LIGHT ON GOD’S ULTIMATE PURPOSE
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
EPHESIANS 1:1-2 – EPHESIANS 1:3-14
A REVELATION PRAYER – Ephesians 1:15-21
THE CHURCH WHICH IS HIS BODY
THE FULLNESS OF HIM WHO FILLS ALL IN ALL
EPHESIANS 1:1-2 – EPHESIANS 1:3-14
Through the years, our Lord has been imparting some understanding of His purposes, and of His ways. In1956 our Lord began to give this writer some insight of His coming glory, and much is still deep within my spirit. This Scripture speaks of it, “but as truly as I live, ALL the earth SHALL BE filled with the glory of the Lord.” [Numbers 14:21]
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is used as a base to build upon since it contains much revelation of God’s ultimate intentions. We will find seven significant words in Ephesians: IN, GRACE, SPIRITUAL or SPIRIT, HEAVENLY, MYSTERY, BODY, and WALK.
“In” is the keyword, it is from the Greek word “en,” and is found in the underlying Greek text eighty-nine times. The meaning: “a being or remaining within, with the primary idea of rest in any place or thing.” (E.W. Bullinger) We will use the NKJV as our text, unless otherwise noted, and suggest that you read along with your own Bible.
Paul is declared an apostle of Jesus Christ, “BY THE WILL OF GOD,” or the determination, purpose, resolve, or the choice of God. We need to know that the will, or purpose of God, is the determining factor in all things. God is the beginning, the ultimate source from which all things originate and exist, and find their ending. The New English Bible renders Romans 11:36, “Source, Guide, Goal of all that is.” We may not understand how, but God is working out His purposes in the earth. He has been, and remains, the Supreme One. He has never surrendered His sovereignty. It is imperative that we recognize the dominion of God. Seeing from our Father’s viewpoint we discover the starting point is not creation, sin, the fall, or even redemption’s plan. IT IS GOD HIMSELF! Our perspective then becomes, “what we are to God.”
The Ephesian Epistle is written to “the saints who are,” not some day might be. SAINTS are those who are HOLY or SET APART, and are FAITHFUL because they are living true to their “saint” position in Christ. This comes from RELATIONSHIP, and not from human efforts, no matter how noble. “SAINT” is God’s name for every believer. This RELATIONSHIP is like that in John Chapter Fifteen which is “an abiding union.”
Verse Two begins with, “Grace to you and peace.” Apostolic greetings are unique with the sense of blessing they portray. This is demonstrated seventeen times in the New Testament where we read, “GRACE AND PEACE,” or “GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE.” Grace, mercy and peace should be the RULING PRINCIPLE in our hearts, rather than law, judgment and condemnation.
Where is this GRACE AND PEACE from? The answer is, God OUR Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Note it is NOT just one person’s father, but a FAMILY relationship – OUR FATHER. Paul uses this blessing ten times. When writing to Timothy and Titus, it becomes, grace, mercy and peace.
Under the Mosaic Covenant the priests could bless the people with, “Peace be to you.” Under the New Covenant we as a kingdom of priests may bless one another “in Jesus Name” because of our covenant relationship. His grace has made this privilege possible! Receive of His grace and peace today!
Verses Three to Fourteen form the longest sentence in Scripture. The truths in it build until we reach “the praise of His glory,” not just once, but twice. Most Bible versions divide this into several sentences, and spoil the continuity of thought. The Interlinear Bible and translations by Robert Young, Ivan Panin, and Kenneth Wuest follow the Greek text by keeping it as one sentence.
It is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we eulogize, for He has BLESSED US – in CHRIST. This is PAST tense. We need not beg, but rather to appropriate what He has given. We WERE blessed (eulogeo, or spoken well of) with the resulting spiritual (belonging to the spirit) blessings.
These SPIRIT-BESTOWED blessings come from, “the heavenly” realm IN CHRIST. Our UNION in Christ, and consequent identification with Him, results in ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS being ours. Words describing these BLESSINGS are: chosen, sanctified/holy, predestined, accepted, redeemed, forgiveness, enriched, enlightened, inheritance and sealed.
In Verse Four we read, “He chose us IN HIM.” The Greek for “chose” is “eklegomai (Strong’s #1586). It means to pick out, or select. In the middle voice it means, to choose for oneself, from preference, favor or love. Whom did He choose?
Paul as the writer, is one of the “US,” or chosen, as were the recipients of the epistle. Who else is included as CHOSEN? All who are IN CHRIST are the chosen. He chose each of us for Himself. This is Divine election. Jesus said in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me,” and in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
WHEN were we chosen? Paul wrote, “before the foundation of the world.” That is prior to the creation of this present kosmos, or world system. Before this present kosmos began, our Father chose us IN Christ! This was no emergency plan because of the fall of man. He knew and chose us BEFORE all we can imagine began. Our Father’s plan to have many sons like His First Begotten, and to “bring many sons to glory” [Hebrews 2:10], will progress to its completion.
The question of WHY, is found in these specific words: “that we should be holy and without blame (unblemished) before Him in LOVE.” This choice and the method is ALL OF HIM AND NOT OF US, with no striving, no works, no law, but that of Christ. We misjudge God’s grace when we do not receive the fullness, which He has provided.
Since we have been BLESSED, and CHOSEN, IN CHRIST, to be HOLY and BLAMELESS before HIM IN LOVE, therefore God has, “predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself” (Verse Five). This is not our freedom of choice. It has nothing to do with our choosing. He chose us, blessed us, made us holy, and predestined us.
To predestinate means to predetermine, or decide beforehand. When used in Scripture the question is less of who are the objects, than what they are predestined to do. Those who in history God foreknows are the recipients of His preparations.
Our Father has predestined us to “adoption as sons by Christ Jesus to Himself.” This is NOT the kind of adoption we are familiar with, where a non-genetically related child is adopted into a family. We are BORN and NOT adopted at our salvation. My parents had no need to adopt me. I was their child by birth. Adoption would have been redundant. The term “adoption as sons” is from the Greek “huiothesia” #5206, which is the ceremony for the placing as a son.
