God is a Perfect Soul
Our God, the God of heaven and earth, is a perfect living being. Is He not? Is God not perfect? Yes..? Yes He is. God is the ONLY perfect soul, (a soul is a living being) He is the ONLY perfect soul that there is! Different from all other souls; Our God is Holy. You remember what “holy” means right? It means “different”, different from all others.
“..For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me.” (Isaiah 46, verse 9) “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, the things that are not yet done, saying; My counsel shall stand, and I will do, all My pleasure.” (verse 10)
And all God’s pleasure is good, and it is just, and it is perfect. The only perfect soul that exists, and it is His pleasure, for us to be His sons, and His daughters. 2 Corinthians 6, verse 18 says; “And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty.”
What a wonderful thought that is. We’re far from perfect aren’t we? But yet, God is willing to adopt us, as sons and daughters. “He predestined us to adoption, as sons through Jesus Christ, to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” (Ephesians 1, verse 5) “The kind intention of His will..” That’s God’s grace. “I will do all My pleasure..” “There is none like Me..”
Would you go ahead and open your bibles to Ephesians chapter 1. And follow along as I read to you; All the way from verse 3, thru verse 14. Ephesians 1, beginning with verse 3..
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings (every spiritual blessing) in heavenly places in Christ. (In other words, in the spiritual realm. “Heavenly places” is the spiritual realm) According as He hath chosen us, in Him, (in Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (that we should be different, just like He is different) and without blame before Him in love.”
“Having predestined us, unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will; (there’s that good pleasure again) To the praise of the glory of His grace, (that’s His kind intention) wherein He hath made us accepted, in the beloved.” (accepted in Christ)
I better stop here for a minute, and say something about that word “predestined”. Because that word is going to be used again here in just a few verses. “Predestined” of course means.. “to choose beforehand”. But I just need to be sure that you understand WHAT and WHO has been chosen beforehand. God has not chosen YOU specifically, or ME specifically, as individuals, over someone else specifically, to be one of His adopted sons or daughters through Christ. But what God has “predestined”, what He has chosen beforehand, is that ANYONE who believes in Christ as their Savior, and obeys the commands of the Savior, should be adopted as a son or daughter of Him. In other words, the way of salvation in Christ, has been “predestined”. And therefore, everyone who chooses that way, is also “predestined”, to be saved.
Just so we all understand; It’s not one individual over another, that’s been chosen to be saved, but rather, it’s ALL individuals who will believe and obey God, through Christ. So now let’s get back to our reading..
Ephesians 1, verse 7 and following. Verse 6 had ended with the words, “..in the Beloved” (in Christ) And verse 7 begins; “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 (or, understanding) Having made known unto us, the mystery of His will, according to his good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Himself.”
Do you see how we continually see, God’s good purpose, and God’s good pleasure being spoken of? The pleasure and purpose of the only perfect soul, our God of heaven.
Now let me read another verse, that’s just about a “parallel” to that one we just read. Verse 7 had said; “Having made known unto us, the mystery of His will, according to his good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Himself.” Now listen to Ephesians 3, verse 9; “And to make all men see, what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”
It sounds like God is repeating Himself somewhat, but evidently He just wants us to understand. Now going back to Ephesians chapter 1, here’s verses 10 thru 12..
This is God’s purpose defined; “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, (Galatians 4:4 says; “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,) So.. “..In the dispensation of the fullness 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 (even in Christ) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined, according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will, that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
And listen to Ephesians 3, verse 10, which is just about parallel, to that verse.. “To the intent that now, unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places (in the spiritual realm) might be known through the church, the manifold wisdom of God.” There we have the intent and purpose of God.
Let’s combine those two verses together, because they’re both talking about the same thing; The intent and purpose of God. Ephesians 1, verse 10, and Ephesians 3, verse 10. And this will simply be a paraphrasing of those two verses together..
“In the dispensation of the fullness of time, (“dispensation” means.. in the handling of the affairs of God) So then, “In the handling of the affairs of God, and in the fullness of time, (at the right time) God brought together, the things of heaven, and the things of earth, in Christ, in whom we have our “predestined inheritance”, which is according to His will, so that we can be the praise of His glory; To the intent, (or for the purpose) that now, it might be made known through the church, the principalities and powers in spiritual matters, the manifold wisdom of God.”
