Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Thursday, April 02, 2020

2020.04.02 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 1:9–10

Questions from the Scripture text: What has God made known to us (Ephesians 1:9a)? According to what had He decided this? What had He done “in Himself”? When would He carry out His plan (Ephesians 1:10a)? What would He gather into one? In Whom would He gather all things? What things would be included in these “all things” (verse 10b)? 
We tend to focus upon ourselves when we think about God’s eternal purposes. And that is understandable, not because it is right, but because we are fleshly, and it is understandable that we would so sinfully think about things.

The Lord, however, thinks upon us with amazing love and goodness and generosity precisely by putting us in our proper place: under Christ and in Christ.

In the previous verses, we read that He bent “all wisdom and prudence” (Ephesians 1:8) upon redeeming us by Christ’s blood (Ephesians 1:7). Now in this passage, we read the heart and goal of that wisdom and prudence: to gather all of creation (signified by the “bookends” of “heaven and earth,” Ephesians 1:10) together in one in Christ.

This was that “mystery of His will” to which Ephesians 1:9 refers. In the New Testament, the word “mystery” generally refers to something that God had not at first made known, but which He has now revealed in Christ and the gospel. And what has God now revealed: that Christ redeeming us (and all creation with us) has always been at the center of God purposes.

These, of course, are eternal purposes. He purposed this in Himself. And, this plan was “according to His good pleasure.” That is to say that in these purposes, God was not responding to hypothetical futures at all. He is pleased to glorify Himself. He is pleased to glorify Himself in His Son. He is pleased to glorify Himself in His Son by displaying Him as the Redeemer. And now, God has sent as a Redeemer that Son unto His glory! These riches that He has poured out in love to purchase us are all, entirely, only because it pleased Him!

This is the true and biblical way to think about election and predestination. And it is a source of great wonder and worship, and love back to God, and peace and security in His redemption. What a doctrine! What a Redeemer! What a God! Hallelujah!
How have you talked and thought about election and predestination? How should we all?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH51C “God, Be Merciful to Me”

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