In 1962 DeVern Fromke wrote in his book, “The Ultimate Intention,” about true Bible adoption. He explained that this meant the ceremony of placing a natural born male child into an adult position. Dr. Donald G. Barnhouse, in his volumes on Romans, confirms this in his Chapter Eight comments.
Huiothesia is from two Greek words: “huios,” a son, and “thesia,” a placing. This ceremony was the granting of full rights of manhood to a child [teknon, Strong’s #5043] who has been trained by a tutor in the father’s likeness, ways, and purposes.
Today the Law is no longer our TUTOR [See Galatians 3:24, 25]. The SPIRIT is! “Paidagogos” is the Greek word for TUTOR. He was a trustworthy slave who guarded a child’s life and morals, and took him to school. The LAW took us to Christ and justification by faith. Spirit directed sons may receive the Spirit of Adoption [Romans 8:14,15]. Naturally speaking, we may speak as man to man, one to the other.
Isaiah 9:6 reads, “Unto us a CHILD IS BORN, unto us a SON IS GIVEN;” Note the twofold aspect. Galatians 4:1-7 outlines the principle is of a natural born child being under qualified households servants who trained him until maturity was reached. Verse Five uses the identical phrase, “adoptions as sons,” or the “huiothesia” as also found in Galatians 4:4, and Romans 8:15 and 23.
Our Father has PREORDAINED us to ADOPTION AS SONS. We begin, “Beloved, now are we CHILDREN (Greek – #5043 teknon) of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,” [1 John 3:2] Many of us are content to sing, dance, and be blessed, but never see our Father’s plan. We are a kingdom people called to rule and reign with Christ, even now in this present life.
It is appreciated that there are varying perceptions of SONSHIP. We do believe that sonship is the calling for ALL. How many of us are willing to receive the required discipline and training? R.B. Jones said, “A CHILD is one BORN of God, a SON is one TAUGHT of God.” Also, “A CHILD has God’s NATURE; a SON has God’s CHARACTER.”
Many years ago some of us sang the following chorus, based upon Romans 8:19-22. The composer is unknown to the writer.
When God’s sons are unveiled,
The storms of life will cease.
Earth’s groaning will be ended,
And find sweet release.
When God’s sons are unveiled,
Heaven and earth will meet.
God’s will be done,
God’s kingdom come,
When God’s sons are unveiled.
Earth’s night be gone,
Morning will come,
When God’s sons are unveiled.
All that our Father has planned, in its fulfillment is, “redounding to the praise of His glorious grace bestowed upon us in the Beloved” (Verse 6, Moffatt) His BESTOWAL and His ACCEPTANCE of us, is GRACE! The Greek is “CHARITOO” #5487 from #5485 charis – GRACE. It means to grace, or to bestow special honor. So we have grace building upon grace, which is glorious grace to His praise and honor! We are accepted. We are graced in the Beloved. It is not of us. It is all OF Him, and FOR Him.
“In HIM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His GRACE.” (Verse 7) The Greek word used for REDEMPTION is “apolutrosis,” #629. It comes from two words. One means to loosen, and the other means to send away. What a glorious deliverance!
The kind of REDEMPTION spoken of, is rooted in the Old Covenant revelation, where redemption was a family matter. [See Leviticus 25:1-55 and Ruth 2:1; 4:1-12] A near relative called, a kinsman-redeemer, could buy back, or redeem his relative, relative’s property, or child; or if dead, the kinsman-redeemer would marry the relative’s widow and pay his debt. Our KINSMAN-REDEEMER IS Jesus Christ.
Following seven years of seven Sabbaths, the Fiftieth year was proclaimed a Year of Jubilee. On the tenth day of the seventh month, the trumpets (showphar – a curved rams horn) sounded The DAY OF ATONEMENT. The word “Jubilee,” from the Hebrew “yowbel” #3104, means: the blast of a horn or trumpet. It was a time of great rejoicing, a new beginning. Atonement meant freedom from sin and peace with God.
During the YEAR OF JUBILEE, all in bondage could be set free. Property lost by sale or indebtedness would be restored to the owner whose rights came by inheritance. All of the land would have a year of rest. In fact everyone could have rest from labor since it was a year “belonging to the Lord.”
We know from Hebrews Chapters Three and Four that Natural Israel NEVER entered into the rest of God, the TRUE JUBILEE. Hebrews 4:9 reads, “There remains therefore a REST [Literally a “Sabbath” rest] for the people of God. This is for every believer who will “cease from his works.” It is all of His grace and not our works!
Our redemption is realized by a Person, and by a means. 1 Corinthians 1:30 reads, “But OF HIM you are IN CHRIST JESUS, who became for us – REDEMPTION.” REDEMPTION is a PERSON. He gave His LIFE (soul), by the shedding of His blood. 1 Timothy 2:6 tells us that “He gave HIMSELF as the ransom (The Greek is “antilutron” #487, meaning: a redemption price, or means of loosing) for ALL.” The Greek word for ALL is, “PAS” #3956, and means – ALL, EVERY, or THE WHOL
Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45 read, “and to give His life (Greek, “psuche” #5590, means soul) a ransom (lutron #3083 , a means of loosing, the redemption price) for MANY.” This was accomplished by the shedding of His blood.
Leviticus 17:11 “For the LIFE (Hebrew: “nephesh,” usually translated SOUL) of the flesh is in the blood, – upon the altar to make atonement for your souls (nephesh); for – the blood that makes atonement for the soul (nephesh).”
The unbounded wealth – GRACE, of our Father in redemption brings “forgiveness of sins.” Forgiveness, from the Greek, “aphesis” #859, is the release, deliverance, liberation from captivity to, and sending away of our sins. E. W. Bullinger suggests that this word is “mostly in reference to the Year of Jubilee.” REDEMPTION is RESTORATION to our Father so that He may reveal the glories of His grace to, and in us even now.
Isaiah 61:1-5 spoke prophetically of Christ, just as the trumpet blast proclaimed the Year of Jubilee and its redemption and restoration. Jesus confirmed this by quoting part of this passage in Luke 4:18-19. Christ our Kinsman-Redeemer made this reality when He cried out on the cross, even as a trumpet, “IT IS FINISH!”
