The Book of Ephesians.
(Verse by verse study.)
By Pastor Nick Bibile
Eph 1:9 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 predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
Today we are going see the richness and the awesomeness of the word of God.
Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.
What is the mystery of his will? The word mystery was something hidden before but now being revealed.† This mystery of his will was done according to Godís good pleasure which he had purposed himself.
Tell me the mystery of his will? Has God given us the wisdom to understand the mystery of his will? Yes or No. If you say yes what is it? Yes, because it says having made known unto us the mystery of his will.
Now verse 9 is not a new subject as it is the continuation of verse 8. Remember when Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians he did not divide verses but it was a letter that was written so it flows.
We know the mystery of his will as he has given us the wisdom right?
Verse 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.
So in verse 8 says that God has given us not some wisdom but all wisdom and prudence, so if he has already given us the wisdom then what is the mystery of his will? Some of you are Christians for a long time and have gone to different churches. This is where most pastors and teachers slide by when they come to difficult scriptures, instead of facing them head on they will make a de-tour. The reason is their theology or their opinions contradict scriptures. But let us be honest and instead of playing spiritual gymnastics or animating the word of God with jokes and humor trying to evade the subject letís face it.
Only if you follow the word of God intelligently you will see the answers so clearly. Have you heard some say there are contradictions in the Bible, yes on the surface it looks like but when you dig deep, think intelligently you will not see a single contradiction in the Bible. God is an intelligent being, infinitely intelligent and we need not only to read the Bible but also to study the Bible. Study means you need to apply your mind, brain and examine closely. (Read Prov 2:1-5)
Verse 8 we saw the wisdom that he has given us is the grace of the gospel. How is it that a sinner like you and me who did not know God at all, we were enmity with God, haters of God, gentiles unlike the Israelites who knew the promises, covenants, the word and experienced God. It is a mystery that how you and I were saved. Christ, who was in the bosom of the Father from eternity, came to declare his will.
Eph 3:1† For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
†2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
†3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
†4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
†5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
†6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
†7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
†27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Election is a mystery. It is a mystery why God saved a wretched sinner like you and me not because of our righteousness of goodness as they are like a filthy rag. God did not spare even angels when they sinned yet he saved me.
If election is a mystery then grace is a mystery.† If there is anything in salvation it is of Godís grace alone. He saved us according to his good pleasure (satisfaction) and purposed in him. According to his divine wisdom, according to his counsel the wisdom of the decree is displayed. It was by the secret counsel of God where we do not understand why you and I were saved. Why he elected Jacob over Esau, Paul over Pilate.
Mt 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Lu 23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
Ac 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
Ac 8:3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
According to our judgment we could have saved Pilate over Paul. But Godís ways are not our ways; this is why God is sovereign. As the Scripture is clear that election is according to his good pleasure and he has purposed in himself. It is according to Godís liberty and the word he has purposed in himself means:
Greek word protiyhmai Ė to determine, design or plan.
Verese10 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.
Christ was elected before the foundation of the world to be the Savior. In fullness of time he came to this earth and redeemed his people who were lost. Now we are commanded to preach the good news to all peoples. When the fullness of Godís time comes. God has chosen a certain number of persons unto salvation, which means when that number is fulfilled or the last elect person is saved, God will gather all of them including the elect angels who never sinned under Christ Jesus. We will be joined together with our Creator and Savior Christ Jesus. Oh! What a day that is going to be!
Then there will be joy in heaven, as we will all sing to the Lord saying:
Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Eph verse 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
The children of Israel obtained and inheritance in the land of Canaan. They did not work for it they did not deserve it but God gave to them by his mercy. In the same way we have obtained and inheritance. What is it?† The eternal inheritance of glory and happiness in heaven. Yes, for us Christians this world is not happiness, inheritance of this world will not last long, this world is not heaven for us. To the unbelieving this world is all the heaven for them and they will seek all the joy and happiness from this fallen world. For the Christian this earth is all the hell we will face, Jesus said:
Joh 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
†Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Unbelievers are working hard and buying all kinds of treasure of gold, beautiful expensive homes, luxury cars where they cannot take when they die. They covet daily by sinning against God as they see someone having something they desire after those lustful things of the world, which does not profit the soul at all. Many run after the pleasures of sin, which is only for a season meaning very short time in this life, and they end up in hell for eternity.† Christians should have the attitude of Moses.
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
†25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
Verse 11 continues; being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
Predestination is not only chosen to salvation, but to an inheritance; it not only secures the grace of adoption, but prepares and provides an heavenly portion: and this act of predestination proceeds according to a purpose; according to a purpose of God, which can never be frustrated. We are not only predestined as persons but also to receive that great inheritance that is waiting for us. Wow! Be content in this life what God has given because there is your inheritance waiting for you in heaven and that is eternal.
I want you to look closely to the following scriptures in verse 9 says; according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.
And verse 11 says according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
Verse 9, God determined before hand according to his divine liberty as per his satisfaction and verse 11; what he determined is according to his counsel of will. These terms mean the decrees of God. Godís decrees are called his purposes his counsel.