And I better say something about the “principalities and powers”. Because as we just read, it is God’s will, His eternal will, that His sons and daughters, (that’s us) should be the ones through whom that will of God is to be made KNOWN, concerning those “principalities and powers” in spiritual matters. That’s what “heavenly places” means.. It means in the spiritual realm, and in spiritual matters.
So, “Principalities and powers”. Some versions say “rulers and authorities”. Actually, all of these words; Rulers, authorities, principalities, powers, they’re all a bit deceiving in their meaning. I think that we typically think of these words as referring a certain class of people. People who are rulers, and people who are in positions of authority, and who have certain power. But that’s not what these words are referring to. They’re not referring to specific people. Actually, they’re not referring to people at all! This is actually a fairly difficult verse to interpret. And it’s about as hard to explain, as it is to interpret and understand.
But let me give you just a very quick basic rendering of what is meant..
The word “principality” refers to the origin, and the beginning of something; The basics of something, or the chief part of something. And the word “authority” or “power” refers to our God given right to choose. Our power to choose, and our authority to choose. So then the words “principalities and powers” used in conjunction, refers to.. The original fundamental basics, of choosing right from wrong, and our authority from God to do so.
It is the God ordained duty of the church as a whole, and specifically of each congregation, to make known, what is the manifold wisdom of God, which forms the foundation of right and wrong, in spiritual matters. The truth has been revealed to all mankind, through the bible; But of course not everyone has accepted God’s truth. But we, as members of His body, HAVE accepted the truth. Therefore, it is the obligation of each and every one of us, to make known, to the rest of the world around us, exactly what is the wisdom of God, and exactly what is, the spiritual truth, that we must all choose to believe and obey.
I think that everyone has always kind of ignored that part about the “principalities and powers” in that verse. And quite frankly, that’s OK. Because all we really need to know, is that it is God’s eternal will, that the truth be made known to the world, through the Lord’s church. That’s us!
Now. I’ve got just two more verse that I want to cover. Ephesians 1, 13 & 14; “In Him, (in Christ) you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in Him, with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
At the end of verse 12, Paul had stated that “we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.” The apostles were the first ones to trust in Christ; Of course Paul himself was the last of the apostles to trust in Christ. But they were the first ones, and now verse 13 says that now, “you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation..” have trusted in Him. And now we’re also the praise and glory of God.
That’s a nice though right there, isn’t it. We, are a part of the praise and glory of God. And so verses 13 & 14 went on to say; “..having also believed, you were sealed in Him, with the promise of the Holy Spirit..” The original wording is.. “the Spirit, the promise, the holy” But what it means, is “the promise of the Holy Spirit”.. which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, (we are God’s purchased possession) unto the praise of his glory.”
We are “sealed” in Christ. Now, it’s a common belief that to be “sealed” means that we are somehow “protected” by some invisible covering, so that we can’t sin any more,or so that we can’t ever fall away. But that’s not what the word “sealed” means in this verse. To be “sealed in Christ” means to be marked, or to be stamped, denoting ownership. Christ now owns us, We are His possession, and we are “stamped”, with “the stamp of ownership”.
And the “stamp of ownership”, is the promise that we received, when we were baptized into Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins. Remember what was promised in Acts 2, verses 38 & 39? “Peter said; “Repent, and be baptized, by the authority of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you SHALL receive, the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the PROMISE, is for you, and your children, and all who are far off, as many as the Lord shall call to Himself.”
And we are now “sealed” with that promise! We now belong to Christ, and to God the Father.
The PROMISE of eternal life, is the “earnest”, it’s the “down payment”, of our eternal inheritance. We don’t have eternal life now, while we live in THIS life, but we have the PROMISE of that eternal life, that no one can take away for us. We can give it up if we choose, and God forbid that we should do that, but NO ONE, can take it away!
Isn’t that a wonderful passage of scripture? Ephesians 1, verses 1 thru 14. That’s the gospel isn’t it? It’s just as much the gospel as the death burial and resurrection of Christ. It’s the forgiveness of sins, and the adoption as sons and daughters, and the promise of the inheritance of eternal life in Christ.