JohnSWilson3 Blog

“his good pleasure and will”
September 11, 2010, 2:05 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, really a general letter to all churches, he has brought out the reality that we, the church have been blessed “in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” and that “he chose us in him before the creation (foundation) of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” because of His great love for us! The next few statements (really one long continuous sentence) describes the church chosen before the creation of the world! This is what God saw of the church, His people, in His Son, before creation!

The next statement: “in love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his good pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” It could be retranslated as follows: ‎”God the Father, in his good pleasure and will, knew before the creation of the world that He would place us as his sons through Jesus Christ to Himself. Praise His glorious grace!” There seems to be a similarity with his previous statement on “to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Predestined means “divine foreknowledge and is one aspect of omniscience” (1) and so it seems that “he predestined us” suggests the same thing as “he chose us in him before the creation of the world.” Because we have Christ in us and He has “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” He has made us “holy and blameless in his sight.” At the same time though we live in this body and we are also called to “put to death…whatever belongs to your earthly nature” and to “put on the new self.” There is moving forward suggested here, the plan of God is that we not just be saved, but that we were destined, and in fact called to grow together in displaying His life of holiness and blamelessness.

In like manner in Christ “you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26) but we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved” (Rom. 8:23-24). While we are sons it seems adoption as sons looks to something forward.(2) This thought of Paul in Romans is connected with the inward life, living according to the Spirit in an organic way, living by Christ’s life. The reason for salvation in Christ is our adoption as sons – “to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” We must learn Christ in an inward way, living by His life organically together with His body in a shared life. It is as a corporate body that “our adoption as sons…we were saved….we hope…we wait patiently…the Spirit helps us, etc.” that adoption refers to not to some individual Christianity or ministry. While we are holy, blameless and sons of God, we are to learn to put off the old man and put on the New Man, Christ Jesus and live by His life in an inward way with His people in face to face community, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” He is looking for a glorious body to be revealed because He is glorious! As we live by the Spirit together, fruit will be manifested – Holiness and blamelessness. That is the adoption as his sons! His life is full of grace and truth! This is what the church was meant to display, not a fleshly world system based on human traditions but His glorious Son, this is “his good pleasure and will,” this is “to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” When we learn to live by His life together, His life is manifested, we will see “his glorious grace” being “freely given us in the One,” Christ Jesus as head of the church. While we have been given grace because of having received Him as Lord we are given grace upon grace, we see more of His life displayed, as we learn to live by His glorious life! That’s what Christ is after in His body, in us! Let us move forward in Christ together, to the adoption “as his sons,” learning to live by His Spirit in an inward way, listening to Him and following what He says together.

This holiness, blamelessness, and adoption “as his sons” came at a great price! “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Before creation God desired to show the full extent of His love. But it had to come by death, it had to come by sacrifice, it had to come by losing that which is most precious to Him, His Son. “God so loved the world…” In His all knowing, God knew that man would choose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil over the Tree of Life, His life. And so a Way was provided for man to return to his first love. It was the way of death. Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, paid the price for our sins, the price which is death. He died in our stead and with His shed blood on that cross cleansed us from all our sins, for all those who believe. And by His resurrection He conquered death and became for us life from death. His life is now given to us, His life is “the riches of God’s grace!” His life is what “he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding!” His life is brought out in His body through death! We must put off the old man, accept by faith that we “died with Christ” and that “God made you alive with Christ.” We must decrease together to see Him increase in the life His people, in us. That increase is His life, His love. That is His “good pleasure and will. Christ is “his good pleasure and will!” “Love one another as I have loved you.”

(1) W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 249.
(2) T. Austin-Sparks in his seminal work, “God’s Spiritual House” says that “the word ‘adoption’ literally means ‘the placing of sons’…(and) is something which lies ahead.” Sparks warns that “the grave peril which had come amongst believers (was) stopping short at a certain point in their spiritual life as born again ones and not going on to perfection….the enemy always withstands very fiercely this matter of spiritual progress unto adoption.” “By having received the Holy Spirit, we are sons, but that sonship is not realized now in its full meaning and value. That is something unto which we are to go on, in which we are to continue.” “Sonship requires the Body of Christ, is involved in that truth of the Body of Christ, and it is in our relatedness in Christ as fellow-heirs that we shall be developed, that we shall come to fulness, to God’s full end…we can only inherit in a related way.” (p.62-64)

8 Comments so far
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Great Word John. I always look forward to your blogs, Grace and Truth my dear brother.

Comment by Joseph Black

Thanks Joseph, blessings brother! :).

Comment by John Wilson

May the Fullness of Father’s eternal pleasure in Christ quickly fill all the heavens and all the earth. And shall it be only for our Father heart’s smile alone. And may our Father’s delight and pleasure be also the overwhelming desire of our hearts. And may that desire not be one of distant knowing, but of an inner knowing that reaches beyond the expression of our mere words, and into the one another of Christ in us. And may we together know our Lord Jesus. And may the Spirit blend our spirits so completely with Christ that our hearts beat as one Heart within one Love by one Life. And shall the revelation of Jesus Christ increase within us and through us so that we love one another as Father loves His firstborn Son and as the firstborn Son loves His Father. And shall we too, as Sons, live and love in them as one united divine Life and all encompassing Love. What is the suffering of the cross for us if Christ in fullness awaits on the other side of that cross with His resurrection Life? Death come swiftly to us so that we might gain Christ, and behold eternity wearing His Righteousness and His Life and His Love and His Holy Unity. Oh Father, carry us through the death of night that we may awaken within your morning Light. And may we be one as you are one with the Son of your Love, Jesus Christ. Onward! Onward in Christ, we must go together!

Sorry for the rather long comment, it sort just flowed out of me bro John, and so I just kept writing till the flow stopped, but know that of me, I think. 🙂 You are a blessing my brother!

Comment by Kat Huff

amen sister! Have been mulling on Heb 10:39 which seems to reflect your thought: ” But we are ….of faith to possession of soul.” Maturing, moving forward in Christ is about Him taking over, possessing our soul. Blessings sis, :).

Comment by John Wilson

I admit that I am no scholar on scriptures, nor can I often remember where certain words are found in scriptures, mostly due to my certain physical injury, I suppose. You know that kind of thing about me, bro John. But you know what? I often post things that reminds others of a scriptures, so much so, that they comment something like: Oh I love that scripture and then they give the book, chapter and verse. Father has taught in many ways. I know Christ through our Teacher of course, and I find a lot of what I “know” is in scriptures too, only Father taught me the same in many various ways that have the revelation of much scripture. Though Father taught me including scriptures also. When I first began to use facebook and post, every time that happened it would just floor me. Now, I cannot help but smile with comforting Joy and great appreciation for Father teaching Christ! And much greater is our “knowing” Christ as a body together!

Thank you my brother

Comment by Kat Huff

amen sis! The Father has revealed His Son in you Kat, :).

Comment by John Wilson

Thanks for a great word, Brother. I’m still trying to understand in my heart how we live out that death to self. Meanwhile, God is doing this in me little by little. Maybe I’ll never truly understand it. It will just be, of His grace.

Comment by Cindy Skillman

Hi Cindy, thinking it is more of a realization, of spiritual sight, seeing that the flesh is dead, nailed to the cross, and so no longer having to focus on it any longer because of focusing on Christ, perhaps this reflects back to having a clear conscience that Paul was so keen on. Little by little, moving forward in Him, :). Blessings sis.

Comment by John Wilson

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