September 1, 2019
God has a goal or purpose for His creation and He is focused on that goal.
He is moving His creation purposely toward that goal. We as believers
are the benefactors of that goal as He chose to bring us salvation through
Jesus Christ, His Son!
Paul was called to be an apostle by Christ, he knew that this calling was the
will of God and not just a random occurrence of being in the right place at
the right time.
From a personal greeting (vs. 1-2) he moves quickly to a sweeping treatise
on the eternal purposes of God through salvation, going back even to the
foundation of the world. (“Known unto God are all His works from the
beginning of the world.” Acts 15:18)
message is directed “to the saints at
in Christ Jesus.” (v. 1) A saint is simply a believer in Christ, set apart
for salvation and service. Saintliness should characterize all Christians.
In fact, a Christian is a “person set apart,separated from the world, and
reserved for the service of Jesus Christ and for the glory of God, according
as it is written, ‘This people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth
my praise.’” (Isaiah 43:21) Accordingly, Paul did not hesitate to call the
The very name raised the standard of Christian profession throughout the
always to deserve
its use? It is to
be feared that our saints, like those of
are for the most part dead and gone; whereas what the age needs is saintliness
embodied in flesh and blood before it.
This double title seems to suggest the objective and subjective sides of
Christian life; for if it is God’s work to make saints, “it is man’s to
believe;” we are chosen to salvation “through sanctification of the Spirit
and belief of the truth” (II Thessalonians 2:13). God has joined these
two principles together: let not man put them asunder.
It is in Christ we obtain our standing both as saints and as believers. He
is made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and
redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30). The expression, “in Christ,” which
occurs here for the first time in this Epistle, is found thirty-three times in
the New Testament. Christian life, like revelation, is Christo-centric –
saints were living out the faith in
fourth or fifth largest city in the world at that time. It was a port city
which meant that diverse influences from all over the world came to
from the autumn of A.D. 52 to the spring of A.D.55, after his missionary work
These saints had been gathered for the most part out of paganism, and this
will account for the introduction, as well as many of the contents, of this
magnificent Epistle. We note the following lessons as here suggested:
The Christians at
into a large and influential community, worshipping the Lord under
the very shadow of
personal interest in the fortunes of a Church established in the very
paganism — the first of the seven Churches of
forming the third
capital of Christianity, as
labor he had spent in the city, as well as the interest of the Ephesian
Christians in himself and his work which he seeks shortly to intensify by the
projected visit of “a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord”
(ch. 6:21-22). (Tychicus)
There are three sentences that make up our lesson today:
My dream Tuesday night – about godliness – my answer coming from
Christ’s words about the purpose of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-10).
ADDRESS AND SALUTATION (vs. 1-2)
The writer speaks with authority. He is an “apostle,” sent and commissioned directly
by Christ, and acting in His name — a real ambassador of the Lord of glory.
He holds this office “by the will of God;” pursues neither an irregular nor a merely
volunteer course unsanctioned by the supreme Ruler, but acts by the will of God.
Divine blessings are invoked and brought near to the Church, viz.
both of these having their only source for sinners in God and Christ.
This salutation is more than a pious wish or even prayer; the blessings are brought as
it were to the door of all. It rests with them either to receive them or not. (Remember
II Corinthians 2:15-16, that to some it is “a sweet savor of Christ” and they are
“saved”; to others “the savor of death” and they are LOST! – CY – 2010) The
blessings brought near are very precious, for God in Christ with all His fullness
IS THERE! “The way to heaven lies not over a toll-bridge, but over a
free bridge, even the unmerited grace of God in Christ Jesus.” Let us beware
of trifling with the offer of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ! Let us open the door
and welcome the Lord of grace and peace. “Behold, I stand at the door, and
knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and
will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 2:20)
1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at
of the Trinity, the Fountain of Godhead, has not only devised the whole scheme
of mercy, but has likewise planned the subordinate arrangements by which it is
carried out; thus it was by His will that Paul held the office of an apostle of Christ
(see Galatians 1:1, 11-12; Acts 26:14-18) Paul, who had made the interests of the
Gentile world a chief concern, declares that he had received his apostleship from
Christ directly. Such a consciousness of Christ’s consecration gave him great
power. His authority and his dignity as an apostle are thus the highest that
can be: "He that heareth you, heareth me." (Luke 10:16)
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord
Jesus Christ.” This is the apostle’s usual salutation to Churches — it is only in
the pastoral Epistles that he adds the word “mercy” — but its form suggests a
beautiful and significant blending of the Greek and Hebrew methods of salutation,
as if to anticipate the share of Jew and Gentile alike in the future blessings of the
gospel! (v. 10) How sweetly Christianity sanctifies the common courtesies of life!
