Author: J.P.K.Neville Jayasundara
Category: Scripture Engagement, Scripture Engagement
The Hidden Treasures of the Book of Ephesians.
The book of Ephesians is a unique book in the New Testament which reveals to us like no other the Eternal Purposes of God. Why has God done all that the Bible says He has? The Creation, Incarnation, Crucifixion, Atonement, Resurrection and the establishment of the Church. All these have been done by God with His eternal purposes in view. He has never acted in haste or without a plan which goes back into the eternal past. The book of Ephesians brings before us several things that God did before the foundation of the world that is, before this world ever existed. Knowledge and understanding of such things will help us live our Christian life with full assurance that what we are today is part of His eternal purpose and not merely our own making and choosing.
7 THINGS GOD DID BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
1. CHOSE US IN CHRIST – 1:42. PREDESTINATED US TO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN – 1:53. PREDESTINATED US TO THE OBTAINING OF AN INHERITANCE – 1:114. PREPARED OUR GOOD WORKS – 2:105. ORDAINED THE UNITY OF JEW AND GENTILE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST – 3:4-66. PURPOSED THAT THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD SHOULD BE SHOWN TO THE ANGELS BY THE CHURCH – 3:10,117. LOVED THE CHURCH AND PREPARED THE PLAN OF SALVATION – 5:25
1. CHOSE US IN CHRIST – 1:4
God choosing us in Christ speaks to us of God’s eternal love for us. It is not profitable to us to get into endless arguments about God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. Instead we should focus upon the wonderful love of God to us. God choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world necessarily means that He knew that one day His Son would be put to death for the redemption of sinful man. God carried in His heart the death of His son throughout eternity and also throughout human existence upon the earth. Just see the solemnity of that thought! His eternal love for you and me demanded that this burden of the death of His Son should be in His heart all that time. We see His love at Calvary and we have been trying to describe that love and sing of that love for the last 2000 years.
Just imagine the grief of heart any one of us might endure if we knew that our only son was going to be killed on a particular day in the future. How much we would mourn over our son. How restless we would be as that day approaches. God went through all that for eternity and how great would have been the heart ache of the Father to hear the Son mentioning a several times upon the earth “my time is not yet come”. Yes His time of crucifixion was approaching. The time to place the all the sins that we had ever committed was coming. And yet God did not turn away from His holy plan. God choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world is God loving us at the expense of His Son. Yes, this is ‘Love divine all loves excelling’, this is the ‘Love that will not let me go’, and this is the ‘Love that drew salvation’s plan’.
2. PREDESTINATED US TO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN -1:5
The grand tale that this verse reveals to us is so great and glorious that the enemy has seen to it, that we do not understand the meaning of this verse properly lest we become so focused upon that and so fulfill the purposes of God.
Many Bible students mistakenly think that ‘Adoption of children’ means that we have been adopted into the family of God. No dear friends. We are not adopted but rather we are BORN into the family of God. It is by a new birth that we entered into the family of God and not through an adopting process like what we find in the world. Then what does adoption mean in the scriptures? Having chosen us in Christ, unto what has He predestinate us? The clue is found in Romans 8:23 where the word Adoption is defined in scriptural terms. “….we ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body”. Now this verse implies that the adoption is yet in the future. The preceding verses in Romans 8 will shed more light on this thought. “The earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). The whole creation is waiting for this great event, even the manifestation of the sons of God. The expressed meaning of adoption in scripture is the ‘public proclamation as the sons (& daughters) of God’. He is going to present us one day as His sons and daughters as it were on the platform of the universe. “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy….” (Jude 24).
God has predestinated us to this grand acknowledgment by Him in the presence of all the living beings in this universe. This thought should encourage every believer. All what is happening to us today is in preparation for that great event which is in the future. God is looking for fully grown sons and daughters and not babes in Christ. Speaking about the Lord Jesus and His redemptive work the writer to the Hebrew says that God had purposed that “…..in bringing many sons unto glory to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10). So from the beginning God had a great plan. He wanted to bring many sons and daughters unto glory. So He predestinated us that we be ‘conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren’ (Romans 8:29). The earthly parents do not like children of other parents becoming like their own son. For them their own son is the perfect boy, the best one in town. They would their son to achieve the highest possible position and be without an equal. But our loving heavenly is totally different in His character because He wants the earthly sons to be like His own Son the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants us to be transformed into the likeness of His own Son. What a grand plan is this! We are so valuable in His sight because He has this great plan of adopting us (publicly acknowledge) as fully grown sons and daughters who are conformed to the image of His Son. God is at work. Are we willing to yield ourselves trusting in the ‘skill of His loving hands’?
To be continued;