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest” – Hebrews 4:11. Do not wait fifty years to have a Jubilee, for we are not under Law, it’s times and seasons. Christ is our Jubilee TODAY AND EVERY DAY! Enter into HIS REST!
“Wisdom and prudence [understanding]” bring the revelation of the “mystery” of His will. (Verses 8-9) MYSTERY is a word which brings thoughts of deep secrets known only to the “initiates.” The Greek word, “musterion” #3466, as used, means the revelation, or uncovering of once hidden truth for all by the Spirit.
Jesus told His disciples it was for them to know the mysteries of the kingdom in Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11 and Luke 8:10. Paul wrote in Romans 16:25-26, “according to the REVELATION of the MYSTERY which was kept secret – but NOW has been made manifest (known).
Paul when writing to the Colossians [1:27] was overwhelmed at the revelation, the unveiling of the MYSTERY as he wrote. What mystery? We quote: “the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.” The mystery that everyone could be restored to lost glory [Romans 3:23], and that it was not limited to Jewish ancestry.
Paul literally said, “Christ in ALL of you.” Bullinger says that the word “YOU” is in the PLURAL. M.R. Vincent said: “the defining words are “Christ in you,” i.e., “in the Gentiles;” either as constituting the riches of glory in this mystery, or as being the essence of the mystery itself. “In you” may be either “within you,” dwelling in your hearts, or “among you.” We see this as a CORPORATE EXPRESSION OF THE CHRIST. We learn, that which our Father “PURPOSED IN HIMSELF” was planned for the ADMINISTRATION, or GOVERNMENT (Greek is “oikonomia” #3622: the management of a household) OF THE AGES, or of the completeness/fullness of time. (Verse Ten) What HE PLANNED was that “He might gather together in one all things in Christ.” The meaning of this brought to my spirit truth, from days past, that my mind didn’t accept.
First the term, “gather together in one,” is the Greek word, “anakephalaiomai” #346, meaning to sum up under one head. Read the following quotations:
• E. W. Bullinger: “to reduce under one head, to reunite for one’s self under one head.”
• J. H. Thayer: “to bring together again for Himself all things and beings (hitherto disunited by sin) into one combined state of fellowship in Christ, the universal bond.”
• Kenneth Wuest N.T.: “To bring back again to their original state all things in the Christ.”
• Rotherham‘s N.T.: “to reunite for Himself (under one head) the all things in Christ.”
• TCNT (1901): “when He would make everything both in heaven and on earth, center in the Christ.”
• Weymouth: “the purpose with He cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find it’s one Head in Christ.”
What our Father has purposed “to gather together,” are all things (Greek, “pas” – all, any, every kind or variety, the whole), which are in heaven and in/on earth. The goal of the gathering is – IN CHRIST. Let us look briefly at two Scripture passages.
Acts 3:21 “Whom heaven must receive until the restoration of all things,” The word RESTORATION is the Greek word “apokatasis” #625, from two words, “apo” – back again and “kathistemi” – to set in order. APOKATASIS means, to reconcile completely, reestablishment, to bring back to a former state of harmony. Kenneth Wuest puts it: “to receive until times when all things will be restored to their pristine glory.”
Read Colossians 1:15-20. How much of this passage do we believe, or reject?
• Vs. 15: “He is the image — the firstborn over ALL creation.”
• Vs. 16a: “For by Him ALL things were created” A list follows.
• Vs. 16b: “ALL things were created through Him and for Him.”
• Vs. 17a: “He is before ALL things.”
• Vs. 17b: “in Him ALL things consist.” Consist from the Greek “sunistemi” meaning, are held together, compacted, stand with. Strong’s #4921.
• Vs. 18: “that in ALL things he might have the preeminence.”
• Vs. 19: “in Him ALL the fullness should dwell,”
• Vs. 20: “by Him to reconcile ALL things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven,” RECONCILE, Strong’s #604 “apokatallasso,” meaning to reconcile completely or to change from one condition to another, to reconcile back to a former state of harmony.
It is interesting that Greek word “PAS,” Strong’s # 3956,meaning ALL, is to be found eight times in this passage. EIGHT is considered to be the number of RESURRECTION. Numerically the name JESUS is 888 who is the RESURRECTION.
In Verse 11 we read that, we have been chosen as God’s portion or heritage, as a part of the ALL THINGS to be unified in Christ. (When “kleroo” #2820, is rendered as an “active verb” it becomes man’s inheritance, however, the verb is “passive,” so it is GOD’S HERITAGE) This is “according to the PURPOSE of HIM who works ALL things according to the COUNSEL of HIS will.”
It is our calling to be those who contribute “to the praise of His glory.” (Verse12) Our Father God has done a work in us. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings, and given us an inheritance in Christ, so that we should be to His praise and glory.
This verse was made real to me while speaking at a youth meeting in 1961. From that point of time, I realized that I was TO LIVE FOR HIS GLORY. The purpose of my life and salvation became more than escapism, self absorption and getting, but rather CHRIST.
Gradually I began to learn of the purposes of God in the NOW. No longer did I have to strive to reach some spiritual height. Now I began to see from the Heavenly perspective. Our views are SELF CENTERED in comparison to our Father’s loving, giving heart.
Now IN CHRIST, our faith is activated. We believe the word/logos of truth of our salvation, resulting in the promised Holy Spirit sealing us as the Father’s heritage. His mark of ownership is on us, fear no other mark, we are marked as His very own.
The SEALING by the Holy Spirit (Verses 13-14) is the guarantee of our inheritance, which is “the redemption of the purchased possession.” This includes the totality of each one of us. When Adam sinned, he was cut of from the life of God, represented by the Tree of Life (which he WAS NOT forbidden to eat, and may have eaten its fruit).
Adam, having chosen to live in a soulical realm (knowledge of good and evil) died first in his spiritual relationship to God, later death overcame him in its finality. We have now been saved in our spirits, are being saved in our souls [Hebrews 10:39; James 1:21 and Romans 5:10], and look toward the salvation of the body [Romans 8:23].