There is something beautiful in the old forms of benediction. We lose their fragrance
in our cold “Good-byes.” The Greeks and Romans were accustomed to wish their
correspondents “Safety;” the Jews took the simpler form of” Peace.” But the gospel
came to give to both a deeper meaning and breathe GRACE and PEACE of the
deepest character into HUMAN SOULS! Hence these salutations of the saints.
God’s undeserved favor coming forth as grace finds its effects in the
responsive human heart in a heavenly peace, so that the once troubled
spirit comes into wondrous calm. What Paul is about to state in his Epistle
will not interfere with but rather deepen this holy peace. It is well for us to
see the FOUNTAIN-HEAD of blessing in THE FATHER’S HEART,
to see the channel of communication in His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and
to experience its effect in THE PEACE THAT PASSETH ALL
UNDERSTANDING, which He has ordained should keep our hearts and
minds by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). The saints are meant to be peaceful
spirits as they consecrate their energies to the service of the Lord.
As in most of Paul’s Epistles, “grace” is virtually the first word and
the last (ch. 6:24), equivalent to free, undeserved mercy in all its manifold forms
and manifestations. Peace is conjoined with grace; they are like mother and daughter,
or like twin sisters. Grace is the only foundation of true peace whether:
o peace with God,
o peace of conscience, rest and satisfaction of soul, or
o peace toward our fellow-men.
The source of grace and peace is “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Both are in beautiful harmony in the scheme of grace. “God so loved the
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in
Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The word “grace” has a unique history among English words. It means ever
so many things, all suggestive of the happiest associations, and has never suffered
that contraction of meaning which has spoiled the moral beauty of so many other
words. In the gospel sense, whether it applies to the origin of man’s salvation or to
the Christian disposition which is the result of it, grace marks a beautiful
movement of life in the direction of blessing given or received. Grace is
the key-note of the Ephesian Epistle. Grace is the well-spring of all blessings.
Grace is when God gives us good things that we don’t deserve.
Mercy is when He spares us from bad things that we deserve.
Blessings are when He is generous with both.
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME! (copied)
The double blessing. “Grace and peace.” Peace is the fruit of grace, which can
never be severed from its fruits. It is the very testament of Christ: “My peace
I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) - the very equanimity (mental
calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation), firmness,
serenity, of His own life carried into the lives of His saints. This peace
so “keeps the heart and mind” that nothing can break down a spirit so
established. The two graces are here in their due order; for there is no
peace WITHOUT GRACE (neither is there any peace to the wicked –
Isaiah 48:22; “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it
cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace,
saith my God, to the wicked” - ibid. ch. 57:20 – CY – 2019)
They cover the whole space of a believer’s life; for if it begins in grace,
its latter end is peace. The Lord always has “thoughts of grace and
peace toward us” (Jeremiah 29:11). They are together the bright sum
of the gospel.
He is also our Peace (ch. 2:14). We need this middle wall of our culture dissolved
now with its separation of Democrats, Republicans, citizens and aliens.
It is neither improper nor unnecessary to pray for grace and peace,
though we already possess them. We need a continuous supply and a
continuous experience of both blessings. Believers are, therefore, fully
justified in “coming boldly to a throne of grace, that they may obtain
mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
· THE FOUNTAIN-HEAD OF BLESSING IS GOD THE FATHER.
(v. 3.) Paul puts “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” at the head of all
things. Out of that paternal heart ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSING COMES!
The dispensation of grace is OVERSHADOWED BY A FATHER! All the
love which wells up out of parents’ hearts for their children, all the love they
lavish with varying success upon their prodigals, but faintly images the
wondrous love that wells out of the heart of God.
· THE FATHER PLANNED THE BLESSING OF HIS ADOPTED
CHILDREN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. (v. 4)
Starting from the sovereignty of the good God, as the rule of all blessing,
we have next to notice that the blessing of His adopted children was
deliberately planned from all eternity — “before the foundation of the
world.” The foresight of a father when carried into every detail of the
children’s needs glorifies him in our estimation. We would not honor an
earthly father who left anything to haphazard, which he could have
foreseen. Hence we conceive of the infinite Father as leaving nothing to
chance, but arranging all down to the minutest details. (“If ye then, being
evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more
shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask
Him.” - Matthew 11:7) He did not leave a loose thread in the whole
arrangement. Why should He, if He is the Omniscient and Almighty God?
