“Why the Blessed Father Can Bless Us with Every Spiritual Blessing Reason 2 Part 2” Reason #2 Because Christ Has Redeemed Us Part 2: Knowledge of Cosmic Restoration
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 1.8-10
Turn in your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 1. Our text this morning is Ephesians 1:8-10.As we turn there, let me ask you a question. “What was the most important thing that happened yesterday?”
Think of all the things that happened. Perhaps the most important thing that happened yesterday was the death of the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. That’s one option.
I think the answer to the question “what was the most important thing that happened yesterday” requires an understanding of God’s program. God the most important being I the universe and what He does is most important. What is God doing everyday? I hope that we’ll have somewhat of an understanding to this by the end of the message today.
Last week, we discussed verse seven and the first part of verse eight. And last week begin the second reason why God the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Verse three says that God the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ and verses 4 to 6 tell us the first reason why God the Father has done this. God the Father has given us answers to prayer, the fruit of the Spirit and spiritual gifts because, verses 4-6 say, …”just as” or because the Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.
And the second reason why God the Father can bless us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ is because in verses 7-12, Christ redeemed us.
And last week, we took up that topic in verse seven that in the beloved, we have redemption through his blood forgiveness of our trespasses or our sins against him.
God’s ability to forgive people of their sins is all in keeping with, the end of verse seven says, the riches of His grace. God forgives people of their sins and that lines up with the infinite riches of His grace.
And we gave some attention to the fact last week that he didn’t merely sprinkle his grace upon us. Verse eight says that he lavished the riches of his grace upon us when he redeemed us. He gave us an overabundance of the riches of his grace.
That was last week. And of course one comes to experience the true redemption of God when one places trust in Jesus Christ for that redemption.
And it is not until one turns from his sin and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation does forgiveness of sins become a reality.
Now, our passage is the end of verse eight down through verse 10. But start in verse 7 and read verse 7-10.
Ephesians 1:7-10 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 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.
So we learned thus far that in the Beloved we have redemption through his blood. When we were redeemed, we were forgiven of our trespasses. This is all in keeping with the riches of His grace which God has lavished upon us.
And verse eight continues now and Paul teaches us here that God has not only lavished His grace upon us, but also wisdom and insight.
In most versions in verse eight, there is no period. I am going to take it that way, this morning. So the end of verse seven now … “according to the riches of his grace which He lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.
Now, you can understand that phrase “in all wisdom” as “along with all wisdom and insight.” Ephesians 1:7-8 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us… along with all wisdom and insight.” He not only lavished grace on us, but also wisdom and insight.
And in verse nine God is going to use this wisdom and insight for a particular purpose. So God gave the riches of his grace along with wisdom and insight and he did that … verse 9 says … in order to make known to us the mystery of his will. What is that?
Well, Paul will help us understand the mystery of his will when he writes in the middle of verse 10 concerning “the summing up of all things in Christ.” And right there in verse 10, Paul speaks to the restoration of the entire universe (or cosmos) underneath the leadership of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:10 with a view to an administration which is the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him
And so Paul is saying here then is that verse nine, God the Father has made known to us His will that, in the end times in verse 10, God will restore the universe underneath the rightful leadership of Jesus Christ.
God has made this known to us…He has made known to us this cosmic restoration…the summing up of all things in Christ. So not only do we have redemption through the blood of the Beloved, like we studied last week, but we also have knowledge of the future cosmic restoration under the leadership of Jesus Christ.
So I would like to preach this morning on this topic: We have knowledge of the future cosmic restoration in Jesus Christ. God will restore the entire cosmos underneath the rightful leadership of Jesus Christ and God has made this known to us, as it says here in verse 9 … “He made this known to us.”
TRANS: We will get into God’s plan to restore the cosmos underneath Christ’s leadership, but first, how did God make known to us his plan to restore the cosmos? End of verse 8, He did that through lavishing on us all wisdom and insight.
God Lavished on Us Insight and Discernment (1:8)
God made known to us His plan to restore the universe under his control when he lavished on us all wisdom and insight.
If you have trusted Christ for salvation, God has slowly began to teach you. One of the things He began to teach you was of Christ’s return to restore this universe underneath His rule. You are aware of the cosmic rebellion underneath Satan’s leadership. That’s all going to change in the future and God, when you got saved, was slowly teaching you that.
