Impartial Grace: Ephesians 1

In whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him; in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…

(Ephesians 1:7-13, emphasis added)

This is the salvation Gospel of Christ. In Christ Jesus we have redemption. Because His blood was shed for the purpose of atoning for the sin of the world we can claim salvation. Universal reconciliation teaches His grace is abundant and it is poured out on all. Other doctrines limit God’s grace to a few. Those doctrines diminish the scope of Christ’s sacrifice.

The mystery is now known. God’s plan from the beginning was to make all things righteous through Christ Jesus. It is Christ Jesus Who is obedient to the point of death. Those of us in Christendom who are blessed to see this mystery in its glory realize Christ’s sacrifice reconciles us to His Father; to our Father in heaven. Not only are we reconciled, but God’s plan “…to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him” is complete.

Universal reconciliation is true to scripture. Other doctrines cannot be true because they deny that God through Christ “unites all things in Him.” Those doctrines actually divide. Those doctrines teach the phrase “unite all things” is to be understood to mean to unite some things? The traditional doctrine of eternal conscious torment disputes He will “unite all things.” Scripture says, “All things will be united in Him.” It is God’s will that “all things unite with Him.” We believe that is what brings glory to Him. This is Impartial Grace.

For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints, don’t cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

(Ephesians 1:15-23, emphasis added)

David Guzik is introduced by Enduring Word website as “…a pastor, Bible teacher, and author of a widely used Bible commentary. Millions of people have access to David’s online Bible commentary on sites such as Enduring Word and Blue Letter Bible.” I have read Mr. Guzik’s work. His commentary as been helpful to me in my study. His effort to help others understand God’s Holy Word is commendable. I am using Mr. Guzik’s commentary and explanation of Ephesians 1:15-23 as a guide to better understand His Word. 1 I would like to be one who receives heavenly wisdom and to be one who understands the mystery that is “The Blessed Hope.” I pray the “eyes of my heart” are opened and that I fully comprehend the “riches of His glorious inheritance.”

Paul gives thanks for the love the Ephesian church holds for others in the church, that is “for all the saints.” His gratitude for the Ephesian church is expressed to heaven regularly and always. Mr. Guzik instructs us, “This was because their faith and love were evidence of their participation in this great work of God.” Mr. Guzik is correct to say, “Faith and love do not earn us participation in his great work of God. They are evidence of our participation in God’s plan.” The Ephesians possess a “love for all the saints.” Mr. Guzik points out that Paul is giving praise to God for the Ephesian assembly because they love others in the church. Mr. Guzik says, “The real evidence of God’s work in us is not the love we claim to have for Him, but our love for His people that others can see.”

The True Light that is Christ Jesus is what others see when His love for us permeates our love for others. The love we have for Christ is seen in our love for others. Paul asks God to strengthen the church and to give them a “spirit of wisdom” and “revelation in the knowledge of him.” He is asking that the church be given insight and understanding, especially about those things that are about Christ.

We learn about Christ Jesus’ position in God’s plan. He is elevated to a place in heaven that is demonstrative of His authority and of His power. His position is Sovereign over all creation. His Name is above all other names. All things are subjected to Him. He is given authority “…over all things to the church which is His body….” All things…. Let that sink in!

Pastor Guzik closes his commentary on these verses writing, “If Jesus is the Head, then the community of Christians make up His Body.” That is certainly true, but better still is the fact Christ Jesus is over all things. All things are subject to Him. There is nothing in these verses that lead us to conclude that God’s love abates for those not in “the community of Christians” as Pastor Guzik teaches. There is nothing in these scriptures that separates one person from another. All men are included in “all things.”

Universal reconciliation embraces these scriptures as true. Other doctrines diminish the breadth of God’s love and the full impact of Christ Jesus’ obedience even to death on a cross. It is not a mystery any longer. Our Father’s Son is our Savior. WE are all subject to Him. He has subjected us to God. God will indeed be “all in all.” This is Impartial Grace.

1 David Guzik. “Ephesians 1: God’s Ultimate Plan.” Pastor and Contributor to Enduring Word website. Publication date unknown. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/ephesians-1. Date accessed: 04/01/2018.

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