What is contended for in predestination, therefore, is that the Almighty
Father left nothing to chance, but provided for everything in His plan.
How this is compatible with human freedom is beyond our feeble
comprehension; but that it is compatible we do most firmly believe.
There are many problems of advanced mathematics which as rusty
mathematicians we cannot now see how to solve, and there are many
problems of science which are to the most splendid scientists still unsolved;
but we should be foolish in the extreme to pronounce either insoluble. So is
it with the Divine predestination and the freedom of the creature. There is a
solution somewhere, but it is beyond our terrestrial calculus. We believe in
both as Facts, and we leave the future to bring the reconciliation. And in
the heavenly places to which the Spirit helps us to soar, we rejoice in the
thought of that Divine plan which left nothing out, but embraced
· THE ELECTION OF INDIVIDUALS WAS TO HOLINESS AND
BLAMELESSNESS OF CHARACTER BEFORE HIM IN LOVE. (v. 4.)
Holiness and perfection are the ends aimed at in God’s electing love. It
is because this is lost sight of that we have so much confusion on this
subject. God could not elect any soul to a salvation without holiness; the
idea has no meaning in the Divine mind. Men may desire to separate
salvation from holiness, to carry their sins with them into the heavenly
world; but such desires are vain, and under God’s government they can
have no realization. The election is unto holiness. So long as a soul loves
sin and hates holiness, he has no warrant to affirm any election. He may
subsequently turn from sin to God, and thus receive the evidence within
him; but a soul that loves sin and hates holiness has no business in dabbling
with this doctrine of election. God saves no man except in the process He
makes him holy. Hence we must remember “they were not chosen because
they were viewed as holy, and therefore deserving to be distinguished as
God’s favorites, on account of their obedience or personal purity, but that
they should be holy.” (Leviticus 17:44-45; I Peter 1:16)
· AND THESE INDIVIDUALS FIND THEMSELVES ADOPTED
INTO THE DIVINE FAMILY AND ACCEPTED IN CHRIST THE
BELOVED. (vs. 5-6.) We have seen that the infinite Father is the
Source of all blessing. But that Father has one only Son, the only begotten,
in His Divine family. The eternal Father had an eternal Son, and they held
fellowship from all eternity through the eternal Spirit. This Son was and is
the well-beloved. He always did the things which pleased the Father
(John 8:29). But, blessed be His Name, He was content to have “joint-heirs”
with Himself in His inheritance (Romans 8:17). Jesus showed no
jealousy about enlarging the family circle and about an abundance of
brethren. Hence the Father set about adopting children, bringing into the
charmed circle those who had no claim to the position or to its rewards.
But every adopted child is made to feel that he is accepted of the Father for
the elder Brother’s sake. Jesus as the Firstborn in the mighty family has so
endeared Himself to the Father that for His sake the Father accepts the
persons of the prodigals who are adopted into His family. There is no
reason in us for our adoption — there can never be; IT IS OWING
SIMPLY AND ENTIRELY TO JESUS CHRIST that we are accepted
and adopted. Hence there is in the plan, as so far brought before us, no
ground for boasting. Election and adoption alike rest on the good pleasure
of God’s will. They are sovereign acts. They have their root in sovereignty;
and as we rise into the heavenly places, we see that this is exactly as it
Redemption (v. 7)
“In whom we have the redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness
of our sins.”
· What men need is more than instruction, education, or an elevating
influence. They are in sin — condemned, enslaved, and disordered; in the
fetters of a strong man armed, and a stronger is needed to disarm him and
spoil his house. In a word, they need redemption from sin.
· What the gospel specially announces is such a redemption. CHRIST CAME,
not merely to enlighten, or elevate, or improve, but TO REDEEM! He came
to grapple with sin in all its bearings and results.
· This redemption was consummated by THE SHEDDING OF CHRIST’S
BLOOD! Jesus died as a sacrifice or propitiation for sin. He came by water
and by blood, not by water only. His blood “cleanseth us from all sin;”
His Spirit renews the soul. Calvin says the blood figured atonement, the
water ablution. The side of Christ, he says, was the fountain of our sacraments.
· Forgiveness of sins is a fundamental element of THIS REDEMPTION! The
gospel of Christ is a gospel of forgiveness. Sin is blotted out freely through
Christ’s merit. We need nothing short of forgiveness, and should not rest
till we have it.
