Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fully Summed in Christ (Ephesians 1:10)

“with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.” (Ephesians 1:10, NASB95)

In verse 9 we read, “In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him”, and what we go on to read in verse 10 is a continuation of the same sentence. Putting them together we read that the Father purposed in the Son to do these thing looking forward to how they would all culminate in the fulfillment of His plan in the future. In the ESV verse 10 reads, “as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:10, ESV)

There is nothing short sighted or expedient about God’s plan and as we wait on God in our own lives we know that His timing is not always our timing. It is not because He is in any way early or late, but that we don’t fully see what He is doing in the establishing of His timing or even the way He answers. Notice in the New American Standard how it does not read, “for the fullness of time,” but, “to the fullness of the times….” This points to more than just the end plan but the steps which God brought about in the fulfillment of His plan. All that He did was summed up in His Son, whether they happened here on earth or in the realm which we cannot see in heaven. God did all that He did according to His plan and in His perfect timing to accomplish in His Son all that He intended, just as He intended, planned, or purposed. This pretty much sums it up.

God chose His people Israel and He purposed in them to be saved. Even though they rebelled and generally turned their backs on God, His plan was not thwarted or changed. He purposed in advance that in their rebellion He would also bring about their turning at the end of the Great Tribulation so that all of Israel might be saved. “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”” (Romans 11:25–26, NASB95)

Notice in this passage that the “fullness of the Gentiles” is spoken of as a precursor to the fulfillment to bring salvation to Israel. God put His plan in place to bring salvation to all, including non-Jews (Gentiles), through sending His Son to be born as a man, die for our sins, and rise again giving to us new life. In Galatians 4 we read, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”” (Galatians 4:4–6, NASB95) And one day in the future at a time known Only to God He will remove His church and bring all who are saved unto Himself.

And, He purposed to do all of this in His Son. In Colossians 1 we read, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:15–20, NASB95)

There are so many people out there who acknowledge God, who will speak well of Him in their casual lives, but in practice do as they please. These same people who might invoke God’s name might often be heard to denounce His Son or to minimize His claims so as to water down what the Scriptures proclaim concerning Him or what He spoke of Himself. They poo-poo the idea that anyone could be the only way to God, and this surely must not be what God intended. But the reality of Scripture is that this is exactly what God intended. It was His plan from the beginning and it will be His plan fulfilled in every detail at the end when eternity is fully realized in the new heaven and earth spoken of in Revelation.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 21:1–6a, NASB95)

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,” … “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:10, 22–27, NASB95)

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