We were taught that our souls needed saving to “go to heaven.” The truth is, we need salvation IN OUR SOULS to bring HEAVEN INTO US. What happened at what we call the time of salvation, or conversion, is the birthing of the Spirit of God within each of us. John 3:3-7 tells us of our need of “being born of water and the Spirit.”
We have a deposit, an earnest of our inheritance, by the Holy Spirit’s sealing. Paul, speaking of resurrection wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:5, “God – has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 is a miniature version of Ephesians 1:3-14. Verse 14 ends with, “for the obtaining (peripoiesis #4047, meaning acquisition) of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is the same Greek word that is translated, “purchased possession.”
There is an acquisition going on, it involves the recovery of mans LOST GLORY. According to Romans 3:23, All have sinned (in Adam as head of the human race) and come short (hustereo #5302), that is “to be in lack, or want of.” What does man lack? He lacks the glory of God.
Paul speaks of the recovery of this glory in Romans 8:18, “the glory which shall be revealed in us.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells of the ongoing change “… being transformed, (#3339 metamorphoo)” in the PRESENT TENSE, the change is in progress, “into the same image” – into the likeness of God in Christ – “from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
This “redemption of the purchased possession” (verse 14) is in the fullest sense, “to the praise of his glory.”
Man lost the glory of God for a time, however, God plans to fully restore all that was lost, and more. He will take us all to a higher dimension of relationship and glory.
In Christ we are destined to rule and reign, and to move from glory to glory. Our loving Father is glorified. Christ Jesus is glorified. Man’s lost glory is restored. Truly, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD! Amen!
It is my prayer that each of you will have received a glimpse of His glorious purposes. If you have read with an open heart and mind, and allowed the Spirit of God to bring understanding to you it will have been profitable. If you need to set some things aside for a time, that is good. What is truth will begin to live in your spirit. May He who is the SPRIT OF TRUTH reveal HIS TRUTH to all of you!
A REVELATION PRAYER – Ephesians 1:15-21
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
A REVELATION PRAYER – Ephesians 1:15-21
Within the heart of many there is a desire to know more, and to go further than before, so men have left the safety of their homeland for the unknown. Oceans have been crossed, mountains climbed, the moon visited and athletes have excelled. Numerous ways, paths and religions have been tried to fill the deep yearning within for God.
Man out of fellowship with God, has a spirit vacancy he can’t fill. He doesn’t really know that his heart is crying out for reconciliation with God. The Scripture tells us “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,” [2 Corinthians 5:21]. Our Father is reaching out to all who will receive. In Ephesians 1:15-21 Paul gives thanks for the Ephesians faith in Christ, and records some of his prayers on their behalf.
Verse 17 begins with a unique description of our Father; “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory.” This tells us that our Father is the source of splendor and perfection of Deity. His very nature is characterized by, and as, glory.
Glory is the MANIFEST PRESENCE, CHARACTER and NATURE of God. When Moses asked [Exodus 33:18-19], “Please show me Your glory,” God replied, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you.”
In Old Testament days names were based upon the perceived character or, reputation of the person. To God’s name “YHWH” [Jehovah, LORD, Yahweh], descriptive names were added as the revelation of His character and Person unfolded. Under the New Covenant we find the “Father of glory” revealed as “love,” “a consuming fire,” the Word, Life, and more.
Paul’s prayer is for the ”spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM,” NOT DOCTRINE. This is the skillful UNCOVERING of the KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST DEEP WITHIN OUR SPIRITS. The cry is, ”that we may know Him in an intimate ongoing sense.” This is NOT HEAD KNOWLEDGE, but spirit knowledge. When the Holy Spirit quickens the “eyes of our heart,” then we see.
In Ephesians 1:1-14 we learned something of the nature and heart of our Father God. He is The Blesser, Chooser, Accepter, Redeemer, Forgiver, Predestinator, the One who has sealed us as His very own until the time of full redemption, Revealer of His will, Restorer of all, the One rich in grace, the One who is made us holy and blameless, the One who will bring us to maturity/adoption as sons, because He has made us His portion/inheritance, and ultimately the One who will cause us to be to the PRAISE OF HIS GLORY. All of this because we are IN CHRIST!
This is not to be just Book knowledge. It becomes revelation knowledge as we spiritually KNOW HIM. Our hearts must be like Paul’s, who in Philippians 3:10 says ”that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection?” Paul had more going for him naturally speaking than many of us, but to him it was inconsequential outside of Christ. Two choruses from years ago come to mind. The composers are unknown.
Only to know Him, only to know Him,
Is the prayer within our hearts,
Not just in a measure, but in His fullness,
This, oh Lord, is the cry of our hearts
* * *
That we may know Him in resurrection,
That we may fellowship His sufferings too,
Filled with His Spirit, filled with His glory,
That we may know Him in Spirit life.
Paul’s prayer continues in Verse Eighteen with, “That the eyes of your understanding [The Greek is “kardia” Strong’s #2588 and means “heart”] being enlightened.” This is not mental perception, it is the light of God shining into our spirit, and bringing revelation so, “that you may know” and comprehend in fullness.
We now will consider the first of three “what’s.” First, “what is the hope of His calling.” The word “calling” in the Greek is, “klesis” #2821 and has the idea of “a heavenly call or vocation.” Having chosen us in Christ [Verse 5], we are predestined for “adoption as sons.” Romans 8:19-21 speaks of creation, which is now in bondage, waiting in hope for deliverance, for the revealing of the sons of God.
The next “what” is, “what are the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance IN the saints?” Notice that this is not OUR inheritance. It is God’s inheritance. In Verse Eleven we discovered that we were made a heritage, or God’s portion. The many blessings we have received in Christ have qualified us, and it is by GRACE that we have become our Father’s inheritance. Our “Father of glory” has made us rich in the glory of Christ.
The third “what” speaks of, “what is the exceeding greatness of His power” [Verse 19], which raised Christ from the dead, is now directed ”toward us who believe.” This power, Greek “dunamis” #1411, is an inherent ability, strength or power which resides in a person or thing by virtue of its nature. The adjectives “exceeding greatness” could be translated, “super abounding mega greatness.”