All this is
to be enjoyed in
REDEMPTION! Thus union to Christ is the turning-point of all blessing.
Ø The grace which determines redemption is conjoined with WISDOM
and PRUDENCE. “Which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom
and prudence.” (v. 8) The whole scheme of redemption is a manifestation
Ø The purpose of redemption part concealed and part revealed. “Having
made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good
pleasure which He purposed in Him.” It must be held to be a well-timed
disclosure, as being what He purposed in Himself. And we should feel
thankful for our being included within its scope.
A Comparison of the Pleasure of this World with the Pleasure of God
o Pleasures of the World (ἡδοναῖς – haedonais – gratifications – this word
is the origin of the idea behind the modern philosophy of Hedonism [the
pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence] – CY - 2019); always in a
bad sense in the New Testament (Luke 8:14; James 4:1, 3; II Peter 2:13).
δουλεύοντες ἐπιθυμίαις καὶ ἡδοναῖς ποικίλαις – douleuontes
epithumiais kai haedonais poikilais – slaving to desires and
gratifications various.“Serving divers lusts and pleasures”
Titus 3:3 - KJV
o Pleasure of God – (εὐδοκία – eudokia – good pleasure.
κατὰ τὴν εὐδοκίαν αὐτοῦ, ἣν προέθετο ἐν αὐτῷ - kata taen
eudokian autou, haen proetheto en auto – in accord with the
delight of Him which He purposed in Him - “according to His
good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself.” v. 9.
Ø It is a purpose in which there is development and a consummation.
“Unto a dispensation of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in
Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth.” God is
here represented as having the administration of times or seasons. These
must be regarded as making up the whole extent across which the
redemptive purpose of God stretches. The time proper for redemption is
broken up into epochs. These are all determined and brought in by Him,
who, from one to another, is ever filling up His purpose and getting nearer
to His end. We must not have too rounded conceptions of what these
epochs are. When we are tempted to despond, the psalmist tells us that we
are to “remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” (Psalm
77:10) We are to think of the vast time which God has in which to work
out HIS PURPOSE!
o There is a completing-point in the development. The times
administered by God are to come to their fullness. When that will
be is yet mystery. (Luke 21:25-28)
o At the point of completion there is to be a unification which is
described in terms of universality. There is to be a gathering up
into one of all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and
which are on earth. (v. 10) There is confusion now; all things will
be harmonized at last. The final shaping of the purpose has not been
all brought out of mystery. Enough that He who has the
administration of the times is to bring all things to an issue which
will be satisfactory to His own mind and to that of every rational
creature. Such a prospect as is here pictured, while it may not gratify
curiosity, it is fitted to:
§ fill the imagination and
§ to kindle hope.
o This unification is to be in Christ. It was promised that in Abraham all
families of the earth would be blessed. The Church has a greater word
of hope here. It is Christ who has made this possible and certain.
He is harmonizing now by His blood and Spirit, by His Word and
Church; and He will not cease until, under the great Administrator,
He has harmonized all. It is in Him that the purposes of God will
come forth at last into all their CLEARNESS, and have their
The Thanksgiving (vs. 3-14)
The condition of believers is fitted to excite the profoundest emotions of
gratitude and praise in all who know them. Grounds of this thankfulness
· STATED SUMMARILY. (v. 3, exposition above)
· STATED IN DETAIL. (vs. 4-14.) The chief elements of blessing
Ø Holiness and blamelessness in love, secured by God’s eternal election
Ø Adoption, secured in the same way (v. 5).
Ø Acceptance in the Beloved (v. 6).
Ø Redemption through Christ’s blood, especially forgiveness of sin (v. 7).
Ø Abundance of grace, regulated by wisdom and knowledge – prudence –
practical knowledge in the management of affairs (v. 8).
Ø Enlightenment in the mystery of God’s will as to the Gentiles (v. 9).
Ø Especially, knowledge of Jesus Christ as the predestined Center or
Head of all things (v. 10).
Ø Fellowship with Christ in the enjoyment and purpose of His inheritance
Ø The seal of the Holy Spirit, or earnest of our inheritance, the pledge and
assurance of the eternal glory.
Observe the constant allusions to:
o THE GLORY OF GOD’S GRACE!
Unity is a characteristic of God’s works. Unity of the solar system, the stars, the heavens.
