so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. (ESV)
Have you ever been the very first to experience an exciting event? There is something special about being part of something new and exciting. Paul is writing as the Church is in its infancy. Everything is brand new. There are not generations and generations of Christians. Rather, Christ has just been raised from the dead and ascended to the Heavenly Father. The Church is in its very first generation of existence. And Paul says that those who were the first to hope in Christ, which would be everyone who was a Christian at that time, are to be to the praise of his glory.
From the very beginning of the Church the purpose of Christians is to glorify Jesus Christ. We are to be the praise of his glory. Generations and decades later the Church seems to be about all kinds of things. We have rock bands leading worship. We have videos. We are active in various projects of every variety. None of these things are bad in themselves. In fact, they can be wonderful tools to help us. But, first and foremost, we need to remember that the purpose of the Church is to be to the praise of Christ's glory.
 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (ESV)
Christ is first. He is to be preeminent in everything. As you consider your daily activities, are you doing everything to the praise of his glory? When you think of what it means to be part of the Church, do you see your role as first and foremost, to be to the praise of Christ's glory?
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