The Ephesian church is probably the most advanced of the Asian churches in the Bible. Here Paul is teaching them about this 5th Fellowship with God. Paul’s insight to the Ephesian church is something that God is revealing to His Church at this time.
2. God intended for you to have fellowship around the mystery of His will
A. This mystery is available to us now through Jesus Christ.
and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,Ephesians 3:9-10
B. God delights in revealing His mystery to us
This 5th fellowship is an amazing revelation, when we understand what God has given us.
Once we understand and believe it, then NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! We will see how this develops into power evangelism in our studies on glory.
3. The Mystery of His Will Summarised
A. This teaching is a cornerstone to the current reformation about the Father.
The following scripture is potentially the most important scripture in the whole New Testament. Once we understand that the original intention of God was to have sons and daughters, then the gospel really becomes good news.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and willEphesians 1:4-5
B. The five truths about God’s will
- God’s intention was always to adopt us as sons and daughters, even before Adam and Eve.
- These sons and daughters would be holy and blameless
- It was out of His LOVE that He desired to do this
- We please God being in relationship with Him
- Jesus Christ would make this possible for us
C. God’s purpose is to have sons and daughters.
This makes it possible for Him to have a Bride for Jesus and a temple for Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:4-5 teaches us that before man fell God had a purpose for mankind: The Father’s desire is to have sons and daughters for Himself, a Bride for His Son and a Temple for His Holy Spirit.
4. God Strategised The Mystery of His Will.
A. God’s intention was always for Jesus to die
Even before creation, and before Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus was going to die.
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.Revelation 13:8
The Lamb dying before sins were committed raises some interesting philosophical questions:
B. Did the Lamb physically die before creation?
It seems strange that the Lamb of God would die even before mankind would sin. Those with a reformed theology background could immediately presume that because God is unchanging and lives outside of time that this is sufficient reason. However we looked at both of these false arguments in Nature of God 101. The first verse gives us the answer.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earthGenesis 1:1
In Hebrew the first word in the Bible is is beresheet, meaning “at the heading”. The root of this term is the word rosh (ראש) which means “head”.
The head is where the intellectual process starts for developing God’s original intention. God thought about creation before He made it. God planned Jesus’ death before creation started.
C. Why was the Lamb of God Slain before mankind sinned?
Mankind wants his needs met. Our sins make us feel ashamed and our actions make us feel guilty, we are all well aware of our need to have our sins acquitted . Western Christianity unknowingly has a Greek philosophical world view. Reformed theology has taken this philosophy to another level. This has ingrained in us that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. The false doctrine of original sin, has sealed in many Christians a sin focused gospel message. Yes, Jesus died for our sins, but this was not the original intention of God.
D. Our sins did not surprise God
When God created man in His image He knew they would sin. He knew that because he created man in His image and likeness, then they would have free will, because God also has free will.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God never thought “Well, I didn’t see that coming!”Bill Johnson
E. Jesus did die for our sins, sickness and torments
In Healing 101 we found that He didn’t only bear our sins, but also our sicknesses. But if the original intention was for us to be sons and daughters who are blameless then His death MUST include this.
5. God Reveals the Mystery of His Will
A: Jesus died to bring in a New Covenant.
I talked about the Greek Philosophical view and Classical/Reformed world view. The Hebrew world view is different. The God of the Old Testament makes covenants with mankind, especially Israel.
Jesus makes a New Covenant with any who believes, and He had to die to do it:
For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.Hebrews 9:16-17
B. The New Covenant forgives and forgets our sins
When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He did it through establishing a New Covenant!
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”Hebrews 8:12
As Ephesians 1:4 says, we are now holy and blameless.
C. The New Covenant makes us sons and daughters
Through Jesus death we become sons and daughter’s because His death made the New Covenant active (and the Old Covenant inactive).
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.Hebrews 8:10-11
Our gospel message includes forgiveness of sins, but needs to align with God’s will: Sons and daughters of God who are holy and blameless, through the free gift of righteousness.
1. The Father’s will is to have Sons and Daughters for Himself, a Bride for His Son and a Temple for His Spirit
2. Sons and daughters will be holy and blameless because of the New Covenant
3. The Lamb was slain before sin entered the world
4. Sinfulness of man is not the initial reason Jesus entered the world.
5. Because God desires sons and daughters, Jesus became the First begotten Son of God at His incarnation.
6. God desires for relationship with His sons and daughters.
Next we will look at how this mystery releases power, blessing, and glory into us.
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