἰώνων, etc., are used to express the idea of eternity. God’s purpose, therefore, is that in the eternal future, the future which opens with Christ’s Parousia, and in all the continuing length of that future, the grace of His ways with those once dead in sins should be declared and understood in all the grandeur of its exceeding riches.— ἐν χρηστότητι ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς: in kindness toward us. The ἐν is taken by some (Mey., etc.) as the instrumental ἐν, “by means of kindness”. It is more natural to give it the proper force of “in,” as defining the way in which the grace showed itself in its surpassing riches. It was in the form of kindness directed towards us. The χρηστότης, which means moral goodness in Romans 3:12, has here the more usual sense of benignity (cf. Romans 2:4; Romans 11:12; 2 Corinthians 6:6; Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12; Titus 3:4).— ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ: in Christ Jesus. Again is Paul careful to remind his readers that all this grace and the manifestation of it in its riches have their ground and reason in Christ.

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https: 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Ephesians 2:7 “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”

“In the ages to come”: “Lit., the ages, those which are coming on” (Vincent p. 376). “The timeless eons of eternity have come” (Lenski p. 420). “He would have all future ages see” (Knox). “He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness”: “The boundless wealth of His loving-kindness” (TCNT). “The tremendous generosity of the grace” (Phi). “How immense are the resources of His grace” (NEB). Bruce put it well when he said, “It implies one age supervening on another like successive waves of the sea, as far into the future as thought can reach. Throughout time and in eternity, the church, this society of pardoned rebels, is designed by God to be the masterpiece of His goodness” (p. 288). Our present salvation is just the tip of the iceberg. God, in the ages to come, desires to demonstrate the generosity of His kindness. God will never tire of us. Even in heaven Christians will continue to experience the wealth of God"s kindness. “While manmade religions have men trying to appease the wrath of their angry gods, this text shows how eager God is to display His lovingkindness. It must be noted, however, that God"s eternal kindness is available only in Christ Jesus” (Boles pp. 225-226). We need to remember that God"s kindness has always been conditional (Genesis 6:8-9; Lamentations 3:25; Isaiah 64:4). “It excels men"s kindness. Men tend to sulk and withdraw from those who violate their trust, but God offers grace out of His kindness” (Caldwell p. 80). “Toward us in Christ Jesus”: Yet this tremendous mercy is only available to Christians.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https: 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

That = In order that. Greek. hina.

ages. See App-129.

exceeding. See Ephesians 1:19.

kindness. See Romans 2:4. App-184.

through. Greek. en. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

[ Endeixeetai (Greek #1731)] 'That He might show forth (middle reflexive voice: for His own glory, Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:14) in the ages which are coming on' - i:e., the blessed ages of the Gospel which supersede 'the age [ aioona (Greek #165), "course"] of this world' (Ephesians 2:2), and the past "ages" from which the mystery was hidden (Colossians 1:26-27). These good ages, beginning with the first preaching of the Gospel, and thenceforth continually succeeding one another, are not consummated until the Lord's coming again (cf. Ephesians 1:21; Hebrews 6:5). The 'coming on' does not exclude the time then present, but implies the ages following upon Christ's 'having raised them up together' (Ephesians 2:6).

Kindness , [ chreestoteeti (Greek #5544)] - 'benignity.'

Through Christ - Greek, 'in Christ;' as often, to mark that all our blessings center 'IN HIM' as their source. Hence, "Christ" is so often repeated.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https: 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) In the ages to come.—Properly, the ages which are coming on—the ages both of time and of eternity, looked upon in one great continuity. Here, again, the manifestation of the riches of God’s grace is looked upon as His special delight, and as His chosen way of manifesting His own self to His creatures.

In his kindness.—The word “kindness” (properly, facility, or readiness to serve another) is applied to that phase of God’s mercy in which it shows Him as “ready to receive, and most willing to pardon.” Thus we find it in Luke 6:35 used for His goodness “to the unthankful and evil”; in Romans 2:4 it is joined with “long-suffering and patience”; in Romans 11:22 opposed to abrupt “severity”; in Titus 3:4, connected with love to man, “philanthropy”; and it is also used in similar connections when attributed to man (1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:6; Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12). Hence in this passage it is especially appropriate, because so much stress has been laid on the former sinfulness and godlessness of those to whom God’s mercy waited to be gracious. There is a similar appropriateness in the repetition of the name of our Lord “through Christ Jesus,” for this gentle patience and readiness to receive sinners was so marked a feature of His ministry that to the Pharisees it seemed an over-facility, weakly condoning sin. “Through Him,” therefore, the kindness of God was both shown and given.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https: 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
in the
3:5,21; Psalms 41:13; 106:48; Isaiah 60:15; 1 Timothy 1:17
4; 2 Thessalonians 1:12; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Peter 1:12; Revelation 5:9-14
in his
Titus 3:4

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

Why has God done all this? Why from eternity has he chosen us to be holy before him in love? Why has he made us accepted in the Beloved? Why when dead in trespasses and sins hath he quickened us, raised us up and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ? The answer to these questions is given in this verse. It was, in order that, in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us, through Christ Jesus, ἵνα ἐνδείχηταιτὸν πλοῦτον τῆς χάριτοςἐν χρηστότητι ἐφ ̓ ἡμᾶς. The manifestation of the grace of God, i.e. of his unmerited love, is declared to be the specific object of redemption. From this it follows that whatever clouds the grace of God, or clashes with the gratuitous nature of the blessings promised in the gospel, must be inconsistent with its nature and design. If the salvation of sinners be intended as an exhibition of the grace of God, it must of necessity be gratuitous.

