God’s eternal purpose - Part III

We’ve been discussing God’s purpose and plan for mankind over these past three weeks.  In keeping with the words of the prophets, God’s purpose was revealed in the coming of Christ.  When the time finally arrived at which God had chosen to reveal with clarity what His Eternal Purpose had always been, the Scriptures tell us in Galatians 4:4 (KJV) ⁴But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
In a little over 30 years, Jesus, the Son of God, lived on earth teaching man a new way of life.  God had always dealt with them as kingdom subjects, and they were quite eager to receive Jesus as a King (an earthly King -   see John 6:15 and Acts 1:6) but this He did not offer.  To their surprise, Jesus declared a peculiar mission, and showed God’s Eternal Purpose to be other than what they had wished for. Notice His self-proclaimed purpose for coming:
Luke 19:10 (KJV) ¹⁰“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
John 3:16-17 (KJV) ¹⁶ “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ¹⁷For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
To that end Jesus died on Calvary’s Cross.  In shedding His blood, salvation for all men was made possible.  Ephesians 1:7 (KJV) ⁷In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”  All men could now avail themselves of this atoning sacrifice – not the Jews only:  Acts 2:38-39 (KJV) ³⁸Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ³⁹For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Christ’s death also showed God’s purpose to unite all flesh again in “One Body.”  Ephesians 1:10 (KJV) ¹⁰That in the dispensation of the fulness 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.”   
In Ephesians 3:3 the Apostle Paul speaks of the mystery that had been revealed to him.  He then tells us what this mystery was in Ephesians 3:6 (KJV) ⁶That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”
We see this mystery – that the Jews and Gentiles were united as one in Christ – was a part of God’s Eternal Purpose; accomplished by the death of Christ; revealed to and by the Apostles; and experienced by the church in the First Century.  (Study James’ comments in Acts 15:13-17 where he explains that the coming in of the Gentiles was a fulfillment of Amos 9:11 about the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David.)
That one new body of believers, Jew and Gentile, we call the church today – that is, the “called out ones.”  Ephesians 3:9-11 (KJV) ⁹And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: ¹⁰To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, ¹¹According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”  The church was in God’s Eternal Purpose for the uniting of all in one body and for declaring God’s manifold wisdom to the world.  We praise God for His infinite wisdom and for working such a wonderful purpose.

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