Ephesians 1:7–10 (NKJV)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
To understand this, we need to resolve one question. What is the mystery of His will that He made known to us? That needs some Greek details.
First, the word that’s translated as “will” is THA-lay-ma. This does not mean “will” in the sense of God’s immutable willing of what comes to pass. (That word in Greek is boo-LAY.) THA-lay-ma, in this context, means, “that which pleases God.”
Second, the word that’s translated as “mystery” is “moo-STAY-ree-ahn.” Not surprisingly, most people translate it as “mystery,” but that’s not really what it means. A better fit would be “secret.” (JB Phillips translates it that way.) It literally means “that which was concealed.”
So, the point is God is letting us know what he likes according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself. (Purposed does mean his immutable will.) That purpose is to gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
That’s where it’s all headed.
Yesterday’s Stephen Hawking quote leads to an interesting generalization. God didn’t just create the parts of the universe; He created to rules that govern it too. So, how far does that extend?
Titus 1:2 and 2 Timothy 1:9 imply that God created time. OK, how about 2+2=4? Is that some transcendent truth that extends beyond our world – that even God is subject to – or did God create that too?
What about the concept of truth? How about the rules of logic? Where does it all end?
Note that Jesus claimed to be truth itself.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. – John 14:6 (NKJV)
So, even truth is not a cosmically universal concept that rules over God. While the details are obviously way over our heads, scripture supports the idea that God created all of it – everything you can think of.
So, God’s purpose in His plan of salvation is entirely His own creation.
He didn’t just choose us; He created the concept of choosing.
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