The Eternal Purpose

Ephesians 3:11-13 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that you faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 

‘The eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ The 5th New Testament prophecy in Ephesians (3:11, unfulfilled). The eternal purpose is to have creations of free moral agents who have been thoroughly tested and purged of all possibility of rebellion so that God can show the exceeding riches of His grace toward them in all the ages to come without fear of eternal rebellions (1:4-12; 2:7; 3:9-11; 1Cor. 15:24-29; Rev. 21-22).

Sixteen things that people must learn: That God must be respected and obeyed in all things (3:9-11). That His laws are final and just (Psa. 119:89; Isa. 55:11; 2Tim. 3:16-17). That sin does not pay (Gal. 6:7-8). That sin will never be excused (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23). That sin will be forgiven if God’s terms are met (2Cor. 7:10; 1Jn. 1:9). That God’s form of government is the only right one (Isa. 9:6-7; Rev. 20:1-15). That a loving and free submission to God is the highest and most noble principle of moral government (3:10; Matt. 22:37; John 3:16; Rev. 22:17). That justice and righteousness must prevail, if any society is to be eternally preserved in the universe (1:4-12; 2:7; 3:9-11; Rev. 11:15-18; 1Cor. 15:24-28). That consecration to the highest good of all is the nature and highest glory of the creature (1:4-12; Rev. 4:11; 5:11-14; Col. 1:15-18). That God is merciful and forgiving to rebels who will be penitent, and who learn obedience through their fall and redemption (2:4-10; Rom. 1:5, 16; 3:24-26; 16:26; Tit. 2:11-14; 3:5-6). That God is the only absolutely just and perfect Being, and the only one capable and worthy of unquestionable authority (Isa. 57:13; Rev. 4:8; 6:10; 15:4). That all the accusations of present rebels against God are untrue (6:16; Ezek. 28:16; Rev. 12:10). That God does only those things which are for the best good of creation (2:7; Matt. 7:7-11; Rev. 4:11). That He should, by His own history of justice and righteousness in all of His dealings, be recognized by all as the Supreme Moral Governor of the Universe (2:9-11; 1Cor. 11:3; 15:24-28; Col. 1:15-18; Rev. 4:11). That those who rebel will be punished forever as an everlasting monument of God’s wrath on sin and as examples of justice to all coming generations in all eternity (Isa. 66:22-24; Rev. 14:9-11; Matt. 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-48). That all the redeemed and obedient will become eternal heirs of God and kings and priests under Him to help administer the affairs of the universe forever (2:7; 3:9-11; Dan. 7:18, 27; Rom. 8:17; 1Cor. 6:2-3; 2Tim. 2:12; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 22:4-5).

‘In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.’ Three great blessings in Christ: Boldness or liberty of speech in prayer (Php. 4:6). Access with the confident assurance of an answer (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-23). Faith from Christ (3:12; Heb. 12:2; Acts 3:16; Gal. 2:20)

‘Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.’ Paul warns the Ephesians to not be disgraced by his sufferings for them. They were honourable and for their good to enable them to persevere in righteousness.

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