The Will of God
The will of God will never take you -
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.
The will of God will never take you -
Where the Spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.
The will of God will never take you -
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.
The will of God will never take you -
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot ﬁnd you.
IT IS THE GOODNESS OF GOD THAT DRAWS PEOPLE TOWARDS HIM AND HIS WAYS
- Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of God's goodness ... not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance [a change of heart, a new attitude about God and His ways]?"
- 1Timothy 2:4: "Who [God] desires [wills] that all people are being saved [delivered from bad things into good things], and coming into an experiential knowledge of truth"
- 3John 1:2: "Beloved, I pray above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."
The first chapter of Ephesians unfolds the eternal purpose and will of our Heavenly Father in a breathtaking manner. It begins with a stirring acclamation of praise to the glory of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:2-14). It speaks in superlatives of God’s blessings of love and grace and wisdom in Christ. It ﬂows with wave after wave of revelation of God as He is made known in, and operates through, His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Ephesians 1:2-14: "2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having foreordained us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Paul’s heart is ﬁlled with applause for God who is blessed about blessing us in and through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Many of the verbs in this passage are in the aorist tense, which basically means that they are eternally true: God has, does, and will continue forevermore to bless us with every spiritual blessing (1:3). Three of the operations of God in blessing us find their direct center in His love, grace and wisdom:
- God chooses us in Christ before the foundation of the world, in designating us beforehand for the place of a son for Him through Christ Jesus (1:4, 5);
- God lavishes His love and grace on us in the Beloved with forgiveness of offenses and deliverance, through the blood of Christ Jesus (1:5-7);
- In all wisdom and prudence, God makes known to us the secret of His will (1:8-12).
In light of the fact that this passage is centered around God's will it is wonderful to note that the emphasis throughout it is first and foremost on God blessing for us, His family - His choosing of us, His deliverance of us through the blood of His beloved Son, and revelation to us of the glorious present and future He has purposed in Christ, and the part He allots us in that purpose (that He will gather together in one all things in Christ, all things on earth and all things in heaven - Ephesians 1:10). These things certainly have much to say about the will of God. Do they not? How much of this do you think God would do if He didn't want to? And will God change His mind? Absolutely not ("For I am the LORD, I change not"- Malachi 3:6)! What we're looking at here in Ephesians is eternal truth.
But none of these blessings, for all their special and transcendent favor with respect to us, the church, are narrow and coiled inward. In fact, all of them are founded on what God has purposed in Christ for all mankind.
The significance of God's will in the phrase "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 1:3):
God would have us appreciate His blessings as specifically centered in and carried out by His Son, who is the Saviour, anointed with power and authority. God does not operate alone. It is in relation to His love for His Son and His love channeled through His Son that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians1:4). In love, commended in the death of His Son for sinners, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ designated us beforehand for the place as His children through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:5).
The significance of God's will in the phrase "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7):
God lavishes the riches of His grace on us who were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. This is the “gospel of [our] salvation” being expounded in Romans. In view of the fact that all have sinned and offended God (Ephesians 2:1), we can only be delivered from this miserable condition “through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians1:7), “justified gratuitously in [God’s] grace, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
Ephesians 1:7 addresses that deliverance is through the blood of Christ. Because of the lavishing of God’s grace on us, this deliverance is being given to us in Christ, and God’s work of deliverance does not disappear in relation to the unbelievers. Part of the vital interconnecting of thoughts in Ephesians is 1:3-12 is the reminder of the good news that there is deliverance for sinners, in Christ and through His blood. This fact of deliverance for all in God’s beloved Son must never be disconnected from God’s will, that all would be saved and come unto a knowledge of the truth, that all would be brought into Christ, that would experience fabulous prosperity and health as a result of this happening for them.
God’s will and delight:
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ graces us lavishly in the Beloved. Through Christ’s blood God has provided us with deliverance and the forgiveness of offenses.
But why should He do this?
- It is His will (Ephesians 1:9,11).
- It is His delight (Ephesians1:5,9).
