Summary: An exposition of God’s marvelous disclosure of what He is doing in Christ Jesus.
THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL MADE KNOWN
by Given O. Blakely
¡§In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: 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¡¨ (Ephesians 1:7-10)
By Given O. Blakely
Of the eighty-three words in this text, eleven are direct references to Deity ¡V ¡§whom,¡¨ ¡§His,¡¨ ¡§His,¡¨ ¡§He,¡¨ ¡§His,¡¨ ¡§His,¡¨ ¡§He,¡¨ ¡§Himself,¡¨ ¡§He,¡¨ ¡§Christ,¡¨ and ¡§Him.¡¨ Thirty-eight of them have to do with exclusively Divine endeavors and accomplishments ¡V ¡§redemption through ____ blood,¡¨ ¡§the forgiveness of sins,¡¨ ¡§riches of . . . grace,¡¨ ¡§abounded toward us in all wisdom, prudence,¡¨ ¡§Having made known unto us the mystery of ___will,¡¨ ¡§good pleasure,¡¨ ¡§hath purposed in ___,¡¨ and ¡§might gather together in one all things in ___.¡¨ There is no question about the subject or emphasis of this passage.
I brief word on the necessity of a proper emphasis is in order at this point. This Renewal has focused on ¡§The Will of God:¡¨ not on the will of man, but the will of God. Not the various properties and characteristics of the ¡§will¡¨ itself, but ¡¨The Will of God.¡¨ Any approach to the Scriptures, theology, preaching, or teaching, that does not have God Himself at the center, and His will as the emphasis, cannot be right. It is, by virtue of those omissions, headed in the wrong direction. A theology that has the church as its focus is wrong. One that concentrates on human need is also off center. Human achievement is not the domain in which Divine blessing and support is realized. I say these things because we are living in a great ¡§falling away,¡¨ when the emphasis of Christianity has been changed. What men do is getting more attention that God and what He does. One of the purpose of this Renewal is to assist people to adjust their focus and emphasis to be acceptable to God.
The whole subject matter of the passage before us relates to the Lord¡¦s doing, ¡§and it is marvelous in our eyes¡¨ (Psa 118:23; Mk 12:11). Redemption and forgiveness are realized because of God. Our understanding of His will is owing to His revelation of it. The consummation of the ages will be the fulfillment of what He has determined in Himself, without consultation from or arbitration with men or angels. Everything God has done, is doing, and will do, is related to this determination, or purpose. It is the hub into which every spoke of God¡¦s dealings with men is anchored, and by which they are all driven harmoniously and effectively.
I want to be quite clear about where I am going in this message. I am speaking about ¡§the will of God¡¨ in its loftiest sense. I am not referring to ¡§the will of God for my life,¡¨ or ¡§the will of God for the church,¡¨ or ¡§the will of God for our country,¡¨ or some other similar thing. This is the ¡§will¡¨ God determined within Himself. It was not driven by the condition or need of humanity, but by His own ¡§good pleasure¡¨ or ¡§kind intention.¡¨ NASB In the ultimate sense, this purpose was not to correct man¡¦s condition, but to prepare man for participation in what He had ¡§purposed in Himself.¡¨ That did involve the rectification of the human dilemma. However, the regeneration of man, which was the means of rectifying his fallen condition, was not an end of itself. It was in order to prepare man for Divine involvement in the ages to come ¡V ¡§throughout all ages, world without end¡¨ (Eph 3:21).
This is a purpose that reaches far beyond saving the lost, church polity, congregational organization, morality, and ministering to the needs of people. All of these things have their place, and are not to be despised. However, at some point they must intersect with God¡¦s ¡§eternal purpose¡¨ to have lasting value. A persuasion of what will take place AFTER the heavens and earth pass away must drive all of these activities. If it does not, they fall into the category of ¡§many wonderful works¡¨ that will be recognized by God as ¡§iniquity¡¨ (Matt 7:22-23).
I understand that this may sound abrasive, but it must be said. Our quest to serve the Lord must be within the circumference of God¡¦s eternal purpose. Our labors must have eternity in view. Contemplations must include the conclusion of all trouble and the commencement of absolute perfection in both surroundings and labor. Too much of the modern church¡¦s activity is earth-centered, leaving the people with no thought of eternity, the coming of the Lord, the end of the world, the day of judgment and praise from God ¡V all of which are the prelude to ¡§the ages to come.¡¨ It is the failure to consider these things that has driven carnal accommodations to the meager appetites of church folk, the reduction of public exposure to the Word of God and its exposition, and the infrequency of gatherings designed to edify the saints.