ETERNAL PURPOSES OF GOD
Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us
with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ.”
Paul’s salutation in the beginning of his letter to the church at
Ephesus begins with him bestowing God’s wonderful peace upon them.
Then, he immediately proclaims a testimony of praise unto the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ for His marvellous blessings to us: “He
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in
is referring of course to our standing with Him as sons of God
through the New Birth. The important thing to note is that these
blessings have come to us because of our relationship to God the
Father, through his Son Jesus Christ!
Christ’ is a recurring term we see many times in our study of
the Book of Ephesians.
FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!
enormity of the blessings received through the Gospel of the Lord
Jesus Christ is so magnanimous and difficult for mortal man
to comprehend. In theology we use the term “incomprehensible” which
means that we cannot understand or comprehend God.
plans and purposes of God for which we were born and the extent to
which the Almighty has gone to call us to Himself, and to protect,
lead, guide and teach us is beyond our ability to understand!
Scripture says: “According as He hath chosen us in
Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world that we
should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”(Eph.1:4)
you consider the fact that we were all born in sin and were sinners
by birth, nature and choice with the propensity to go our own way and
do our own thing, yet Almighty God knew about us and loved us!
(Isaiah 53:6; Prov.16:25)
before the earth was formed, God knew that we would become righteous
and without blame before Him in love and that in humility and
repentance we would receive the Gift of His Son and worship Him in
the beauty of holiness!
HOW COULD HE KNOW
there was life on this planet, God knew that Adam and Eve would fall.
And the Law of Righteousness demanded a penalty for Sin and High
Treason against the Almighty and that was death - Eternal Damnation!
Lord KNEW that the Man He would create in His own image and likeness
–with a free will - would succumb to the temptation of the Evil One
and would fall, plunging the entire human race into a downward
His omniscient wisdom our Heavenly Father would send His Own Son to
Planet Earth to be incarnated and to suffer, bleed and die to redeem
mankind from power of SIN and Satan’s snare. He also KNEW that His
Son would defeat Satan, Death and Hell and rise again in power and
great glory, freeing us all from Sin and its awful power!
is amazing that God who is totally pure, righteous and holy deigns to
choose us who were totally the opposite: vile, sinful, despicable and
is the essential message I receive from this astounding text? “That
I am wanted by the Highest Authority in the Universe. That I was
chosen by the King Eternal, the Creator of Heaven and earth, to be
His very own child! And that I would somehow be changed from being
His enemy to being His friend – from a beggar in rags to a Prince
in His Palace!”
WHAT MORE DO I
learn that His plan has always been, to transform me from being
“GUILTY” to “BLAMELESS” and that
His LOVE would do it all. His love would somehow change me
and more than that, His Love would also become my Love!
about Grace! Talk about Peace! St. Paul knew what he was
writing about! He had been a hateful, spiteful, horrible murderous
and proud Pharisee, despoiling the Church through a terrifying
spiritual blindness that was anchored in pride and
suddenly all was changed and he made a one hundred and eighty degree
turn when he was blinded by the Light and heard the Voice of the JUST
ONE on the Damascus Road! The change was so dramatic that it
wasn’t long before he was hunted with a price on his head by the
very fanatical religious leadership who had earlier authorized him to
kidnap, torture and kill the disciples of Jesus, the Messiah!
years later, he communicates this matchless truth to the new converts
in the Church at Ephesus. You may ask, “How could all this
come about?” We have not only been CHOSEN by our Heavenly
Father but we have been predestined to be His sons and daughters
an amazing, grandiose and marvellous truth! That a wicked, vile,
unrighteous sinner and an enemy of God who has broken His laws and
flaunted His Commandments is chosen by the Lord of Glory to be His
Christ Himself would be crucified by ‘sinful man’ whom He had
come to earth to redeem and adopt as His own – and all this planned
and executed in the heart of the Saviour before the foundations of
the world were laid.
this was done by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “Having
predestinated us unto the ADOPTION of children by Jesus Christ to
Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Eph.1:5)
IN THE BELOVED!
