It is a long time since I did a blog and this is not technically a blog but Bible notes from Sunday's message at Exeter Temple preached by Alan. Look out for these each week and I will also hopefully find the time to start proper blogging again soon.
Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:1-10
There are 3 basic views about the way the world continues.
It is random
There is an ancient philosophy which said, “The comeliest order on earth is but a heap of random sweepings.” There is no purpose behind the universe.
It is circular
This is the sentiment behind the Disney film the Lion King, which theme is really all about what it calls the circle of life. Someone or something may have set the processes of nature going but they just now roll on.
It is linear
The Christian view is that the world has a definite beginning, that we are in the middle of an on-going story that will one day reach its destiny.
In the culture of Ephesus people constantly worried about their fate, thinking their future depended upon the movement of the planets or the will of angels and demons.
Eph 1:9-10 shows us that there is a BIG STORY that a loving God is writing for this planet,
1. It is a story which he has made known V9
In the Bible a mystery isn’t a puzzle to figure out, it is something that has been kept secret that has to be revealed. God is under no obligation to reveal his plans but we are told that it was his pleasure to do so. Hebrews 1:1 tells us how he has done this. As redeemed people, our testimony is an example in an individual of what God wants to achieve for the whole world.
2. It is a story that is centred on Christ V 9
In the story of the universe, past, present and future we cannot get away from Jesus Christ. The phrase “which he purposed in Christ” means that he is the organising focus. Christ’s nature is so written into creation that the universe only really works when it is working his way.
3. It is a plan that is carefully worked out V 10
The words put into effect in verse 10 represent the Greek word oikonomia which = economy which literally meant “household management. God has his house in order. As human beings there are many things that can come along and take things out of our control but this is not true of God.
Proverbs 19:21 Psalm 33:11
Some people are given to thinking that mankind rebelled again God and then God had to come up with a solution to get his creation out of the mess they made.
But that is not true. God knew that in giving man free will they would rebel. However because he wanted to have a genuine love relationship with human beings he went ahead anyway, writing the solution to the consequences of that before the world began.
4. It is a story that conclude with wholeness
The finale will be to “bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” What sin fragmented by causing chaos God is bringing back into harmony under Jesus Christ. Ephesians starts off with outlining a big plot but the rest of the letter deals with how we work out God’s purpose of harmony in everyday life. It deals with barriers that existed between people in various areas of their lives (e.g race, gender, family roles) It is in our relationships that we tell God’s big story best.
Although we can resist God’s plan we can’t stop it. No human power, no demonic power no world power can stop God’s plan from reaching fulfilment. Time will one day reach its finish line; Because of this we have every reason to be hopeful about the future.
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God there is none like me.
I have made known the end from the beginning,
From ancient times what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand and I will do what I please.