It has been the will and the plan of God to bring all people into one body, but according to God’s good will; not man’s. It seems that man has endeavored to come together as one more than once; the first time being at Babel; and look what happened.
God is holy, and all people cannot come to Him in their own merit due to sin. God loves humanity, and is the offended Deity to whom a price must be paid, and that price is death; the death of every sinner. Just as sin entered the world and the human race by one man [Adam] so too, by only one man can sin’s debt be paid, and that debt, which was owed to God, has been paid by the death of His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12-21).
In verses 1-13 of Ephesians 3 Paul has given explanation how that God has displayed His love and grace by the cross of Jesus and has opened the way for the Gentiles (all who are not Jewish).
NAMED FOR THE FATHER OF THE FAMILY (vv. 14-15). In the first two chapters and the first thirteen verses of this chapter the apostle has dealt with the “mystery of the gospel”, by which the Jew and the Gentile become one through Jesus Christ. We understand through the previous thirteen verses of this chapter that it has always been God’s plan to bring Jew and Gentile together into one body. God is sovereign and works all things for his purpose, will and glory.
God the Father is the source of “Fatherhood”. This is not a verse supporting the heresy of the “Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man”. God is only the Father of all who have trusted Him through faith in Jesus Christ and the finished work of Christ – His death on the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection. The “whole family in heaven and earth” can only refer to the “saints” both living and dead [bodies sleeping awaiting their day of resurrection]. We are of the family of God, because God in His grace has made it so; without our aid or efforts.
We are of the “Household of faith”, with the name given us by our Father.
BEING FILLED WITH ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD (vv. 16-19). When the lost man or woman comes to Jesus Christ they receive all of Jesus Christ that they will ever receive. We are however, at times, very inept in practicing all the fulness of God we have been given.
God said through Zechariah the prophet;
“This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6 (KJV)
The Spirit of God is the person and source of our Fulness of God. He is the catalyst of our fulness. In this prayer Paul is asking these things from God for the Ephesians and us, “according to the riches of His glory…”
1. “To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man”;
2. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith”;
3. “being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height…”;
4. “to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge…”
It seems by the presence of these that would be having the fulness of God which Paul speaks of.
THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD’S POWER WORKING IN US (v. 20). It seems as I am studying this I seem a bit unable to describe what this is dealing with. God’s grace for salvation is more abundant than I can begin to imagine, and His grace for living is just as abundant, and when God says, that He will complete what He began (Philippians 1:6); that is part of that abundance.
God is far more able to do “Exceeding abundantly”, “far more abundantly”, “above and beyond” “all that we ask or think”, that we ought to know that anything God says we can rely on.
All of this accomplished “…according to the power that worketh in us…”. The power working in us is limited, it seems, only by our faith at work. Maybe I should say, “Limited only by our faith not working”. If we are truly walking with God, in the Spirit, filled with the Spirit; then there is nothing that should stand in our way of fulfilling God’s will in our lives; and seeing God’s will accomplished in the lives of others.
We cannot muster up the power in ourselves. It is through the Spirit of God in the child of God walking by faith in Jesus Christ.
THE CHURCH GIVING GLORY TO THE FATHER FOREVER (v. 21). The purpose of all creation is to give glory to God, to praise and adore Him.
When sin has wrecked and mauled and destroyed a sinners life God gets no pleasure from his death (Ezekiel 18:32). When that soul has been saved, set free from sin by God’s free gift of grace God glories in that child’s physical death (Psalm 116:15). Why deos Scripture tell us this? Because, it is God who has worked in that saved soul’s life to bring him to Himself. It is God who works in you (Philippians 2:13) as a child of God to bring you to His glory.
Now, having siad that, it leads us to the Church. The Church is the Bride of Jesus Christ. He being “the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). What glory it brings to God when finally the Church is brought as one into the eternal presence of God. The Spirit habitating in the life center of every believer is the means by which we glorify God. The Holy Spirit is the power of the Church which brings every born again soul to God. He is glorified because He sees the Church completed already seated with Jesus in heavenly places.
-Tim A. Blankenship