Wisdom and Insight
Now, Paul couples “wisdom” with this other word we have translated “insight.” The range of meanings of these words overlaps. They can often mean the same thing in different contexts. But often when you have both of these words together, their differences are meant to be highlighted.
Take the word “wisdom.” We normally understand wisdom as the ability to use knowledge for proper living before God. For example, if you were in the book of Proverbs this is wisdom….the ability to use knowledge for proper living before God.
Now, when wisdom is used with the word insight wisdom here can emphasize a comprehension of truth. Or understanding truth.
The next word … insight can emphasize the relevance of that truth. So God has lavished on us the ability to comprehend divine truth … That’s wisdom … And he has lavished on us the ability to make that divine truth relevant.
So he gives us understanding of his truth and he enables us to live out that truth. This is “wisdom and insight” or you could translate it “insight and discernment.” In other words, I have the insight into the truth of God’s word and then I have the ability to discern how to live that truth.
And of course, he will use this ability that he has given us concerning specific truths in His Word. And in our passage, God wants us to comprehend the truth and the relevance of the cosmic restoration underneath the leadership of Jesus Christ.
TRANS: In other words, God doesn’t leave us with just insight and discernment without using it in our lives. One way He uses it is to make real for us the mystery of His will …or His secret plan of the ages and to help us to live in light of it.
God gives us insight and discernment to make real for us his secret plan for the ages and then to help us live in light of it.
And this is where the application of the message will be today. And we’ll get to this at the end of the message, but are you living in light of God’s secret plan for the ages that he has made known to us?
“Well,” you say, “it depends on what the secret plan is!” Exactly … what is this secret plan … Notice in verses 9-10… Whatever the plan is, he made it known to us.
God Made Known to Us His Secret Plan (1:9-10)
Ephesians 1:9-10 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will [His secret plan], according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him ….now, verse 10, here is the secret plan … 10 […it is an] administration [at the end of time called] “the fullness of the times,” that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.
Stated: God made known His secret plan to us (1:9)
So, at the beginning of verse nine, he simply states that he has made known to us the mystery of his will. You can understand that as God making known to us His secret plan.
And what is the secret plan or a mystery? A biblical mystery is some truth that was hidden by God in ages past. And when that word is used in that way, it often speaks of the mystery now being revealed. The secret is disclosed.
If you were to do a study on the word “mystery” there, you would come to understand that most of the references to the word in Paul’s writings refer to one of three concepts. The mystery can refer to the gospel, or the word mystery can refer to God’s saving of Gentiles and uniting them with Jews into one new body in the church, or thirdly to the outworking of God’s plan to unite all things under the leadership of Christ.
Most references are to the gospel or God uniting Jews and Gentiles or God’s plan to unite all things under the leadership of Christ.
Mystery as the Gospel
First, this word mystery refers to the gospel itself in Ro. 16:25. You could turn to Romans Chapter 16 verse 25.
Paul is at the end of his letter to the Romans. In the book of Romans, Paul has been taken up with the gospel and living out the gospel.
And he writes Romans chapter 16 verse 25 ….
Romans 16:25 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, … [the gospel is according to the revelation of the mystery. The gospel … Jesus Christ would die for our sins and rise again … This was hidden by God …. Yes there were predictions of it in the Old Testament, but the vast majority of God’s people were unaware that the Messiah would die and that the Messiah would rise again from the dead.]
The fullness of the gospel of how God would save people from the penalty of their sins was a mystery, it was a secret.
And now back to Ephesians, Ephesians 3 verse 1. A second way this word mystery can be used is to refer to what God is doing to unite both Jew and Gentile into one new body in the church. Paul uses the word mystery to refer to the gospel and now he’ll use it to refer to uniting Jews and Gentiles into one new body, the church.
Let’s just read Ephesians 3:1-6 1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. …[what is that Paul?…Keep going … verse 4…] 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, […and that is? …keep going…]5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, […ok, here we go … ] that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
That was the mystery that is now revealed. Before Christ came, God was saving some Gentiles, but God required them to become Jews and followers of the Old Covenant. What is now revealed in the gospel is that God is saving the Gentiles and they no longer have to become Jews! This is a mystery … This was not made known, but now it has been made known: the mystery that God is saving Gentiles and uniting them with Jews into one new body … called, “the church” and the Gentiles are fellow members of the body of Christ.
