God has a plan for us and this plan has been in existence from the beginning of the world and that purpose is to gather together in one all things in Christ…
This plan is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, it involves his death and resurrection, our death and resurrection, baptism, and the Holy Ghost.
Another way the Bible states it is that Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil – the lier in the beginning and the father of lies.
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All through the Old Testament, we see a battle of Satan trying to kill the seed that would come.
In the very beginning, Satan knew a seed was coming through the woman (Eve) and you can see the story unfold in the Old Testament through the chosen line and all of Satan’s efforts to destroy that lineage.
- And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen 3:15)
People get all undone over some of the things God did in the Old Testament however it was crucial for him to protect the seed (Jesus) otherwise, the wonderful plan of salvation through grace would never come into existence.
That He Might Gather Together In One All Things In Christ
Ephesians 1:9-14 – itemized in bullet-point style below clearly states that God’s plan is to gather all things in Christ.
This is the mystery of his will (plan) that he has made known to us. God has purposed (planned) in himself to bring this to pass (in the dispensation of the fullness of times).
We have been predestinated according to God’s plan. God works all things after the purpose of his own plan.
- Having made known unto us the mystery of his will
- According to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself
- That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ
- Both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him
- In whom also we have obtained an inheritance
- Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will
- That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
- In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation
- In whom also after that ye believed
- Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise
- Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
This theme is continued in Ephesians 3:9-12 because…
It Is An Eternal Purpose
There is an eternal purpose (plan) which from the beginning of the world has been hidden in God that has been planned in Jesus Christ and made known to the church…
- And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery
- Which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God
- Who created all things by Jesus Christ:
- To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God
- According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord
- In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
A Plan That Has Been Put In Place Before The World Began
- Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (2 Tim 1:9-10)
When You Are Born Again You Enter Into God’s Plan
- For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (1 Cor 10:17)
- That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: (Eph 3:6)
- Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Col 1:12)
- Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. (Heb 3:1)
- For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. (Heb 3:14)
- Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Pet 1:4)
Do Not Reject The Plan Of God For You
- But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. (Lk 7:30)
The word counsel also means a plan or purpose. I cover Bible verse in more detail here… 15 Reasons Why You Should Get Baptized (Why Baptism Is Important)
Here is how over Bible translations put it:
- But the Pharisees and experts in religious law rejected God’s plan for them, for they had refused John’s baptism. (NLT)
- But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.
- By rejecting baptism you are rejecting God’s plan for you
- By rejecting baptism you are rejecting God’s purpose for you
- By rejecting baptism you are refusing to listen to the counsel of God
Jesus represented both man and God. He was the son of man and the son of God.
God made a covenant with Israel and they received the law via Moses. Israel broke that covenant and the agreement of that covenant meant that every individual must die.
- As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. (Roms 3:10)
- For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23)
- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23)
So for God to be righteous we must die and the Old Covenant will always exist and continue to condemn men to death forever unless God dies.
- Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (Rom 4:15)
- Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Rom 7:4)
On the cross, Jesus representing both God and man died so that the Old Covenant could be done away with and we could be married (in covenant with) someone new – the resurrected Christ.
The gospel and salvation require death and resurrection.
In water baptism we die – this is the grace of God – because we die yet we live.
What an amazing plan of God. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross – we die with him in baptism – yet we all live.
The religious leaders rejected baptism – they rejected the plan – they refused to lay down their life.
- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Mark 8:35)
- Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Rom 6:3)
- For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Rom 6:5)
So baptism is an integral part of God’s plan for us.
Jesus Was Crucified According To God’s Plan
- Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. (Acts 2:23)
- …and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. (NLT)
- … by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge. (NIV)
- Whom God hath set forth (planned) to be a propitiation (mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom 3:25)
- Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (Gal 1:4)
- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:17-18)
Paul Declared All Of God’s Plan To The Ephesians
- For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:27-28)
God Has Shown Us We Can Rely On His Unchanging Plan
- Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath (Heb 6:17)
- Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. (NLT)
The word immutable means – not transposed, not to be transferred, fixed, unalterable, unchanging.
- Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb 13:8)
- For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Mal 3:6)
To Destroy The Works Of The Devil
- He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10) – without the law, he has nothing left to accuse us of. The New Covenant disarmed him.
- Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9)
Thy Will (Plan) Be Done On Earth As It Is In heaven
- Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:10)
The Holy Spirit Makes Intercession For Us According To God’s Plan
- Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Rom 8:26)
- And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Rom 8:27)
- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28)
- God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will. (Heb 2:4)
In Everything Give Thanks
- In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thess 5:18)
Submit To Human Authority For The Lord’s Sake
- Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
Avoid Fornication And Lust Of The Flesh
- For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (1 Thess 4:3)
- That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (1 Pet 4:2)
- And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. (1 Jn 2:17)
If We Ask Anything According To His Plan We Have It
- And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 Jn 5:14-15)
It is humbling to know that we are partakers of the heavenly calling and that calling is to gather all things into Christ.
By one Spirit we are baptized into Christ.
- For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Cor 12:13)
So as partakers of this calling. As partakers of the gospel of Christ, you can see why it is so important to be involved in the great commission.
We have just one job to do and that is to gather people into Christ.
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