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Summary: This is the fourth sermon in a series of sermons on the book of Ephesians.

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Godly Purpose

Ephesians 1:9-12

* He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

* with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him

* also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

* to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Is There A Purpose In The Universe?

Do the events of history make sense?

Shakespeare referring to life in Hamlet said: “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signify nothing”

“You give the criminal calendar of Europe to your children under the name of history.” Oscar Wilde

“There is no secret and no plan in history to be discovered. I do not believe that any future consummation could make any sense of all the irrationalities of preceding ages. If it could not explain them, still less could it justify them.” (G.N. Clark, Inaugural lecture as president of Cambridge University.)

“The universe is indifferent. Who created it? Why are we here upon this puny mud heap, spinning in infinite space? I have not the slightest idea, and I am quite convinced that no one else has an idea. (Andre Maurois)

Paul’s Response Thus Far

* The Father:

– Choose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.

– Destined us to be His son’s and daughter’s.

* The Son:

– He answers the problem of our guilt, self-hatred & sin.

– We have redemption & forgiveness by the blood.

Life’s Question

Is There A Purpose In The Universe?

Ephesians 1:9-12

* He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

* with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him

* also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

* to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Four Divisions

* The mystery of His will.

* The manifestation of the mystery.

* The time of the full manifestation of the mystery.

* The part we play in accomplishing this mystery

The Mystery

* …the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him (10)

* God is working to unite all things in Christ.

* Does history actually look like that is being accomplished?

* It looks like the opposite is occurring that things are falling apart.

* Notice it says “All Things”, “things in heaven and things on earth.”

– The good, bad and ugly.

– ALL THINGS!

* All these things shall cease and be united together.

* The Greek word for unite means.

– “To Head Up”

– Christ is going to be the director, the supreme operator, of all things, both in heaven and on earth.

– All things will be united in Christ.

– Phil. 2:9-11 (Things are moving to this ultimate reality)

* It does not look that way does it?

* We are out of step with nature.

* We are out of step with each other.

* We are out of step with ourselves

* Jesus has come to stop all that and to bring everything into unity with him as the Head

The Manifestation

* He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him. (9)

* You will never understand the purpose unless you understand the way it was made known.

* IN CHRIST

* We can understand the events of the day if we understand the mystery and it’s manifestation.

* How does the war in Iraq fit into what God is doing?

– What part does it play.

– How do you understand it?

– Where does it fit?

* “In all wisdom and insight”

* Sophia = Wisdom

– This is the passion of the philosophers who try to find the secrets of life and to seek after wisdom.

* Phronesis = Insight

– Common sense, the practical application of the wisdom to the problems of life.

* This mystery of God’s will came to us through wisdom and insight made known, or set forth, in Jesus Christ.

* It is in Christ that we see how all these things work.

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