The DEEP

So That

We learn God's purposes.

Ephesians 2:4–7 (ESV)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The key words in this passage are, “so that.” They translate something special in Greek called a purpose construct. That tells us why something is the way it is. In this case, we get to see why God does something.

That’s exciting. Our understanding of God’s purposes can’t be all that great. Our finite minds just aren’t up to the task.

But occasionally there’s something that’s not totally over our heads and sometimes, when conditions are right, Paul lets us know God’s holy purposes in His plan. So, reread the part up to the words “so that” in this light.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Great. We make out like bandits. And why is that?

So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Wait. That means the purpose of all that great stuff is not so that we get to go to heaven. It’s to show something, specifically the immeasurable riches of his grace.

It’s all about Him.


Christianity is usually sold in terms of its benefit to us. “Heaven is a free gift,” we say.

That’s true, but it’s the beginner’s version of the gospel. The adult version reveals the full truth about God and why He does what He does.

And the purpose construct in Greek is one of the wonderful ways that He grows us in the truth and knowledge of Him. It’s a window into the mind of God.

Praise Him for that.


The weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

Latest from Mike Slay