The Mystery or Secret of God's WillVolume 3, Number 65
Created Date: January 8, 2013
Posted Date: January 8, 2013
Vol 3 - No 65, January 8, 2013
The Mysteries or Secrets of God revealed to the Apostle Paul - Part 4:
We continue examining the secret/s God revealed to the Apostle Paul by tracing the 20 occasions Paul used the Greek word “musterion,” translated “mystery or mysteries,” in his epistles (as we have already observed, this word means or refers to a secret or secrets). Today we go to Ephesians where “musterion” is found six times, the most often in any New Testament book. This is consistent with the fact Ephesians contains the capstone of truth for the church of this age, the Body of Christ, which is made up of all true believers who have lived since Paul, having been a secret before it was revealed to Paul,.
The first time “musterion” is found in Ephesians it refers to the Mystery or Secret of God’s Will and the context inis quoted as follows: “(vs. 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 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: (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: (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.”
This passage explains the secret of “God’s will.” The word “will” is a translation of the Greek word “thelema,” which the Greek Lexicon defines as “will, active volition, wish, desire.” “Volition” is defined as a “decision or choice made after deliberation.” God’s will is mentioned 4 times in this first Chapter of Ephesians. Paul uses it in the opening verse where we read “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”. So Paul is stating emphatically that it was God’s will that he was an apostle, that is, he was sent by God as a messenger, an envoy, an ambassador for Jesus Christ. And here Paul addresses the saints at Ephesus and to all who are faithful in Christ Jesus. This includes all who have been saved by believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ over the last 2000 years or so.
Another part of God’s will is described in verse 5: (vs. 4) “According as he hath chosen us (we believers) in him (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us (we believers) unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”. The Greek word translated “good pleasure” here in the King James can mean “satisfaction, delight, kindness, wish, purpose or desire.”
And so from all this we can understand:
•It was God’s will for Paul to be an apostle, that is, a messenger to the Ephesians as well as to all who have faith in Christ (Ephesians 1:1);
•At some point in eternity past it was God’s will and pleasure to choose those who believe (Ephesians 1:4 & 5);
•God kept a secret what is going to happen in the dispensation of the fullness of times until He revealed it to Paul. The dispensation of the fullness of times refers to that period when time as we know it will be no more, which will be after the 1000 year Millennium period; and after Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire and the Great While Judgment is accomplished. At that point in history the new heavens and earth will be established, (see). God’s purpose and plan from eternity past was that after all affairs having to do with this earth and Satan’s influence upon it, after all prophesy has been fulfilled; He will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” b. The Lord Jesus Christ will be the absolute head of the new pristine universe, absent sin.
•Those who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ,, have obtained an inheritance in this because it was God’s purpose to do so: “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:” .
•God’s purpose was “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 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, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”.
Believers today look forward to a future in Heaven: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”; “For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:” ; “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; .
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”.