And finally…back to Eph 1. For our last reference… The word mystery can refer to the gospel itself having been hidden in times past before Christ. It can refer to what God is doing to unite both Jew and Gentile into one new body in the church.
And finally here in Ephesians 1 in our text, verse 10… Paul uses it to lead into what God is going to do in the future when he sums up all things in Christ and the end times.
And Paul wants us to understand that God has made these things known to us… God has made known and revealed the mystery of what he is going to do in the end times and him doing so is in keeping with his delight! Just like it says at the end of verse nine that he made known the mystery of his will and this is all according to or in keeping with his kind intention or his good pleasure which he purposed in him.
God is delighted to make known the mystery of his will to you. It is his purpose that he make known to you this mystery. It is his delight and he purposed to make known this mystery to us.
TRANS: So God has revealed his gospel in Jesus Christ and how He redeems through His blood. God has revealed the fact that He is saving Gentiles and bringing them in with the Jews to make them into one new body in the church. And now this all has a goal, verse 10. The redemption in the gospel and the uniting of Jews and Gentiles has a goal verse 10 … “with a view to” or “with a goal of” an administration suitable to the fullness of times or literally … the goal of all this is “an administration, which is, the fullness of times.”
So God’s revelation of his gospel that saves Jews and Gentiles and brings both of them into the church… All that is going on today in the present administration of God in the church age.
But this administration during the church age has a “view” verse 10 says …or a “goal” of another administration that we could call “the fullness of the times.”
So you get the idea then that there are two administrations or dispensations. This word administration is the word that dispensationalists like to point to …. to explain their position.
There is the present dispensation or administration of God. This is the church age in which God has revealed his will concerning the gospel.
And verse 10 teaches that there is an administration that could be called “the fullness of the times” and it is further described there as the “summing up” or the bringing under the leadership of all things in Christ things in the heavens and things on the earth.
So what is this future administration of God? The present administration of God we’re living in is the church age, which is in between the first and the second comings of Christ.
However, before God begins this future administration which is “the fullness of times,” the Bible teaches there will be a time of peace and safety according to 1 Thessalonians 5:3. According to Matthew 24:37-39, the time before God begins his future administration will be a time like in the days of Noah when people are caring about their normal activities, like eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage.
And then there will be what Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
As well as in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
After this resurrection of church age believers and the rapture of the church, God’s people in Christ will next likely appear before the judgment seat of Christ, as in Romans 14:10 …. For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
And then the lamb of God Jesus Christ will take up the scroll spoken of in Revelation chapter 5 and then the 7-year tribulation begins which will be a time of trouble on earth as has been never known.
The person called the Antichrist will sign a covenant with Israel to bring peace to Israel according to Daniel 9:27. Around this time the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt according to Revelation 11:1.
As we said, the actual tribulation is time of great destruction upon this earth. The seven seal judgments of Revelation 6 are unleashed and 144,000 Jewish believers of Revelation chapter 7 will begin their evangelistic ministry.
At the halfway point of the tribulation, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel and invade that land. The Antichrist will set up the abomination of desolation in the Temple, but later is killed, but is raised from the dead.
During the last half of the tribulation, the trumpet judgments are unleashed and God’s people that have been saved during the tribulation period experience great persecution.
Finally, at the end of the tribulation, the bowl judgments are poured out and the battle of Armageddon begins. Jesus returns in glory and we return with him at the end of tribulation to defeat those nations that have gathered together for battle in Revelation 16. There is a resurrection at the end of the Tribulation for the believers who have died in the Tribulation and all of the unbelievers who survived the Tribulation are destroyed.
And then all of God’s people who have survived the tribulation and who have come back with him at the battle of Armageddon enter into Christ’s millennial kingdom, … His 1000 year reign on earth.
After the final rebellion of Satan at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ and Christ’s victory, all the unbelievers of all time will be resurrected and judged at the Great White Throne Judgment. These will be people on that day proclaiming their good works before Christ, saying to him… ‘Lord, Lord,’ …did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
Others might say, “Did we not hear that these things were going to be? Did we not go to a church? ….