Verse Nineteen continues, “according to the working of His mighty power (Verse 20) which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead …” These two verses have descriptive words that emphasize, “the exceeding greatness of His power.” The writers of the New Covenant refer to the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the greatest example of Divine power, whereas creation and the exodus from Egypt are Old Testament examples of power.
The Greek for “working,” Strong’s #1753 is energia, and means effectual working or superhuman power. In English we could say DIVINE ENERGY. “Might” is from the Greek ischus #2479, which implies that the power resides in the subject who is God. “Power” is from kratos #2904 and speaks of dominion and great strength. The word “worked” [Vs. 20] is energeo #1754, meaning the putting forth of power or energy.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “you shall receive power [dunamis] when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10, “be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” A literal rendering could read, ”Be empowered [1743 endunamoo] or enabled in the Lord, and the might [2904 kratos] of His strength [2479 ischus].”
In Colossians 1:29 Paul tells us that he is exerting great effort, and it is done by God’s energy  which is energizing  him with inherent power . The power of God in action is so much greater than our human efforts. We REST as God’s works. We are joyful, He is glorified!
The RESURRECTION of Christ, and our resurrection with Him [Romans 6:4-5], resulted in Christ being seated at the RIGHT HAND of the Father. Ephesians 2:6 has us seated in this same heavenly realm far above [Vs. 21] all else. Resurrection is a raising up or again, and the resumption of vigor and life. A related word is RESTORATION.
In Verse 21 we read that this heavenly seating is “far above all principality.” “Principality” is from the Greek “arche” #746, means a place of rule. The territory of a reigning prince. Daniel’s prayers were not immediately answered because the spirit Prince of Persia [Daniel 10:13] hindered the angelic messenger God had sent with the answer, until a mightier prince from God, Michael, came to his assistance.
Verse 21 continues, “and power” from the Greek #1849 exousia, which means AUTHORITY. In particular it means, one who has the right, to exercise power and to rule. Jesus was given ALL authority/exousia [Matthew 28:18]. He is not waiting for a far off kingdom age to reign. Psalm 110:1-2 informs us that He was told, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.” Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning now because He is seated at the “right hand,” of God [Acts 2:33-36] the seat, or place, of all authority. This verse continues with “and might and dominion.” This is dunamis #1411 which is power or ability, and kuriotes #2963 meaning lordship. Kuriotes is from the word kurios, which means “one who possesses dominion.” All of this is ascribed to Christ in His resurrected and ascended state.
There is no name higher than Jesus. He is the exalted One [Philippians 2:9-11] to whom ALL will come to bow, Greek kampto #2578 meaning “to bend, and is used of the knee in worship.” And to confess, Greek exomologeo #1843 meaning to confess and acknowledge, that Jesus Christ is Lord! We sing the chorus, but do we believe it?
While it is spoken as “in this age” in Verse 21 it also is, literally, “the COMING (age).” Ephesians 2:7 speaks of the plural – ages.” At this point in time there was still a transition between the age of the Mosaic covenant and the kingdom age instituted by Christ. The Mosaic age ended in the period of 70AD with the destruction of the land, Jerusalem, the temple and of all that went with it.
The changing of one age to another is often an overlapping period of time, as one fades away and the other comes into being. 2 Corinthians 3:11 reads, “For if what IS PASSING AWAY was glorious...“ The time of the “letter” or law that killed was passing. And the “Ministry of the Spirit … more glorious” [2 Corinthians 3:6,8] was taking its place. Law and legalism were replaced by love and grace.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” The word for liberty is #1659 eleutheria, which means FREEDOM OF ACCESS to the presence of God. As we our Lord’s glory we are being changed from glory to glory [2 Corinthians 3:17, 18], and as our “earth” is being transformed then the words of Habakkuk 2:14 will come to pass as the body of Christ arises in His glory.
We close this article with the following chorus you may appreciate. Composer unknown.
Every fetter shall be broken,
Every mountain cast down,
When the knowledge of the Lord is revealed,
Every crooked path made straight,
Every weary heart relieved,
When the knowledge of the Lord is revealed.
For His glory shall fill the earth
As the waters cover the sea,
And the knowledge of the Lord shall prevail.
For His glory shall fill the earth
As the waters cover the sea,
When the knowledge of the Lord is revealed.
THE CHURCH WHICH IS HIS BODY
“And he put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18
This writer believes that the Church has always been part of God’s plan. Some believe that the “Kingdom age” was to have started when Jesus Christ lived on earth, but because the Jewish nation rejected “their King,” the church age was added as a parenthesis/deviation until the kingdom could be established.
The prophet Daniel said, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed;” [2:44]. Which Kings? Beginning at verse thirty-six we learn the kings of Babylon, of the Medes and Persians, the Greek’s and finally of Rome.
Verse forty-four continues, “it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Verse 35 tells us, “… And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” While not in fullness yet, we believe that the kingdom began with the ascension of Christ. See Acts 2:25-36.
Just as the English word “church,” once had a different meaning than it has today, the Greek word “ekklesia” [Strong’s #1577] which means, “ek” – out of, and “klesis” – a calling, once meant a called congregation/assembly of citizens to discuss political affairs. However, when “ekklesia” was used in the Greek Septuagint [Old Testament] it took on the meaning of a “ceremonial assembly of the covenant people of God.” Ekklesia as used in the Septuagint encompasses the New Covenant teaching of “the corporate identity, and community of believers, or more precisely, the CONGREGATION OR ASSEMBLY of believers in Christ,” which is the CORPORATE Body of Christ.
Ephesians 1:22 “And He put ALL things under His feet.” Our Father, in resurrecting Christ placed all [pas #3956 – all, every – not just some] under, and caused Christ to be the HEAD over/above all. [See: Hebrews 2:8; Colossians 1:15-18; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Hebrews 2:8] This is of importance and we will say more at a later time.
