Today’s reading: Ephesians 1-3.
I thought this post would be about predestination. You know, something glitzy, glamorous, controversial. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. As I read through Ephesians the words that kept jumping off the page were purpose and Christ. God’s purpose revealed in and through Christ.
God’s purpose in Christ revealed
And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Ephesians 1:9-10
God’s will isn’t a mystery that’s hard to understand, but a secret that has been made known. When the time was right, at the fullness of time, God revealed Christ as the fullness of everything in heaven and earth.
- All spiritual blessings come through Christ
- All our righteousness comes through Christ (making us holy and blameless)
- Our standing as adopted children of God, with all the inheritance that is due his heirs, comes through Christ
- Our filling with the Holy Spirit, the down payment on our eternal reward, comes through belief in Christ
- Christ is over every “principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come”
- Christ is the head of the church, which is his body
God’s grace through Christ revealed
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved ) Ephesians 2:4-5
Someone has said that each blessing of God is a manifold blessing. The grace of God through Christ saves us, but does so much more.
- It brings us out of death to life
- It seats us with Christ in heavenly places even now
- It makes us God’s masterpiece so that we can do the work he prepared for us
- It breaks down the wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile, uniting us in Christ
- It abolishes the Law through Christ
- It makes us into temples of the Holy Spirit with Christ as the cornerstone of the foundation
Mystery of Christ revealed
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:10-11
It’s hard for us, two thousand years later, to appreciate how radical God’s purpose seemed when he revealed it to Paul. It was too little a thing, as the prophet said, for the Messiah to save only Israel. “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” Paul didn’t just talk about the revelation; he devoted his life to making it come true. As a result, we Gentiles:
- have heard of the unsearchable riches of Christ
- have learned the manifold wisdom of God
- have received the right to freely approach God
- have been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit
- have received the measure of the fullness of God
All this has been done according to God’s purpose, through Christ’s provision, so that God may be glorified in the church and in Christ. Are you looking for a God’s will for your life? Begin by living out these manifold blessings that God purposed for you in Christ.