When we read the opening passage of Ephesians we really find an apostle that has been empowered and inspired, one has to ask I wonder what he is taking for that? In the days of challenge we have to look at what it is that keeps people running. What is it that has resurrected this once murderer of the family of God? or certainly one that engineered the taking of the church? Through Paul’s writing we have a glimpse of who he is and what he sees along with his feelings and revelations. Guidelines of that which is gotten hold of him. I would say we would do well to consider and focus our attention on what Paul focused on.
A fundamental change has taken place in our thinking that enables us to get onto the same understanding as Paul. I remember as a young Christian when we were taught about the rapture, the decline of the testimony of God and the great darkness of this world. But today it is settled, this world all of it is God’s world. God created everything, everything that happens God is to be found, Father, Son and Spirit, God in everything creation, humanity.
You cannot read Paul’s outline on Ephesians 1 without realising that it is a plan, a plan from the eternal but it was set in place long before creation. It included “ a lamb slain before the foundation of the world” amongst other things. You could say this is the secret behind all things, it is that which governs the movement of world, a movement towards the culmination of God’s plan. In this plan God is fully involved and God has designated One to bring about this plan. The description of Acts 17:31, ” God has fixed a day in which God will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” clearly paints the picture that this One is the horizon of all things, the reference point, the culmination, the source and the beginning of all Gods’ aims. The word “…appointed…” in this passage is ‘horizio’ where we get our word for horizon from. This Christ has now fulfilled all the Father had in mind.
My appeal for every one of us is that we come out from the doldrums of self and come into to the great wide open spaces of the plan of God. Over the years we’ve all been challenged by an understanding of the gospel of God, moving us from a declining view of the church, to beginning to understand the Triumph of Christ. I believe that along with the triumph of Christ, the celebration of God is brought into clarity, many need this message of the plan of God. In motion, but not out of time, it is not late or early but is being the fulfilled and being fulfilled. Many are struggling with daily challenges, health issues and financial strain but the scripture is clear it has been finished, this plan of God is complete, we have the joy of bringing it to life today so that all of creation is impacted.
This day each one of us is being retrained through perseverance, a term that has been around for many years and one that was used much in the old Pentecostal setting where I came to Christ, that is, we are learning to travail. This means I fix the nature of the Father Son and Spirit, I set in my mind the call of God and become unwavering, as I persevere.
Christ, the Son has stepped forward and has worked out the eternal purpose. Paul is captured, his preface taken away, his words he feels are lacking, his life’s goal and ambition, the course has been set, to the point that he compares beatings, points of near dying as “light afflictions”, he is overwhelmed in awe of what has happened as he tries to outline in the first chapter of Ephesians. The work is finished and the plan on course it captured Paul, it should capture you and me, and maintain our advance and journey. This Ephesians 1 is Paul’s attempt to wake us up!