Various terms are used to describe the church – Mount Zion, a city, the Heavenly Jerusalem, a holy temple, a habitation, general assembly, living stones, a royal [kingdom] priesthood, the body of Christ, sons, the bride of Christ and more. Ephesians 5:23-32 compares the marital relationship of husband and wife to that of Christ and the church. Verse Thirty-One refers us to Genesis 2:24, however, we need to begin at Genesis 1:26.
In the creation of man God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness – -.” IMAGE is from the Hebrew “tselem” #6754 meaning, resemblance, a representative figure, which is not an exact duplicate, but is essential in nature.
While God has been pictured as having eyes, ears, feet, arms, etc. these terms are used so man may understand God in relation to himself. God’s image is SPIRITUAL as God is SPIRIT. He also is all-knowing, all-hearing, and all-seeing, etc.
LIKENESS is from the Hebrew “demuwth” #1823 meaning, similitude or comparison to. Only in his “spiritual being” was man in the likeness and image of God, and he was comparable to God because the eternal Spirit was breathed into him. Earthly man is temporal and mortal, but the Spirit of God indwelling him is immortal.
In Genesis 1:27 we read, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him [singular]; male and female He created them [plural].” This number change seems to suggest that the man was created androgynous (both genders in one body) until we consider the making [literally building/fashioning] of Eve, who is a type of the church, in Genesis 2:21-24.
The need for a “comparable helper” for Adam was met by God “anesthetizing” [deep sleep] Adam and taking a part of his side [Hebrew “tsela” #6763 only in Genesis Two as “rib,” most often as “side”] and building “the woman.”
It is of interest that the word for woman may have the literal meaning of “she-man.” Whether from bone or flesh, or simply a bit of DNA, the genetic pattern of Eve was fashioned to turn out a “comparable,” but not precisely the same being as Adam.
In considering the “building” of Eve from Adam’s side, we are reminded that Jesus Christ was literally pierced in His side. We reverently suggest that the church was thus included in Christ. Ephesians 5:25 reads, “… just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.” When Christ died and His body was broken, we were included in His death, and resurrection. Christ is the true church – the BODY and Christ the HEAD.
Prior to his fall, Adam was created in the image and likeness of God [1:27]. It may be said that Adam was made in the image of the Lord Jesus. Jesus was the Father revealed. Adam did not come before Jesus, but our Lord preceded him because He always was one [the precise image and likeness] with the Father.
While we may not fully understand why our Father needed a race of physical beings to inhabit a physical earth, we still live in this reality. Our Father desired to have MANY SONS who would be in the image of the SON. Hebrews 1:6 speaks in reference to Christ of a “firstborn.” The very word “firstborn” implies a second, third and more. In Romans 8:29 we find, “that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
We wonder how we may come to this place of being among the “many brethren.” The answer is IN CHRIST. Colossians 2:9-10 reads, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead [deity] bodily; and you are complete in Him.” We are complete as an infant is the upon conception. Within the fertilized ovum ALL of the genetic structure, or blueprint of that yet to be born person exists. That of Christ which has been planted or conceived in us holds the potential to grow into full adult SONSHIP.
God’s commission to man was to rule and exercise authority in this earthly realm. Genesis 1:26 “… let them have dominion [Hebrew radah #7287 – to subjugate, reign, or rule] over the fish – and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Verse 28 continues, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over – and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Man, when in the LIKENESS and IMAGE of God, was to exercise dominion over all creation.
God desired a “ruling man” to exercise His authority on the earth. In short, God wanted a man like HIMSELF. We know that this was temporarily set aside because of man’s fall and the earth also came under a curse. It longs for the day when, “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God – because the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” [Romans 8:19-21]
WHAT WAS GOD’S WILL AFTER THE FALL? Psalm 8:1-9 begins with, “How excellent is Your name in ALL the earth” and it ends the same, “O LORD our Lord, How excellent is Your name in ALL the earth!” These are amazing words at a time when the effects of sin were clearly visible even as today. Man’s commission remained, “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” This is repeated in Hebrews 2:6-8 while being noted as unfinished.
WHAT IS GOD’S WILL SINCE REDEMPTION? As quoted from Hebrews it remains the same as it repeats Psalm Eight and thus refers back to Genesis. The question now is, “HOW WILL COME TO PASS?” It is clear that fallen man has, and is, failing. The CHURCH has done little better. The answer is a new Adam, a new kind of MAN!
We read, “The first man Adam became a living being, The LAST ADAM became a life-giving spirit.” [1 Corinthians 15:45] The first Adam was formed from “dust” and eventually returned to dust. The LAST ADAM is the LORD from heaven, and a life-giving spirit. In Christ a new race, a Second Adam, if you wish, has been formed.
It is called the BODY OF CHRIST. HE is the HEAD, and we members receive of HIS life.
“Even as in Adam all die [in relationship to God], even so IN CHRIST all shall be made alive [to God – a spiritual birth]” 1 Corinthians 15:22. When we live by His life, it is a life of victory. The things of “dust,” or that crawl in the dust are under our feet, because we are of Christ and all is under His feet.
Ephesians 3:10-11 says, “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church [To whom] to the principalities and powers in the heavenly.” In 1:21 we read that this heavenly seating is “far above all principality.” The church, God’s congregation is called to rule and reign in this life, “according to the eternal purposes that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [3:11]
In Romans 5:17 we read, “much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Even as Christ is now reigning, so are we called to reign also. In the words of an unknown writer:
Christ shall reign, shall rule and reign,
Till all enemies are under His feet.
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
He shall have dominion over all.
Much more could, and possibly should, be said about “The Church which is His body” however we will address this further as our Lord guides. We continue to walk in the LIGHT of HIS PURPOSES as it is given knowing that we but see in part at this time. May our Lord grant that, “the Father of Glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM.” And that, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling.”
THE FULLNESS OF HIM WHO FILLS ALL IN ALL
“The church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
These words from Ephesians 1:22-23 are rich in meaning. They do not speak of a weak and emaciated church, but of, a glorious church [5:27] without blemish, and a demonstration of Christ Himself who is it’s Head.
