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Ephesians 1:5,7-12

Ephesians 1:5,7-12
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I can’t possibly do justice to this chapter and the concept of God’s sovereign purpose as Paul unfolds it in this chapter—I can’t possibly do justice to this topic in a morning journal entry. This requires long hours of careful study. However, here is a general, “10,000 ft. Flyover” version of that consideration.

Ephesians 1:5, “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace.”

1:7-10, “…His grace, which He lavished on us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

1:11-12, “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.”

It would seem that Paul presents both the eternal will and purpose of the Triune God in this chapter. The two concepts don’t seem to be exactly synonymous, however they are inseparable and perfectly harmonious. His will gives rise to His purpose; His purpose is to achieve His will.

So, in Ephesians 1, the will of the Triune God seems to inform His purpose, and yet ultimately the two are inseparably united. So what is the purpose of God’s will? What does Paul present as the foundational motivator for all that God does? Again, without doing the full study and unfolding and nuancing that is necessary, I think we can say it is this:

To unite created reality in the risen Christ, unto the joyful recognition of the beauty of the identity of the Triune God (aka, His glory).

The purpose of the the one true God is to see all things in the universe summed up under the single, harmonizing heading of the crucified and risen God-man, Jesus Christ. This harmonization of the universe to the melody of the risen Lord—who is the image of God—is the New Testament equivalent of the hope of Habakkuk 2:14,

“…the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of YHWH as the waters cover the sea.”

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God and the revelation of the Father, the knowledge of the beauty of God comes to us in Him (2 Cor.4:6). And so, when all the universe is united in Him, summed up in Him, drawn into consent with Him, it will simultaneously be drawn into consent with the glory of the Lord….thus Ephesians 1:10—as with Hab.2:14—anticipates a day when ALL that is not God will perfectly harmonize with and bear witness to the glory of God….and it will do this in Christ.

This is the purpose of God’s will, then, that all things be to the praise of His glory (that is, that all things make known the beauty of who He is as the supreme joy of reality, for the supreme joy of reality), and He intends to accomplish this by bringing all of created existence into consent with the person who is the revelation of His glory—the slain and risen Jesus Christ.

Under this overarching heading, Paul then explains that the part the people of God play in God’s achieving of His will in all things is that we have been redeemed by the blood of this universe uniting Son, we have been chosen and secured and hidden in Him and predestined to be united to Him through the indwelling Spirit…..we fulfill our role in God’s grand design by being brought out of spiritual death and into spiritual life through union with Christ so that in the eternal ages to come, God might pour out on us the infinity of His grace expressed as kindness to us in Christ…..in this way—by enjoying the fullness of who God is because of our union to His Son by the Spirit—in this way, the human (at least, the elect human) plays their part in God’s purpose for the universe…“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”