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Ephesian Elders, and the Whole Plan of God by Chris Beard

Posted: February 09, 2017

The letter to the church at Ephesus is special. It contains the clear, fluent plan of God. Paul tells the Ephesian pastors in Acts 20:27 that he gave them the whole will of God through three years of effort with tears, night and day. And he calls them to keep watch over the whole church with their complete knowledge of the Kingdom.

What was so complete?
. The understanding that the Church is only the complete Church when she is Jew and Gentile together, united through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one new humanity.  . Understanding that in such a united, diverse Body, the fullness of God would dwell.  . Understanding that through such a united, diverse Body the manifold wisdom of God would be made known in the heavens and the earth.  . Understanding that through such a diverse, united Body, the Kingdom of God would fill the whole world, and Christ, who is the Head of such a Body, would bring all His enemies under His own feet, under His authority and rule.  5. And understanding that the ultimate aim was the completion of the purchase by His blood: a Kingdom, a priesthood, from every tribe, tongue, people and language, who will serve our God and rule on the earth. (Rev. 5:9-10)

1. The Complete Church
Ephesians 2. Through the grace and mercy of the cross and the power of the resurrection, both Jews and nations are made alive, included and united in one new man. (Eph. 2:1-18) 

2. A Dwelling in which God Lives
One united household of fellow citizens built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone, built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. (Eph. 2:19-22)

3. God’s Manifold Wisdom
Through His ethnically, socio-economically diverse and united Church, God intends now to reveal His manifold wisdom to “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 3:10)

ALL OF THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, and has always been the plan. (Eph. 3:11)

4. All Things Under His Feet
“[God has seated Him] far above all rule and authority, power and dominion...not only in this present age, but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his (Christ’s) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Eph. 1:20-23)

He’s given us the same incomparably great power as His holy people united together. The power is the same as what raised him from the dead and seated Him in heaven.  (Eph. 1:19-20)

And HE is our Head!

For clarity on this point, consider 1 Cor. 15:24-25, “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”

In other words, every enemy of Jesus is now being brought under His authority, in this age and for all eternity. Every evil, every injustice, every principality which oppresses people and opposes Him and His Kingdom ways. And the most power-full church, His very Body in the earth, is the Church united, Jews and nations as ONE NEW HUMANITY through Christ Jesus in which His fullness dwells by His Spirit!

5. A Kingdom, A Priesthood
“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9-10)

So, in simple terms, here is the Whole Plan (Will) of God, made known to the pastors at Ephesus (Acts 20:27): A Church of every tribe, tongue and nation, healed and loving deeply across the deepest human divides, the Jew/Gentile divide foremost, full of the Spirit of God and His power and authority under His headship, bringing every enemy of Christ under His rulership, His ways, in all the earth, until the day He hands over the Kingdom to the Father... “And when He has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God [the Father] may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15:28)

The key to all of this is One New Humanity through Jesus Christ. Otherwise there is not the complete Body for Him to fill with His full presence to accomplish His whole plan.