In looking at the church today, imperfections are apparent because we look at people and not at Christ. We need to see the CHRIST in each one of us. We are not to know after the “flesh” but the “spirit.” As we yield to Christ, we are cleansed not only by the blood, but “with the washing of the water by the word.” [5:26]
There is a further work of transformation that is going on in all of us who are, “with unveiled face, beholding in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,” 2 Corinthians 3:18. This is a work of grace that brings us into the fullness of God’s purposes, a holy nation in His glorious image, exercising His authority on this earth in union with Christ our Head.
The Genesis record tells how man was commissioned to exercise authority on earth, however, he surrendered it for the sake of knowledge, and so lost fellowship with his Creator. God’s purpose to have a RULING MAN on this earth, partaking of His life, via the Tree of Life, did not change. What our Father sets out to do, He will accomplish.
Man’s separation from God ultimately lead to man’s REDEMPTION, and RESTORATION to the Father’s will, and purposes, as is outlined in Ephesians One, etc. “The first Adam became a living being/soul. (He was subject to sin and in need of a redeemer.) The LAST Adam became/IS, a LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT.” [1 Corinthians 15:45] He is the Redeemer and Savior of all.
There is a MAN on the earth today being equipped to do God’s will. This MAN is the BODY OF JESUS CHRIST. CHRIST is the HEAD, and we are the members thereof. When our Father looks at Christ He sees no sin, and no imperfection. When He sees us in Christ, God sees CHRIST, not our human imperfections. Therefore, this MAN will not only exercise God’s AUTHORITY, but will be a demonstration of His IMAGE and LIKENESS in a greater way than Adam ever was.
Norman Grubb wrote in, Touching the Invisible, Page 27, “Man was not made to be separate from God, nor indeed from his fellow man. Pre-eminently, he was created spirit to be in union and communion with the Spirit, expressing forth the powers and glories of that inner united life through soul (personality) and body. As created spirit, he was also to be in like union and communion with other created spirits, his brethren, as with the Father of spirits.” [Christian Literature Crusade, 1940]
God is SPIRIT and so is invisible. Christ is “the IMAGE of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN over all creation.” [Colossians 1:15] In the creation of man God said, “Let us make man in Our IMAGE, according to Our LIKENESS.” [Genesis 1:26] IMAGE is from the Hebrew “tselem” #6754 meaning, resemblance, a representative figure, which is not an exact duplicate, but is essential in nature. See also Genesis 1:27; 5:3; 6:6]
Genesis 1:26 could be paraphrased, “Let us make an image which is like us – spiritual in nature and call it man.” The detailed making of MAN [Adam – #120 aw-dawm – red earth – a human being] from the “dust” of the earth is recorded in Chapter 2:7 and includes how God, “breathed the breath of life; and then man became a living being.”
“Eikoon” #1504 is the Greek word used for IMAGE in Colossians 1:15 and 3:10, Romans 8:29, 1 Corinthians 15:49, 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 4:4. “Eikoon” is comparable to the Hebrew word “tselem.” It means “to be like or to resemble.”
Colossians 3:10 uses “eikoon” this way. “And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the IMAGE of Him who created him,” we are no longer of the “First Adam,” but of Christ, God’s LAST ADAM. Ephesians 4:24 confirms the character change, “And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.”
GOD’S IMAGE in the earth today is “CHRIST WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD.” [2 Corinthians 4:4] Did not Jesus say in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me HAS SEEN the Father.” The time will come when he who has seen any one of us will have seen our Father. This is not based upon our works, but His indwelling GRACE. “Christ in you [plural] the hope of glory.” Christ our glorification, brings restoration beyond what sin took from man.
It is freely acknowledged that we can “Amen!” the truth of God’s word, and at the same time wonder how this could ever be. We may have “power” to do many wonderful things, and yet our personal lives lack the sweet fragrance of Christ. However, as the late Watchman Nee has said, “Christ is God’s everything,” He is the answer for our lack.
CHRIST is God’s answer. It is His indwelling life that produces change. A simple illustration is that of pouring water into a container full of air. Does the air stay or go? As Christ fills our lives all that is of self will go, NOT by our efforts at self-crucifiction, but by the glory of His life. Isaiah saw the Lord and self was dealt with [Isaiah 6]. John the Baptist knew the order, “HE MUST INCREASE, but I must decrease.” [John 3:30]
A story has been told of one who determined to keep God out of his life, in this world and the next. Upon death his remains were sealed in much concrete. In time the concrete tomb opened to expose the man’s body. A seed had been deposited and as it grew, it split through the concrete into the sunlight. This is the principle of life overcoming death. HIS LIFE growing in each of us produces change IF we will let it.
The words of Colossians 2:9 concerning Jesus Christ prove His deity. “FOR IN HIM DWELLS ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD [correct word is deity] BODILY.” This is not a human becoming a god, though some view themselves as such, but Deity living in human flesh. It is THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD, His Divine nature, enclothed, and being expressed, in Christ.
Now consider the remainder of this thought expressed in Verse 10, “and YOU are COMPLETE IN HIM, who is the head of ALL principality and power.” The Greek word for complete, pleroo #4137, expresses the thought of being crammed full so that no space is left empty. Paul taught that the Greek thoughts of Gnosticism were empty compared to Christ. In Him there is fullness of joy, and more, as we may partake of His life.
The study of genetics has taught us that when the human sperm and ova unite, that they each bring 23 of their chromosomes to start the new life. The normal amount of chromosomes per person is forty-six, but upon fertilization one half set from each parent is used. Within the DNA all of the genetics for the life of the person is contained.
The Scripture is clear that Christ is the SEED of Abraham. Romans 2:28-29 tells us that it is NOT OUTWARD CIRCUMCISION but that of HEART that matters. The “true Jew” is SPIRITUAL, NOT NATURAL. Galatians 3:16 tells us that Abraham’s seed was CHRIST, and verses 26-29 tells us that those IN CHRIST are Abraham’s seed.
We ARE THE SEED OF CHRIST, WHO IS THE SEED OF ABRAHAM. In Christ ALL of the fullness of deity resides and we “ARE COMPLETE IN HIM.” This DOESN’T turn us into God/deity, but it does mean that God’s purpose to have a created man living and ruling upon this earth is being fulfilled at least in part at this time.