23 “And then …Jesus declares to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ John writes …
Revelation 20:11-15 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
After the Millennium, the Lord will usher in the new heaven and the new earth, as well as the New Jerusalem, described in Rev. 21. Then, we will forever be with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth.
Now, why did we go over all of that? It is because Ephesians 1 verse 10 says that this church age … the mystery of his of verse 9 … has as its goal this future administration we just described. This is called “the fullness of the times” … The end times. This is the time as verse 10 says when there will be the summing up … Or when Christ’s heads up everything. Everything whether they are things in the heavens and things on the earth everything will come underneath the leadership of Jesus Christ.
And what we just described is how all that is going to take place.
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 1.8-10
And if you have trusted Jesus Christ and turned from your sin and asked him to save you from your sin and you know in your heart that you have freedom from the power of sin and from the penalty of sin and you know in the depths of your heart, as John says, you know that you have eternal life….
If this is you, as a believer, Ephesians 1:8 says that God has lavished on you insight and discernment concerning these things. You have received this Revelation and you know in your heart that these things are true. You have this insight.
But, you also have discernment into these things. In other words, God has equipped you not only to understand and comprehend these things, but he has given you the ability to live in light of it. You have insight that this is what is going to happen and you have discernment concerning what to do about it.
In other words, God is equipping you to live in light of this future administration of God when he sums up all things in Christ.
Are you living in light of these things? How would you know?
One way to know is with the question that I started the message with this morning. “What was the most important thing that happened yesterday?”
ILL: I asked this to my children Friday night. On Friday night as we were sitting around the wood stove, I began to muse. I began to think as we were heading into a time of devotions and I asked my kids … “What was the most important thing that happened today?”
First they said we got to play with toys. The answer really took me back and I realized how short sighted my kids are. And then they started to think little bit deeper…. We got to eat food today, they said.
And then even deeper they said, “mommy read us the Bible today.” And I said “okay…” … Think about outside of our house … What was the most important thing do you think that happened outside of our house? And Hudson said, “the cats stayed warm?”
I thought … ok, yes, that is outside of our house ….
And I got to thinking that when “I ask what is the most important thing that happened today” my kids are thinking with reference to themselves. They are the reference point to that question. When I asked that question when I started the question, you may have thought about yourself or perhaps you got a little bigger and you thought of world events. Or did you go bigger than that?
Well, after my kids gave their answers, I explained to them God’s program, His administration.
The most important things that God is doing today between the first and second comings of Christ is that he is saving people from their sins, he is saving Gentiles and Jews uniting them into one body. And this is all headed in a direction. This all has a goal. God’s not going to stop at united people back to God. He’s not going to stop at just uniting Jews and Gentiles in the church. But He’s leading this all into a future administration when He unites all things under the leadership of Jesus Christ.
This is where it is all headed. This is the most important thing going on today. And where do you fit in? Are you thinking about your life like my kids …. It’s all with reference to yourself. Or are you seeing your life based on how you fit in to God’s mystery … his secret plan throughout the ages… And now for 2000 years he has been saving Gentiles. And there will come a day when the age of the Gentiles will be fulfilled and this administration will be complete and it will usher in an age when Christ is the leader and head of all things, not just the church.
Today, you have been given insight into these things. God wants to see you show discernment concerning these things that you might live in light of them.
Get your little eyes off of your little life and get plugged into the most important things going on in God’s universe. What is your main responsibility in God’s administration during this church age?
And merely attending church is not the climax of this. And the words that I speak to you each Sunday and Thursday are not just words to fill up a sermon. God has his master plan that he is working out in our days and in this community in order to fulfill all of His good pleasure in Christ. He is saving people and He is making disciples …. [***HOLD UP MISSION STATEMENT].
And the reason we have this is as our mission statement is because this is what God the Father is doing through his Son Jesus Christ for His own glory with a view to this future administration.
God the Father is working to give to His Son … dominion, glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. Jesus’ dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. Show discernment and get plugged in to God the Father’s program for His Son. “Let’s sing about Christ’s return and this future administration.
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