Holy Bible states: “To the praise of the glory of His grace,
wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In Whom we
have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according
to the riches of His grace.” (Eph.1: 6, 7)
does this mean, “To the praise of the glory of His grace?” As
our finite minds are supernaturally expanded to understand more of
His ‘wondrous workings’ we get a glimpse of His grace
at work in sinful lives doing what is humanly impossible!
sinner and outcast running from God, doomed for Hell and perdition is
lifted out of servitude to the world, the flesh and the Devil and is
redeemed, liberated and taken into God’s Family!
we taste of His goodness and love we begin to understand a little of
His grace! Therefore, we praise our Heavenly Father and glorify Him
for His matchless grace toward us all. Not only has He cleansed us
from our sin and filth but He has made us accepted in the Beloved!
have passed the test! We have been accepted in the Beloved and made
ready for the ‘Marriage Supper of the Lamb’, to be a part of
the Bride our Heavenly Bridegroom! You may ask: “HOW
IS THIS POSSIBLE?”
is the answer to this Mystery: “In Whom we have redemption through
His Blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His
Gospel Song says it all: “What can wash away my sins? Nothing
but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again? Nothing but the
blood of Jesus! Oh, precious is that flow; That makes me white as
snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the Blood of Jesus! Nothing
but the Blood of Jesus!
THROUGH THE BLOOD!
Gospel song says: “Redeemed how I love to proclaim it,
Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through His infinite
mercy; His child and forever I am.”
were lost in sin, unbelief and following in the footsteps of our
father Adam who hath committed High Treason against his Creator. We
were in the Enemy’s Camp bound by chains of unbelief, lust, fear
and pride when the Holy Spirit called us and we answered that call,
not fully understanding the magnitude of the charges against us.
by an act of mercy and grace were we accepted in the Beloved,
transformed by His love and grace through the New Birth and washed by
the precious, holy, living Blood of Christ, thereby receiving the
forgiveness and a new standing in the Kingdom of God.
is all made possible by the Grace of God, given to us by the
vicarious death of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection from
the dead! St. Paul is enraptured - as we are also – by the fact
that God has revealed this great wisdom and prudence to SINFUL MAN.
Paul was given the great honour and privilege to unlock this Mystery
of ‘How and
redemption came about! In his Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul
shares this great and amazing truth.
I am made a Minister, according to the dispensation of God which is
given to me for you to fulfill the Word of God: Even
the MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from
generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God
would make known what is the riches of the glory of this
mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the Hope
of Glory.” (Col.1: 26, 27)
though the Eternal God carried this great plan and purpose of
Redemption in His great heart for millennia, He never divulged it to
the Prophets but uncovered these great truths to the Apostle
Paul who would carry this message of Good News to the Gentile
explains: “Having made known to us the MYSTERY of
His Will according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in
Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might
gather together in One all things in CHRIST, both which are in
Heaven, and which are in earth: even in Him:
Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated
according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the
counsel of His own Will: That we should be to the praise of His
glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1: 9-12)
this is beyond our comprehension or understanding, nevertheless,
absolutely TRUE and WONDERFUL over and above anything our human minds
can assimilate and our limited thought processes can absorb and
speech can properly articulate!
the glorious hymn, ‘Rock of Ages’, Augustus M. Toplady
(1740-1778) wrote: ‘Nothing
in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee
for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain
fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die.’
did nothing to deserve this great honour and privilege, to be adopted
by the King of kings and Lord of lords and to be made heirs of God
and joint heirs with our Saviour:
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye
have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father.
Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children
of God: And if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint heirs
with Christ: if so be we suffer with Him, that we may be also
glorified together.” (Rom.8: 14-17)
Peter also boldly writes about our exalted position as children of
Almighty God and our eternal inheritance: “Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to abundant mercy
hath begotten us again (born again) unto a lively hope by
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not
away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last
time.” (1 Peter 3-5)
the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and
election sure, for if you do these things, ye shall never fall: For
so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the
everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter
TO THE PRAISE
OF HIS GLORY!