A newly created fetus has within it all of the genetics required to grow into adulthood. Within each of us there is the “divine” inheritance, chromosomes, if you wish, that enable us to come into the stature of the fullness in Christ. It is not our works, but His GRACE.
Just as we require proper nourishment and other care in our natural development, likewise this is necessary in our spiritual growth, and in our call to sonship. We take delight in the words of Romans 8:29. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the IMAGE of His Son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
The Greek word for, CONFORMED – summorphos #4832, found only twice in the New Testament has the meaning of, “having the like form.” We know that we are saved in spirit and that He is working in our soul life. Ultimately that last part of man to die due to the fall of mankind will also partake of His glorious resurrection life. Our song now is:
Unchanging Christ, Lord of the universe,
Maker of heaven and earth,
Transform our souls into Thy glorious image,
Complete Thy work within.
In each article in this series we have endeavored to glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to shed a little “light” on the purposes that our Father has in the earth, and in “our” personal “earth.” May you receive impartation of His glorious grace today. May Christ who is our life, be glorified in all of you!
We close with quoting Numbers 14:21, that our LORD spoke after Israel’s rebellion and refusal to enter the Promised Land. It stresses our LORD’S intention to complete that which he has purposed. May we be those who do enter into His purposes.
“But truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.”
“FOR HE HIMSELF IS OUR PEACE,” Ephesians 2:14a
It was in the late 1970’s that I first heard the chorus, “He is Our Peace,” and it really touched my spirit. The sense of corporate relationship with our Lord was very real. Since then I have heard this chorus sung in the “singular,” often with the advice to “Make it personal.” Frankly, this grates against my spirit, and is contrary to the written Scripture. Whether corporate or singular, the true meaning is more significant.
The factual truth is, Jesus Christ came to be the world’s greatest peacemaker. Without the UN, military troops or other peacekeeping means, He ended the hatred between two factions, which were in great antagonism one to one another.
In Ephesians 2:13-18 we read, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were so far away have been brought near through the death of Christ. For His is our peace – – He who has made Jews and Gentiles one, and in His own human nature has broken down the hostile dividing wall, by setting aside the Law with its commandments, expressed as they were, in definitive degrees. His design was to unite the two sections of humanity in Himself so as to form one new man, thus effecting peace, and to reconcile Jews and Gentiles in one body to God, by means of His cross – – slaying it by their mutual enmity. So He came and proclaimed good news of peace to you who were so far away, and peace to those who were near; because it is through Him that Jews and Gentiles alike have access through one Spirit to the Father.” [New Testament in Modern Speech by Richard Weymouth, ©1978 Kregel Publications.]
“What God has joined together let no man put asunder,” comes to mind when thinking of the many Christians who fail to believe the Bible. From God’s viewpoint, there are NO Jews, and NO Gentiles, after the flesh. CHRIST’S CHURCH IS NOT BASED UPON SUCH CARNAL DIVISION. In God’s eyes “Messianic Jews’” do not exist. Judaism and Christianity are religions. ONE CANNOT BE BOTH. “In Christ there is ONE NEW MAN.”
In Colossians 3:19-11 we read, “and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but CHRIST is all and in all.” In Christ there is no room for such divisions. As E. Stanley Jones wrote, “There can be no RACIAL distinction [Gentile/Jew], distinctions over religious rituals [circumcision], or cultural distinctions [barbarian/Scythian], or social or economic distinctions [slaves/free].”
It also becomes clear that God’s new man is not only is free from the distinctions already mentioned, but as Galatians 3:28 further adds, “neither male not female.” The breaking down of the middle wall of partition had done away with ALL FORMS OF PARTITION. In the natural we may be any of those things. BUT in the realm of the Spirit, in the one body in Christ, they DO NOT EXIST.
The cross of Jesus Christ in dealing with our sins, also dealt with our Adamic nature. [Yes, some still have a problem with it] When He died, we died. When He was raised from the dead, we were raised from the dead. When he ascended to the right hand of power and authority at the Father’s right hand, we in Christ also ascended. Jesus Christ destroyed all things that have kept man apart, every wall that has been raised between man and God, and between man and man. None has the right to think that there are better than the other, for in Christ ALL are equal. All are ONE – a UNITY.
Ephesians 2:6 clearly tells us, “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ.” This was not a one person at a time bit, but a corporate raising and a corporate sitting together. One wonders when the church is going to get the revelation of ONE BODY IN CHRIST. In Christ, it is not, “me,” “my,” “I,” etc. This is carnal. In Christ it is, “WE,” “US,” “OURS.” WE are one in Christ and joined one to another.
Some of us have been in the military, and we had to learn to march. Thirty or forty men could not march to their own beat. When one put his right foot down, all put their right foot down. We were taught that we were to be as one. Our individuality no longer mattered. Our hair or skin color, height, weight, education, or financial background was nothing. We marched as a body, for we were one.
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are all one body, so also is Christ.” “For by ONE Spirit we were all baptized into one body – – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – – and have been all made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.” [1 Corinthians 12:13-14]
Jesus, “having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments – to create in Himself ONE NEW MAN from the two thus making peace, and that He might RECONCILE them BOTH to God in ONE BODY through the cross – and he came and preached peace to those who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”
Christ indeed is OUR PEACE! Oh, that we would really appreciate it! He did not come to bring peace and reconciliation to a few, but “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” [2 Corinthians 5:19]
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN.” [Romans 8:29] He foreknew ALL of us. He caused ALL of us to be reconciled. He chose ALL of us to be a part of the MANY BRETHREN. The walls are down! HE IS OUR PEACE!
“For whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing MANY SONS TO GLORY, – for both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are ALL OF ONE, for which He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” [Hebrews 2:10-11]
We are all joined together in one body, one family, we have one name, and it is not a “hyphenated name.” The name is CHRIST. He is the HEAD and we are the many membered body. HE IS OUR PEACE! Let US worship Him!
LIGHT ON GOD’S ULTIMATE PURPOSE, Parts 1-5 [Kenneth Greatorex] 1