C. D. Cole said; ďThe decrees of God belong to His secret will; the commands of God belong to His revealed will. "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things, which are revealed, belong unto us. (#De 29:29).† Godís secret will is the rule of His actions; His revealed will is the rule of our actions. Godís secret will embraces all things; His revealed will embraces all we ought to do.† The secret will of God is His program, according to which all things come to pass; His revealed will gives us our program according to which we are to work.Ē
God is an intelligent being, nothing came to existence by chance and God is not surprise of anything that happens in the world. God was not surprised at the fall of man; God was not surprised of 911. God is not a frustrated being but the word said according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself. All things come to pass according to a Divine purpose rather than by a fixed natural law or blind fate or by chance.†
Let me ask you a question which of the religions in the world that has predicted what they said and came to true? Give me the prediction of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism and how their predictions came true?
All the other religions are liars and not telling the truth according to Jesus.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
But the God of the Bible never lies.
Titus 1:2, God who never lies. Heb 6:18 it is impossible for God to lie.†
God of the Bible is the living God. He decreed all things and in our time they are revealed. He prophesied that Christ would come from the seed of Abraham, from the tribe of Judah, from the line of David. He prophesied in the O.T. the place of his birth. (Mic 5:2) Prophesied that he would be born of a virgin. (Isa 7:14) Prophesied his escape to Egypt. (Hos 11:1) Prophesied as a priest as Melchizedek in the O.T. (Ps 110:4) Prophesied the rejection of the Jews. (Isa 53:3) Prophesied by betrayal of a close friend happened to be Judas. (Ps 41:9) Prophesied the betrayal for thirty pieces of silver. (Zec 11:2) Prophesied when he was accused he was silent. (Isa 53:7) Prophesied that they struck and spit on him. (Isa 50:6) Prophesied that they hated without a cause. (Ps 69:4) Prophesied his vicarious sufferings, as the sin bearer (Isa 53:4-5;12) Prophesied the crucifixion even though in the O. T times the punishment was stoning to death. (Ps 22:16 Ė pierced my hands and feet) Also Zech 12:10.† Prophesied that he was mocked and insulted. (Ps 22:6-8) Prophesied he was given gall and vinegar. (Ps 69:21) Prophesied soldiers casting lots for his garment. (Ps 22:18) Prophesied not a born was broken. (Ps 34:20) Prophesied to be buried with the rich. (Isa 53:9) Prophesied his resurrection (Ps 16:10) prophesied his ascension. (Ps 68:18)
How can you still do not trust God, how can you go on living without Christ?
Tell me of any religion of their prophecy being fulfilled? Tell me of any religion that gives the source of sin, the original sin. Tell me of any religion that speaks of Creation. Tell me of any religion that speaks who man is, his destiny. Tell me of any religion that speaks of future things that is going to happen?
Another amazing prophecy.
Isaiah probably began his ministry in B.C. 762. He delivered prophecies during the reign of king Uzziah and Hezekiah's reign. Turn to Isaiah 44:28
Isa 44:28 and 45:1
That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
Isa 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.
Here God calls Cyrus by name, yet Cyrus was not even born. Cyrus was born in B.C. 599 and became the king of Persia in B.C 559. Here is God is speaking through the prophet Isaiah 163 years before Cyrus was even born telling his name and even mentioning that Cyrus was going to be used by God, During this time Daniel and many of the children of Israel were living in Babylon as they were taken captives before.
Babylon fell before Cyrus army (B.C. 538) on the night of Belshazzar's feast.
God used Cyrus in rebuilding Jerusalem.† Ezra 1:1-4
God said of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
God of the Bible planned and decreed all things for his pleasure.† God was not surprised when Satan tempted Eve and the fall of man. God did not have to go to plan B. God is God. God is not a helpless frustrated spectator who is trying to help the Universe going, just imagine if we had a god like that we are not sure if the earth will exist tomorrow. We saw he does all things according to his good pleasure even election. He does after the counsel of his own will.
"A universe without decrees would be as irrational and appalling as would be an express train driving on in the darkness without headlight or engineer, and with no certainty that the next moment it might not plunge into the abyss" (A. J. Gordon).
"Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength" (#Pr 8:14).† They are called Godís Ďwillí to show He was under no control, but acted according to His own pleasure. "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" (#Eph 1:5).† When a manís will is the rule of his conduct; it is usually capricious and unreasonable; but wisdom is always associated with Ďwillí in the Divine proceedings, and, accordingly, Godís decrees are said to be the Ďcounsel of His own will" (A. W. Pink).
Our days are numbered, and so are the hairs of our heads. We may learn what is the extent of the Divine decrees from the dispensations of providence, in which they are executed. The care of Providence reaches to the most insignificant creatures, and the most minute eventsóthe death of a sparrow, and the fall of a hair.
Ro 11:33† O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
†34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
†35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
†36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Why is that people always attack the Bible. Attack the God of the Bible. Why is it that they want to ban the Bible, Bibles were burnt in history. Christians were tortured to death, burned to death. Why not other religions? Because God of the Bible is telling the truth where no one likes to hear. The Bible tells of the manís heart, his sin and only way of salvation is through Christ Jesus.
Some know that the Bible is telling the truth and Jesus is the Christ yet they do not want to come to Jesus. You know why? Let me tell what Jesus said.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
†20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
†21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.