The words, in the ages to come, ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις, are by many understood to refer to the future generations in this world; secula, aetates seu tempora inde ab apostolicis illis ad finem mundi secuturas, as Wolf expresses it. Calvin, who understands the apostle to refer specially to the calling of the Gentiles in the preceding verses, gives the same explanation. Gentium vocatio mirabile est divinae bonitatis opus, quod filiis parentes et avi nepotibus tradere per manus debent, ut nunquam ex hominum animis silentio deleatur. As however there is nothing in the context to restrict the language of the apostle to the Gentiles, so there is nothing to limit the general expression ages to come to the present life. Others, restricting Ephesians 2:6 to the resurrection of the body, which is to take place at the second advent of Christ, understand the phrase in question to mean the ‘world to come,' or the period subsequent to Christ's second coming. Then, when the saints are raised up in glory, and not before, will the kindness of God towards them be revealed. But the preceding verse does not refer exclusively to the final resurrection of the dead, and therefore this phrase does not designate the period subsequent to that event. It is better therefore to take it without limitation, for all future time

The simplest construction of the passage supposes that ἐν χρηστότητι is to be connected with ἐνδείχηται; ἐφ ̓ ἡμᾶς with χρηστότητι, and ἐν χριστῷ with the words immediately preceding. God's grace is manifested through his kindness towards us, and that kindness is exercised through Christ and for his sake. The ground of this goodness is not in us but in Christ, and hence its character as grace, or unmerited favor.

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Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. https:

The Bible Study New Testament

To demonstrate for all time. See 1 Timothy 1:16 and note. "This shows, that in every age of time, all who believe and reach out through faith to seize Christ, may expect forgiveness and new life in Christ!!!"

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "The Bible Study New Testament". https: College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Now we come to an amazing passage in verse7:

Ephesians 2:7. That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Now here we have revealed to us what God is going to do and the ground upon which He is going to do it. He shows his mercy and His grace and His love for a purpose, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

You know, it's an amazing thing in this book of Ephesians where we read the eternal purpose of God for those who put their trust in Christ.

For example, in chapter , we read that He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him. Now in2:7 , "That in the ages to come!" My, what a distance—in1:4 in past eternity, in2:7 in the future eternity. He saw you and me who believe in His Son in past eternity; He sees us in ages to come, showing forth the riches of His grace.

My friend, why do you think you were born on the earth? Why do you think He saved you? Why do you think He died for you and rose again and then by the Spirit of God brought you to Himself? He opened your eyes by the Spirit of God to the word of God to your need of a Saviour. And in simple faith you took Christ as your Saviour. What for?

I tell you, in the ages to come He's going to show forth the exceeding riches of His grace. In verse10 , we are His workmanship. He's going to show us forth to the angelic hosts and to all created intelligences, to all powers, to all authorities, to principalities, to every personality in God's universe. He's going to put on an exhibition, the revelation of His grace and His kindness and His mercy and His love through you and through me. We are going to be the channels for the display of the wonderful, wonderful grace of God.

When we come to chapter,10 , we are going to see another thing through eternity. He's going to show forth His Wisdom of Solomon , His counsel through the church. He's going to show forth through you and through me the wonderful, manifested grace of God. As Peter says—The manifold (many colored) grace of God.

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Mitchell, John G. D.D. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Mitchell's Commentary on Selected New Testament Books". https:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

It would seem that there may be more grace and kindness and riches to come in the eternal state as well as here on earth. He has called us, he has done all that was needed to save us, He has saved us, He cares for us daily and He has even greater riches and grace and kindness to shed upon us in the coming day.

Exceeding has the right thought, but maybe even a stronger emphasis would be the true meaning of the word. If an item costs ninety-nine cents and I have a dollar, then my assets exceed that which I desire. This word has the thought of way exceeding, it is the thought of throwing something far and above that which is expected. His grace exceeds - even way over exceeds all that is expected. Indeed, His grace is not only sufficient to the salvation of all mankind, but His grace is way over sufficient, there is a large abundance of left over grace if you will.

I mentioned riches as separate from grace and kindness, but indeed, is not his grace and kindness toward us riches for us? It is the richest gift that He can give to His children.

I think the primary idea is to benefit His children richly, but there is also the benefit to God that He is able to show the Devil and his followers just how great and grand He is. They thought themselves so great and so grand, yet He is so much more than they and at that point in time they will certainly know it.

When Yasser Arafat died the media mentioned that he had been offered a great offer from Israel to end the Palestinian conflict and he flatly rejected it. The point was made that at the time most of the world knew he had made a grand mistake. It was revealed that he understood that this was a great mistake after the fact, but it was too late, the offer had been withdrawn.

So, with the Devil and the fallen angels, they will one day know just what a terrible decision they made when they turned against God. They will know, but it will be too late. The same goes for all the lost people of the world throughout the ages - all will one day know that their decision was a grave error and they will also know that the mistake can never be remedied.

In this respect, if none other, we ought to feel a touch of sorrow for the Devil, for his followers and for all the lost of the ages. Yes, they deserve all they will receive, but empathy is not misplaced if we feel it for them.

This is why it is hard for us to understand the Lord throwing them all into the Lake of Fire. We may feel sorry for them and wonder why there isn"t mercy for them, while from God"s perspective and at this future time our perspective as well, we will understand their punishment is a direct result of the justice of God and the intolerance of lost man toward Him.

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Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Ephesians 2:7". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https:

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