Skip to main content

Ephesians 3:11-12: Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord


Ephesians 3:11–12
[11] This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, [12] in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (ESV)

A few years ago a pastor on staff at a large church that will remain un-named said the following:

"I just want to encourage everyone of us to realize when we obey God we're not doing it for God. I mean, that's one way to look at it. Were doing it ourselves. Because God takes pleasure when we're happy. That's the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning. I want you to know this morning just do good for your own self. Do good cuz God wants you to be happy.. When you come to church when you worship him you're not doing it for God really. You're doing it for yourself because that's what makes God happy. Amen?"

I have news for the woman who said this.  And I have news for you.  God does not find the most pleasure when we act selfishly. He finds pleasure in accomplishing his eternal purpose and being glorified.  Paul tells us in verse 11 of Ephesians 3 that God's purpose is realized in Christ Jesus.  He does not say that God's purpose is realized in you or I.  We are recipients of God's great mercy. And the result is that God is glorified.  God exists for God's glory.  He is complete and sufficient without mankind. He redeemed us as a demonstration of his great love and for his glory. 

This is why Paul can then tell us in verse 12 that we can have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him! It is about him, and not about us.  The thought of coming into God's presence without the work of Christ on our behalf ought to terrify us to death.  Our sin separates us and invites God's just wrath.  Do we come boldly because its our turn to be happy, and after all, if we are happy, God is happy?  NO! We come boldly only because of our faith in the one who has gained access for us. That access cost him his blood being shed at the cross.  The wrath we deserved was placed upon his back.

God has an eternal purpose.  It is to be glorified.  You are not his eternal purpose.  Christ Jesus being glorified is his eternal purpose.  Be very careful not to fall for the lie that it's all about you.  There are many "Christians" who have caused themselves and a lot of other people a lot of hurt because they act selfishly.

Are you living to fulfill your purpose?  Instead, how can you discover God's purpose and find true fulfillment by living for his glory?  Why do you obey him?  Is it for you?  Or for Him?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 3:18: There Is No Fear Of God Before Their Eyes

Romans 3:18 [18] “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (ESV) Should we be terrified of God? There are many who think that God is only a God of love and not to be feared at all. Is God a God of judgment? The Apostle Paul is going to bring us some perspective on how how we should approach God. This verse is a quote from the Old Testament and is a statement on the overall condition of humankind in every generation. First of all, we are going to need to define the word "fear." This idea of fear is not necessarily terror, but rather it is a healthy sense of awe of God's greatness. It is astounding how man can look at God, and see all that he has made, and not be overwhelmed by a sense of awe at his greatness. I think of how man has come up with a theory of evolution primarily to excuse their ignoring of God. As a result of ignoring God's greatness and refusing to give him the glory that he deserves there is another aspect of fear that man should have. Man