The Eternal Purpose Revealed in Christ

All Scripture references are taken from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted.

“This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.” Ephesians 3:11-13.

What the Body of Christ (the Church) must be/should be doing is to make known “the manifold wisdom of God” provided by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We must be careful not to speculate on something which is not defined as to the ‘how’ this wisdom is to be given to these heavenly beings in Heaven, but what is clearly spelled out for us is the proclamation of the Gospel Message to the Gentiles in our world. But, who are the Gentiles?

The NT is replete with references to the Gentiles and the message of the Gospel is determined for them. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:11-14, “Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,” The Apostle calls them “Gentiles in the flesh” and indicates that they were “separate from Christ,” but in Christ Jesus were “brought near by the blood of Christ.” In v. 14 Paul makes it clear that the Jews and Gentiles have been made on because of the shed blood of the Christ which “broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.” Therefore, Gentiles are those who do not know the saving grace of Jesus Christ and it is to these that we are specifically to make known the Message of the Cross; “the manifold wisdom of God.”

Not Ashamed

It was to the Church in Rome that he wrote, “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ” BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Romans 1:14-17. Note that Paul names the Gentiles in Rome as being, “Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.” He left none to be without being the target of the Gospel message. And neither should we.

For many decades people have made excuses as to the ‘why’ they could not be involved in sharing their faith in Christ (if, indeed, they were of the faith) to lost folks. We have no excuse not to participate in the most important endeavor given to man for just as Paul writes in verse 12 of Ephesians 3, it is in Christ “whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” Because of His grace, we are empowered to accomplish that which we cannot otherwise do. We have been given abilities to achieve the impossible for just as Paul encouraged the Church in Philippi, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” Philippians 4:12-14. Yes, we can do “all things through Him who strengthens me.” Stop the foolish excuses for it you and I are empowered by the blood of the Christ we ‘can do’ whatever He tells us.

Jesus remains Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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