In the moral and spiritual world there are diverse orders of holy beings. To us only two
are known — angels and men. But there may be many more. All these it is God’s purpose
to form into one economy. Jesus Christ is the Center of this great plan. We have some
glimpses of this in the Apocalypse. Besides countless angels, “Every creature which
is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and
all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power,
be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever”
(Revelation 5:13). This does not imply that there will be nothing outside this glorious
host of holy beings; for the Apocalypse affirms the contrary. There is no hint here of
a universal restoration. Such a notion would be in flat contradiction to the doctrine
of Divine election, which dominates the whole passage. God’s purpose is to form a
· the unfallen in heaven, and
· the restored on earth,
and to gather this whole body together under Christ as its Head (see ch. 3:15).
We cannot say that this purpose has been fully effected as yet; but things are
moving towards it, AND ONE DAY IT WILL BE WHOLLY REALIZED!
“He that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be
remembered nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that
which I create: for,
behold, I create
occupied by Christ in eternity. As was His humiliation, so will His glory be.
believers. How glorious the fellowship of such an order of beings! How
insignificant the honors of earth, for which men toil so hard!
“even in Him” - Men try in our day to bring about a union of humanity on a basis
of laws looking “deep within”, or of a policy of socialism, (we have a President that
is talking about “collective salvation” – CY – 2010; And now nine years later,
we have a new President who is under constant attack because he is promoting
capitalism, and doing it quite well if the economy is an indicator. Just this week,
the former president mentioned above is praising those who are trying to undermine
the current president and encouraging the same. I saw this on Facebook – this being
the week of July 22-28, 2019 – CY). or of the creed of “liberty, equality and fraternity”
BUT THE CROSS IS THE ONLY RECONCILER OF:
· MAN TO GOD AND
· MAN TO MAN!
The Summing Up in One of All Things in Christ (v. 10)
This was the mystery of God hid for ages, but now revealed.
· IT IMPLIES A PRIOR SEPARATION OF THE THINGS RECOLLECTED
Sin is the great divider.
Ø It separates man from God;
Ø it separates man from man;
Ø it causes a schism within man himself.
Rebellion introduced disorder. There was a break of moral continuity
between earth and heaven caused by the Fall. “Earth was morally severed
from heaven and the worlds which retained their pristine integrity.” The
primary reference here may be to the separation or enmity which so long
held apart the Jew and the Gentile, but it undoubtedly has a wider
reference to the relations between heaven and earth which were so
profoundly affected by the fall of man.
Ø Jews and Gentiles, so long apart, are now “made both one” through the
blood of the cross. (ch. 2:13-14) Men try in our day to bring about a union of
humanity on a basis of moral rule, or of socialism, or of the creed of liberty,
equality, and fraternity; but the cross is the only reconciler of man to man.
It is only under Christianity that any approach has been made toward a more
just view of human rights, and toward a more genuine interest in the welfare
of individual men.
This includes the saints of all dispensations, who, whether they lived under
the comparative twilight of the Jewish dispensation, or in the days of
anti-christian apostasy in our own dispensation, found their home at last in
glory. There are those who imagine that the pre-Christian saints do not
belong to the
into being on the day of Pentecost, and therefore they assign to the saints
of Jewish times an inferior place of glory in
which Christ died (ch. 5:2) must include the saints of all time.
This is the Church which He hath purchased with His own blood, and, if the
Old Testament saints are not in it, they are lost. There is no redemption
apart from union with the person of the Redeemer; for the one sentence in
the Corinthian Epistle covers the destinies of the whole human race: “As in
Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians
15:22). And if we are Abraham’s seed, we must have union with Christ; for
“they that are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Galatians 3:9).
Those, therefore, who are to be gathered together in Christ must include
the saints of every dispensation.
Ø The angels of heaven are included among “the things of
heaven.” When we consider that Jesus Christ is Head of angels as well as
men, that the angels are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation, that
they had a profound interest in the work of redemption, that the Church
itself was to be the means of instructing them in the wonders of God’s plan
of salvation (ch. 3:10), that the angels themselves may have
been confirmed in their holy steadfastness by the Son of God, that our
Divine Redeemer continues to wear in the sight of angels the human nature
He wore on earth, — it is no extravagant speculation that all the heavenly
hosts are united under a new Head, and in a new bond in virtue of the
angels desire to look into.” - I Peter 1:12)
Ø There seems no just reason for believing that the passage sanctions the
restoration of lost men and lost angels. The parallel passage in
Colossians 1:20, which speaks of “things in heaven and things on
earth” — that is, the redeemed saints of earth and heaven — seems to
exclude such an interpretation.
