I. HAVING MADE KNOWN UNTO US THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL.
A. What is Paul referring to as the mystery of His will?
1. In chapter 3:3 he again refers to God having made known unto him, by revelation, the mystery of His will, which Paul said he had referred in a few words.
2. In chapter 3 he goes on to explain just what that mystery is. "That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel."
3. Again in Colossians 1:27
Paul refers to the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
a. God was manifested in the flesh.
b. Justified in the Spirit.
c. Preached unto the Gentiles.
5. Again the Romans he said,
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
6. The mystery has to do with the Gentiles being fellow heirs with Jews to the grace of God provided by Jesus Christ.
7. It is His will to open the doors of communion to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
B. Though it was hidden to the Old Testament prophets, it seems that Isaiah saw glimpses of this truth.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
1. Matthew quotes this as referring to Jesus. 12:18-20. He adds "And in His name shall the Gentiles trust."
2. Malachi saw a flicker of this light.
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name [shall be] great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense [shall be] offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name [shall be] great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
C. When the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables, He answered,
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
II. ACCORDING TO HIS GOOD PLEASURE WHICH HE HAS PURPOSED IN HIMSELF.
A. This is reference to the sovereignty of God. He does as He pleases to fulfill His purposes. Our God is in the heavens and He has done whatsoever He pleased.
1. Job said,
JBO 23:13 But he [is] in one [mind], and who can turn him? and [what] his soul desireth, even [that] he doeth.
2. Isaiah said,
The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand:
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
3. In chapter 3 Paul said,
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
4. Because God is God He can do as He pleases and it must be the height of audacity to challenge the ways of God.
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct [him]? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! [Let] the potsherd strive] with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
5. Paul speaks of the perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, 1Tim. 6:5
6. Tis much better to surrender to God's way, than to try to bend God your way.
And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
B. What is God's good pleasure.
1. That you should be made a partaker of His Grace.
2. That you bring forth much fruit.
III. THAT IN THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES.
A. Some Bible teachers see seven dispensations.
1. Adam, the dispensation of innocence to the fall.
2. From the time of the fall to Noah, the dispensation of conscience.
3. From Noah to Moses, the dispensation of government.
4. From Moses to Jesus, the dispensation of the law.
5. Beginning with the conquering of Jerusalem and the Jews being carried captives to Babylon, the dispensation of the Gentiles.
6. The present time the dispensation of the church. Also called the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, and grace.
7. The dispensation of the fullness of times will begin when Jesus comes again to establish the eternal kingdom of God. "The fullness of times.
B. The purpose of God is to gather all things together in one in Christ.
For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
1. Paul speaks of this in verse 20 and 21.
2. Upon His resurrection Jesus said,
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
3. John said of Jesus,
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4. Paul said to the Corinthians,
Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
5. Paul wrote to the Philippians,
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
6. The writer of the book of Hebrews asked,
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
7. Peter said,
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
C. If you are not submitted to Jesus Christ, you are fighting against the eternal purposes of God. "Woe unto him who strives with his Maker."
D. It is the purpose of God that Jesus be the main attraction.
1. I look at all these men who are seeking glory and honor for themselves, in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. They fleece the flock of God.
3. I am glad I do not have to stand in their shoes when they stand before God.
a. There is no fear of the Lord in their hearts.
b. Somehow the things of Christ are not real to them.
c. They have gone on deceiving others until they have deceived themselves.