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The Mystery of God's Will

 
By Benjamin H. Liles

          Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. ~ Ephesians 1:9-10, NKJV

          I wonder what it truly means to know "the mystery of God's will." What does it mean? How are we to live in it? And why is it some thing we need to know? At the outset of everything here God wanted the Israelites to conquer the nations they were driving out of where God designed for them to have and hold (see Exodus 3:17, 33:3, and Leviticus 20:24). But when God told the Israelites they were to conquer nations who did not honor the God of Israel, did He mean to kill those people?

          I have to admit as a follower of Christ that I have a hard time seeing a God who is just and loving doing something like this when later on, in the New Testament, He reveals He's taking care of our sin problem. What a revolutionary idea. What if God's purpose in cleansing the land through His people, Israel, was to bring them into a right relationship with Him so that in the end no more blood would have to be spilled. I think we're ready to understand what this "mystery of God's will" actually is.

          If the main problem in scripture is the idea of blood being shed to redeem people from death and sin, so that they may be in a right relationship with God, then everything God wanted made known in Old Testament scripture was a foreshadow of what Christ would do. What I'm saying and meaning is that since Christ's death at Calvary's cross is final: that it is the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, no more blood would be spilled after him, then it should also stand that everything the Law and the prophets wrote and said would end up fulfilled, not destroyed (see Matthew 5:17).

          Rather, it is a means to give people a lasting hope. All those laws and rituals Israelites went through in the Old Testament were designed to show them and to give them a hope that some day God would send some one to betheir atoning sacrifice. It would be His way to tell the Israelites, "I love you so much that I send this man to you. He will fulfill my word" (see Isaiah 55:11).

          So, watch this: if we go in line with Jesus being God's word, then there should be scripture that supports this idea. There is: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:1-4, New King James). To think that Jesus is God's word made flesh, accomplishing all God planned from the beginning, to bring redemption, reconciliation, and hope and love to everyone--not just to the Jews, but they would be first--then there is hope for mankind.

          Rather, when it comes to Jesus being the head authority of all things, the fullness of God for all men to see and worship in truth and love, we have an agreement: that in "His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him." In other words Jesus our Messiah will have all authority given under and to Him. In time, all things, in Heaven and on the earth will be His, as we're told, "until I make your enemies your footstool" (Psalm 110:1, Luke 20:43, Hebrews 10:13).

          Understanding the mystery of God's will then yields two things. The first is that those of us who acknowledge Him, doing His will, loving Him as well as others we are a part of that mystery. Because some day, when He returns for us we will be brought to Him, as a bride being brought forth to wed her bridegroom. The second is that after the wedding of the bride to the groom, whatever is left in the world will be brought under subjection to the rule of Jesus our Messiah (see Psalm 2:9, Revelation 19:15). And yet for those of us who are His, we won't deal with His wrath as His enemies will.

          If you desire a relationship with Jesus the Messiah, being the head of the church, to be a part of this mystery simply tell the Father, through Christ, what's on your heart. Tell Him you know how far you have strayed from Him, that you want to be part of His mystery made known. That in your heart and your life you desire to belong to Him, to do His will and to delight yourself in Him. Thank Him for all the goodness He is, forgiving you of your debt, which is sin and death by placing it on Jesus. You now no longer are a slave or subject to sin and death, but belong to Christ. Thank Him for that saving grace. Go and sin no more. Live your life the way Jesus shows you, but also don't return to sin. Welcome to the family of God! God bless and may the words I give be a blessing to you.