regathering is twice-told as in Him. An ancient prophetic voice spoke of
Him as the One to whom “shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis
Ø He is the Center of everything in the universe. He is the Center of
nature, for not only were all things made by Him, but in Him they
consist (ibid. vs. 16-17);
Ø He is the Center of providence, for He upholds all things
by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3);
Ø He is the
Ø He is the Center of the Church invisible, for He is its Head
and its Life;
Ø He is the Center of heaven, for it is the Lamb that is in the
midst of the throne;
Ø He is the Center of the Godhead itself, Father, Son, and
It is, therefore, in Him that “all things in earth and all things in
heaven” are re-collected or summed up, for the showing forth, with a luster
before unknown, of the majesty and glory of God. “I in them, and thou in
me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:23).
· THE SOURCE OF OUR HOPE IN CHRIST. We are predestinated
thereunto (v. 11). It is the “God of hope” who causes us “to abound in hope”
(Romans 15:13); it is He who gives us “a good hope through grace”
(II Thessalonians 2:16) not of nature or man’s merits, for it is ascribed to His
“abundant mercy” as the spring of it (I Peter 1:3); and He gives us “the
patience and comfort of the Scriptures, that we may have hope”
The Consummation of All Things (v. 10)
We have in this bold, sweeping picture of the great onward movement of
the universe a solution of the most ambitious questions of philosophy.
What is the meaning of the ever-changing flux and rush of all things? and
whither does it tend? It is, says Paul, a progress towards organic unity.
Can any thought be more modern or more in accordance with strict
science? Paul recognizes the all-important point, too often ignored in
ancient philosophy, that we have to deal with organic conditions — with
living forces and their resultants. He discerns a purpose in the seeming
confusion of forces. In spite of many indications of failure, he discovers a
sure progress. And the end of this progress he declares to be
HARMONY! Yet he is not merely philosophizing. His idea is theological; he
sees God’s mind planning the whole, and God’s hand effecting it. It is also
essentially Christian. The end is accomplished THROUGH CHRIST!
· GOD PURPOSES TO BRING ALL THINGS INTO ORGANIC
ultimately integrate in one grand unity. Consider some of the wonderful
results involved in such a process as it completes itself.
Ø An approach of all things nearer together and a more ready
intercommunication. The earthly will no longer be separated from the
Ø Mutual co-operation. Each will minister to the other.
Ø The more effective work of higher organization.
Ø The end of all discord, the overthrow of all evil, the subjection of the
lower to the higher. Sin must then be cast out and God’s will done on
earth as it is now only done in heaven.
Ø No necessary uniformity. On the contrary, differentiation increases with
integration. The most highly organized bodies have the greatest variety
of parts. While we look for progress, therefore, we must not be surprised
at seeing increasing differences of constitution, idea, method of action,
etc., among Christians, but even expect this to accompany a growth in
harmonious mutual helpfulness. We are not to see the uniformity of the
blades of grass in a meadow; but the unity of the root, trunk, branches,
leaves, and fruit of one great tree. (I recommend the last half of
Fantastic Trip on the Internet – CY – 2019)
CHRIST. We cannot measure the far-reaching effects of the life-work of
Christ. But the character of all of them is peacemaking and progressive.
o to quell the discord of life,
o to draw all into one, and
o to lead the whole on to a higher life.
We may see, partly, by what means this is done.
Ø The Incarnation. Thus heaven comes down to earth. The process
begins here in one man, Jesus.
Ø The sacrifice of Christ. This is a peace offering. By it the separation
between man and God is done away.
Ø The brotherhood of Christ. All Christians are brethren in Christ. Thus
human differences are done away; Jew and Gentile, bond and free,
barbarians and civilized; are one in Christ. In the end, the union of
Christians in the Church should realize the cosmopolitan oneness which
will banish war and mutual jealousies.
Ø The headship of Christ. As Christ is recognized to be the Head by all,
all become members of Him, and so members one of another.
Ø The final triumph of Christ over:
o death, and
o all evil things.
ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE ORGANIC
THINGS WILL COME WITH “THE DISPENSATION OF THE
FULLNESS OF TIMES.” There will be a fullness of times.
The present confusion is only temporary. It may last long, but not forever.
We may do something to hasten the consummation of all things.
(I believe the last 50 years of pseudo-civilization is doing this, a la
the explanation given in the last seven words of Revelation 11:18 – “....
shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” - CY – 2019) It will
only come when the times are ripe for it; but as we do our part to aid the
great Christian progress, we help on the ripening of the ages.