PAUL received the great Mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was
sent by our Lord to the Gentile world, while St. Peter and others
ministering mostly to Jews!
declared: “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being
predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things
after the counsel of His will. That we should be to the praise
of His glory who first trusted in Christ.
Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Gospel of your
salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed ye were sealed
with that Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the earnest of our
inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto
the praise of His glory.”
ABOUT THAT! Believers in Christ are to be “unto the
praise of His glory.” How could WE be to the praise
of HIS glory? What can we possibly do to bring glory to
Him? That is a stretch by all human measurements, but not with
God, because with God all things are possible! (Mark 9:23;
Paul doesn’t stop there. He writes to former Pagans and Gentiles in
Rome concerning the faith of Abraham, thusly: “He staggered
not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith;
And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able
also to perform. And therefore it was imputed unto him for
it was not written for his SAKE ALONE, that it was imputed to
him; But FOR US ALSO, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe
on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Rom.4:20-24)
Pharisees were saying, “Sure, it happened to Abraham, but it can’t
happen today.” St. Paul answers: “Yes, it can happen
today and it does happen today! As Abraham sacrificed the ram in
place of his son Isaac, he understood that Messiah, God’s Son would
die on the cross for the sins of the world and rise again for his
looked forward to the Cross and was justified. We look back at
the Cross and are justified. He believed God and miracles happened.
Paul believed God and miracles happened and TODAY we also
believe God and miracles happen because our Saviour purchased our
total Freedom on Calvary’s Cross and bodily resurrection
three days later! (Rom.4: 24,25)
Religious today are peddling the ‘same old, same old’: “It
happened in Paul’s day but not today. The Day of Miracles is
past.” Tell that to St. Paul and you would get an earful!
Miracles of salvation and healing happened when Abraham walked
the earth and during Paul’s generation and is still
happening today, because Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today and forever! (Heb.13:8)
IS MORE, MUCH MORE!
there is more, yes. Much more! When you first trusted in Christ, your
name was written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. After you
believed and were born again, Jesus Christ Himself gave you the Gift
of the Holy Spirit and filled you with great joy, fire and power. At
that moment, you were sealed with the Spirit of Promise!
THAT MEAN?” You may ask! The HOLY SPIRIT answers to the BLOOD
of Jesus Christ. When a sinner receives Christ as his personal
Saviour, the Blood of Christ cleanses and washes away his sins. He is
redeemed and brought into the Kingdom of God. It is, however, the
work of the Holy Spirit to bring that soul into the body of Christ.
conversion, the Holy Spirit continues working with that soul and when
his hunger and thirst intensifies and reaches out to God for more of
Him, Jesus Christ, the Head if the Church personally baptizes Him
with the Holy Spirit of Promise, thereby sealing him until the Day of
is a marvellous truth: We are sealed until the Day of Redemption for
the Purchased Possession, which is the Believer! The Holy Spirit
guarantees our eternal redemption by sealing us for Christ until we
see Him face to face, until the redemption. HE purchased us with His
precious Blood. He owns us. We are His Purchased Possession!
St. Paul nails down this great truth. In warning the Church at
Ephesus to live a pure, holy and righteous life, he also warned
against grieving the Holy Spirit of God!
so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the
truth is in JESUS; that ye put off concerning the former
conversation (lifestyle) the OLD MAN which is corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts: And be renewed in the spirit of
your mind: and that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after God is
created in righteousness and true holiness;
putting away lying speak every man truth with his neighbour for we
are members one of another...Neither give place to the devil. Let
him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour working with
his hands the thing that is good, that he may have to give to him
no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is
good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the
hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are
sealed until the Day of Redemption.”(Eph.4: 21-30)
God’s blessings rest upon us all until He returns in the Rapture of
the Church! Amen.