God is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will and He has an eternal purpose in view. It is God's will and good pleasure that ALL be brought into Christ (Ephesians1:9, 10). This is something that God does in and through Christ and his body of believers. And God knows exactly what He is doing and where it all is leading. In many ways, for us who live in this present age of grace, this assurance of God’s deity and purpose is the greatest blessing of all. God will accomplish what He wills and purposes. We can either participate or sit on the sidelines and watch, but if we're watching in truth, the goodness of God, His will and His ways, leads our mindset and actions towards "thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven".
God is blessed to bless us:
We have so much to be thankful for! God's desires our personal prosperity and health; moreover, He has even a greater purpose in blessing us than that of our individual advantage. He not only desires that we are filled to capacity, but also that we are filled to overflowing, that our blessings spill over to others. He is presently carrying out that purpose in us and through us, the members of the body of Christ. When God called Abram from his father’s household, He promised to bless him and make him a blessing. There are two factors here that have been often overlooked and sadly forgotten by Israel. First of all it was about Who would bless Abram and his descendants. The promise was not given as a challenge for Abram to become blessed by his own efforts, but as God’s promise that He Himself would make Abram great, and He Himself would bless him. And, secondly, God not only promised that He Himself would make Abram into a great nation and bless him and make him great, but He promised that Abram would have the blessing of becoming a blessing to a multitude of others. In Abram (Father-high), whose name would be changed to Abraham (Father-most-high), “all the families of the ground” would be blessed (Genesis12:1-3). If these features of God’s blessing of Abraham were often overlooked and neglected by Israel, it certainly is not outside the realm of possibility that we might overlook and neglect the very same features in God’s blessing of us. After all, we are in the process of growth. It is easy for us to think of our blessings as somehow related to some sort of superiority in ourselves, and from this deception it is easy for us to suppose our enjoyment of our blessings is the sole end for which they are given.
It certainly is a fact that Ephesians 1:3-14 prominently features the grace of God’s achievements in Christ, not our own, and presents God’s purpose as it embraces more than ourselves alone. It is God Himself who blesses us in Christ. And mark carefully these words: We are not called upon to become bless-able; we could do so if we tried with every ounce of our being, we would miss the mark of perfection on some point or another; moreover, we are not blessed as an end in itself, or to an end that we devise. God blessing us is in line with His own will, ability and purpose, toward the end that He has in view. The realities concerning our sonship and our unification with Christ are all based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ; as a result, what we ARE in Christ, as a new creation, is that which is to the praise of the glory of God. This is what others need to see from us - that which is true of us in Christ - that which glorifies God and exalts Christ, not that which is true of us in and of ourselves and exalts mortal flesh (Ephesians 1:6,12,14).
God wills and purposes to bring all into a willing and glorious subjection to the one who shed his blood for all people. Then all will ﬁnd their all in the God of all power, wisdom and love. It is our blessing now to experientially know of this blessed purpose. It is our blessing now, and it will be in the oncoming ages, to be associated with Christ in the display of God’s transcendent grace. We are to the praise of the glory of God's grace. We have the blessing of being a blessing, and of being part of that great present and future process leading to the goal of all being headed up in the Christ.
God is making known the secret of His will in that He has chosen us and designated for the place as His children and has graced us in His beloved Son with deliverance from offenses and sins; in addition, He is making known to us His will and delight concerning the present and the future that He has purposed in Christ. As He did with Abram long ago, so in telling us of His blessings for us, God points to His purpose for choosing us out from the rest and bringing us into unification with His Son even now. This purpose in which we play a special part embraces more than ourselves. Everyone is offered new life in Christ.
The grace which God lavishes on us is that we are given a uniquely blessed relationship to Christ in his work of bringing about the all in all. It is the goodness of God that leads people to His ways. God is not putting on a mask of love and glory for us and a different mask for others, but He is truly a God of love and glory to all people. For by grace, through faith, are we saved, and this is not out of us; it is God’s gift.
What could be more blessed than to be given the place as a child of God, part of God’s purpose and operation to head up all in the Christ? What a great blessing it is for our present lives, as believers, for our peace and joy, to be graced with the awareness of this wise and wonderful will and purpose of God! And indeed, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is blessed about blessing us so.
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