Devotions - Read Online
Monday | 29 August 2016
In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul declared that we have been predestined to become sons of God. We read, ‘He [the Father] chose us in Him [the Son] before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him [the Father]. In love He [the Father] predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [Christ].’ This is the hope of the gospel. The gospel of sonship is the primary message of the Scriptures.
Paul often referred to the gospel of sonship as ‘the mystery of Christ’. He was referring to the mystery of how sons of men can be born as sons of God, with the glory of an eternal inheritance for the new heavens and new earth. Paul said that this mystery had been hidden from previous generations. Even though the Old Testament saints had the promise of becoming sons of God by adoption, they did not yet possess the divine nature as the fulfilment of this promise. The mystery of Christ dwelling in the heart of man had not yet been revealed to them.
Paul rejoiced that God now wants this mystery to be fully proclaimed and known among all Gentile nations. He declared that the mystery is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’. We have been predestined to become sons of God who will forever reveal the glory of the Father as ‘the praise of His glory’. Paul preached the gospel of sonship in every place so that all believers would be greatly encouraged, knit together in love, and possess the wealth that comes from having a true knowledge of the mystery of Christ. He wanted every believer to have a ‘full assurance of understanding’ about their salvation as a son of God.
To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, (9) and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, (2) that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself.
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.