The key to spiritual growth is to humble ourselves to God's heavenly view, and to understand how we fit into His big picture. It may be hard for us to surrender our will, opinions and view to the will and view of God found in the Holy Scriptures. But as we acknowledge the truth, a whole new course of life will unfold before us. The ability to surrender ourselves comes as God reveals His plan to us by His Spirit, who searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets. 1
God's Secret Plan
We were all in bondage to a worldly view, until God revealed the power of our union with Christ. The Apostle Paul was sent by God to reveal His secret plan to us. He explained in his letter to the Gentile [non-Jewish] believers in Ephesus, how even before God made the world, He loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His family through His Son Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure. 2
As the Apostle Paul wrote these words, he was in prison in Rome. He said all of us who believe in Christ should be praising God for the wonderful kindness He has poured out on us because we belong to His dearly loved Son. He is so rich in kindness that He purchased our freedom through the blood of His Son and our sins are forgiven. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. 3 Do you understand the love of God that Paul spoke of?
Paul continued to explain how God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to His good pleasure. And this is His plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ -- everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as He revealed long ago. 4
The Manifold Wisdom of God
The word manifold is marked by diversity or variety. It is the name for a pipe fitting with several outlets or connections. Like a pipe from God's throne, His manifold wisdom has been shed abroad through many outlets, displaying His divine love. This love connects all mankind to God the Father through Jesus Christ, Who says: I am the Alpha and the Omega -- the beginning and the end. I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One. 5
The Apostle Paul said that God's purpose was that the Jews, who were the first to trust in Christ, should praise our glorious God. And that the Gentiles, who believe the truth of the Good News of Christ, are predestined to be saved as well. He identified the Gentiles as His own by giving them the Holy Spirit, Whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God. 6
The LORD not only purchased both Jew and Gentile with His precious blood, providing forgiveness of sin, but He raised both from the dead along with Christ, providing life. We are seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm -- all because we are one with Him. God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of His favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us through Christ Jesus. 7 He intended to show His manifold wisdom in all its rich variety to all the rulers and authorities [Satanic unseen world] in the heavenly realms. They see this when Jews and Gentiles are joined together in His Church. This was God's plan from all eternity, and it has now been carried out through Jesus Christ our Lord. 8
The Sevenfold Spirit of God
The Holy Spirit provides the ability for mankind to connect to God for salvation. The Spirit of grace is the One who works in us to make it possible to experience God's presence. He was with Adam and Eve in the Garden, and reflected upon Moses face when the Law was given to him. He was the Shekinah glory in the wilderness tabernacle, and the Spirit that dwelled in Jesus, Who was full of wisdom, grace and truth. He was the Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. He is the Comforter that dwells in us who believe. He is our ever present help in time of trouble. He empowers us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit as the Body of Christ.
The prophet Isaiah saw the LORD, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. 9 He told of a time when a child [Jesus] is born, a son is given to us. And the government will rest upon His shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end ... The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him [sevenfold] -- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit ofcounsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear [reverence] of the Lord ... and with righteousness shall He judge the earth. 10
The Spirit of the LORD brought forth manifold wisdom, like pulling open a telescope to reveal its many sections. Wisdom's variety of forms branch forth into completion. God's grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Isaiah saw the salvation of the LORD, and he gave us a song of praise, singing: "Praise the Lord! He was angry with me, but now He comforts me. See, God has come to save me. I will trust Him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation." 11
Jesus Christ, Our Salvation
Let us simplify God's will, view and plan in a few words: JESUS SAVED US! The word saved is the Greek word sozo. This word means healed, delivered, rescued, liberated, freed -- all past tense words. God sent His word, and healed us, and delivered us from our destruction. 12 The Word [Jesus] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 13
It is time for everyone to surrender themselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. God saved us by grace [His ability] through faith [an active belief in your union with Christ's death, burial and resurrection]. You can't take credit for this; it is a gift of God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things you have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's workmanship. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. 14
This plan of salvation is for us today! We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to partake of this gift. As believers, we partake through the Lord's Supper in remembrance of the blood and body of Christ. Have you ever confessed your belief in Christ. Something happens when we confess Christ out loud to ourselves and others. Some men and women experience the presence of God through the miracle of salvation for the first time in their lives. Will you pray this prayer out loud with me?
A Prayer For You...
Father, I need You. Thank You for the sacrifice of your Son, whose blood brings forgiveness of my sins and for offering me Your righteousness and resurrected life. I now accept by faith Your gift of salvation. Through Your Holy Spirit, teach me about Your love and grace and about the new life that You have given me. Begin the work of making me into the person You want me to be. Amen!
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