The Bible says in Ephesians 1:9, "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself..." This verse, if it were left alone might cause confusion. Questions could arise for those who hadn't studied this that would include: "What is made known? What is the mystery? What purpose was made? Who is being talked about here? Is it Jesus?" You might think that the answers to those questions are obvious, but let's look at the general context anyway.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 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: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:3-14)
This is a lengthy reading but it really carries along one thought. That thought is, what a salvation that is ours! God has declared and left it plain and open for all to see the salvation that can be obtained through Jesus Christ! Stop and consider the enormity of this truth. If God had not been so kind as to communicate to us the conditions into which one can be added to the church where would we be? We would be hopelessly lost, wandering about with no ambition for life, wondering where we would be after death! It is of eternal importance that it be revealed!
This passage begins with Paul communicating the source of every spiritual blessing -- in Christ. Then there is recognition which should result in love and thankfulness. Because Jesus has given every spiritual blessing which includes salvation from sins, the access to God through prayer and such like we ought to live holy lives and love Him for what He has done. God loved us and thought of us so much that he predestinated us! This isn't a predetermined state on an individual basis; God did not have an unconditional election that would unchangeably predetermined which individuals would be saved and therefore exclude others from salvation. It is like that of which Peter spoke in 1 Peter 1:2 -- Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ... It is as Paul stated in the passage of our interest in Ephesians 1 -- adoption. It is upon our obedience that we are adopted into Jesus' family and His body.
Our adoption into Christ via our obedience is the same time we are redeemed from sin by His blood. Heaven is our home because of all that has been done for us coupled with meeting the conditions of our salvation. God did His part, then He told us how we could do our part! What an awesome blessing it is to have the lights turned on, to be free from living in darkness. It is this same revelation that the prophets longed for and angels sought to look into (1 Peter 1:10-12). We have the honor of being a part of the Christian age, where these things were revealed. Because of Jesus, because of the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ (Eph. 3:10), because of Gods grace, salvation is a mystery no longer.
Praise be to God revealing His will for our soul's salvation in Him. May we draw nearer to Him in obedience and be active in teaching others how they can contact the blood, and turn the lights on toward knowledge, peace, and salvation. To God be the glory!
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