God’s Eternal Purpose

MEMORY VERSE: “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” —Ephesians 2:19


THE expression “for this cause” in our lesson passage suggests that the apostle is referring to a point made in the previous chapter. Starting with the 19th verse of the 2nd chapter, the memory selection reads, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”

It is for this cause that the apostle is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. He continues to explain that it is the purpose of God to graft the Gentiles into the body of Christ, and this has been a mystery hidden from the world, but now is revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

In verse 6 he elaborates on this purpose of God: “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel.” The Diaglott translation reads, “and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, through the glad tidings (of the Gospel).”

It is the Gospel that expresses the eternal purpose of God, both for the church and the world. In Galatians 3:8 the apostle says, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” That is; the seed of Abraham would be the instrument that God would use to bless all the families of the earth. The apostle continues in verse 16 to identify the promised seed. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.”

Down through the Jewish Age the Jews were of the belief that they, as a nation, were the seed of promise, and that God in due time would send a deliverer—a mighty leader and ruler—who would deliver the nation from her oppressors and establish the kingdom by power.

The apostle is careful, therefore, to identify the seed as not seeds “as of many, but as of one,” and that seed is Christ. Then in verses 28 and 29 he continues further to identify the seed: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

The promise of the Gospel began to have its fulfillment at the first advent of Christ, and after Pentecost down through the Gospel Age God has been taking out from both Jews and Gentiles a church class—a people for his name. (Acts 15:14) This church class, or seed of blessing, is being developed through trials and suffering for a position of joint-heirship with Christ, and if faithful “will live and reign with Christ a thousand years.”—II Tim. 2:12; Rom. 8:16,17; Rev. 20:4

The church, head and body, will be the mediator of the New Covenant, and they will be as kings and priests to the world of mankind to nurture and bless and administer the righteous and just laws of the kingdom.—Cor. 6:2,3; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 9:15

The Apostle Paul, after meditating about the wonderful prospect of being a joint-heir with Christ in the kingdom, says, “For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19) In other words, the complete fulfillment of the eternal purpose of God must wait until the seed of blessing is complete. Then the apostle states in Hebrews 10:16,17, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

It is during the thousand years of the operation of the New Covenant that the world of mankind will be returned to a condition of perfection. Then to all of creation will be made known “the manifold wisdom of God according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Eph. 3:11

Dawn Bible Students Association
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