Impartial Grace: 1 Timothy 4

If you instruct the brothers of these things, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which you have followed. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables. Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come. This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.

Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to those who believe, in word, in your way of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. Until I come, pay attention to reading, to exhortation, and to teaching. Don’t neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the elders. Be diligent in these things. Give yourself wholly to them, that your progress may be revealed to all. Pay attention to yourself, and to your teaching. Continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

(1 Timothy 4:6-16, emphasis added)

It is ironic that these verses open with “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.” Paul continues to teach and to encourage Timothy. He’s a young man leading a congregation and evangelizing his community. His heart is in the right place. Paul admonishes him to hold fast to the message he is giving. There are others, older men, potentially influencing Timothy perhaps causing him confusion. Paul tells him to maintain his bodily exercise for it is good, but being Godly is profoundly superior. Paul exhorts Timothy to accept as truth, “…the living God, Who is the Savior of all men….”

William MacDonald writes in the Believers Bible Commentary regarding these verses, in particular verse 10. 1 Christians have an outlook on life different than those who do not believe in Christ. It is our passion to reach out to unbelievers and tell them the Truth of God’s Holy Word. Dr. MacDonald writes, “The Christian sees beyond the passing things of the world and sets his hope on the living God.” Christians are not ever disappointed in their belief. Dr. MacDonald tells us the reason for our hope is “that He is the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of the those who believe.” We comprehend God’s grace and mercy. We know Christ reigns now.

These verses should not be construed to mean that “only” those who believe are saved, but “especially” those who believe. We should not exclude a whole class of people, unbelievers. In fact, we should take pains to demonstrate their inclusion. God instructs us to love even those who hate us. That would mean to love even the most heinous unbeliever, would it not? Our Lord commands us to love all. It is counter-intuitive to command us to love when He does not, yet that is the contention of many. These scriptures do not declare God is rejecting anyone. God is the Savior of all people. This is Impartial Grace.

1 William MacDonald. “Believer’s Bible Commentary.” (Commentary on 1 Timothy 4). Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995. pp. 2092-2094.

God Is the Savior of All Men

Impartial Grace: 1 Timothy 2

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times; to which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth in Christ, not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

(1 Timothy 2:3-7, emphasis added)

Paul is teaching Timothy and subsequently everyone about worship. The focus of the instruction regards the behavior of men and the behavior of women in church settings and in daily life. Paul exhorts Timothy and all Christians to pray for all men; to pray the needs of all men are met; to pray the hearts of all men would turn to Jesus. His “…is the testimony given at the proper time.”

Universal reconciliation embraces these scriptures as literally true. His desire that “all people” are saved and that “all people…come to the full knowledge of the truth…” epitomizes Impartial Grace. There is not one person created that He did not create in love and His love is immutable. His love is completely overwhelming as “Christ Jesus…gave Himself as a ransom for all.”

Other doctrines dispute it is truly God’s desire that all be saved. Most of those teach a doctrine of eternal conscious torment. That doctrine teaches Christ, “…who gave Himself as a ransom for all…,” really did not pay for the sin of all. Rather, the doctrine believes that Christ’s sacrifice applies only to few because they either had the foresight to have chosen to believe Christ or they had the blessing of being chosen by God to believe Christ. It is a doctrine contradicting what God’s Word declares about Christ’s sacrifice.

The Father leads us to read His Holy Word. His Spirit leads us. He uncovers God’s Word for us. What He reveals is not revealed in the traditions of men. We have read that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross is a “ransom for all men.” We’ve read that “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Christ to the glory of the Father.” We have discussed the contradictions. The plain meaning of scripture is poorly interpreted, modified or manipulated to support the doctrine of eternal conscious torment.

These verses show a powerfully, all-consuming loving Father’s boundless mercy. His love for His creation is seen in these verses. Jesus gave His life as a “ransom for all.” This is Impartial Grace.

Impartial Grace: 1 Timothy 1

And I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service; although I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

(1 Timothy 1:12-17, emphasis added)

Mr. Sprenger asks, “If the prerequisite for mercy is ignorance and unbelief, then who will fail to qualify?” All created beings require God’s mercy. All people are at first ignorant of God’s grace and only exposed to His mercy in stages of their lives. All people have to be shown what their faith is; that it is a gift from God. Mr. Sprenger’s question is poignant. “…Who will fail to qualify” for God’s mercy especially if Paul is our example?

Paul declares in Holy Scripture that he is the “foremost” of all sinners. It stands to reason that God saves the most wretched man. There are none worse than the most wretched of all men. Mr. Sprenger asks, “Again, if Paul is the foremost sinner, then hasn’t God’s plan of redemption been accomplished to the foremost?”

Christ said from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Later as He took His final breath He said, “It is finished.” Christ is asking the Lord to forgive the very persons who hate Him. He is asking the Father to overlook and to forgive their complicity in His crucifixion. Will His Father not do what His Son asks? “It is finished.” Universal reconciliation embraces these verses as literally true. Other doctrines preach there are some who are worse than the most wretched man and reap an eternal torment for their rebellion.

These verses preach “God is love.” His mercy extends to the most wretched of men. This is Impartial Grace.

Impartial Grace: Colossians 3

where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.

(Colossians 3:11, emphasis added)

Mr. Sprenger tells us, “All creation is birthed in Christ; all creation remains in Christ; but not all of creation has been awakened to Christ ‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give thee light.'” (Eph 5:14). Paul provides insight to life in Christ. Because we know Him we are confident He knows us. Because we know Him our focus is on Him at the right hand of the Father. Our focus should be on heavenly things; spiritual things. Our focus should be prayers to be blessed with wisdom. Paul tells us that our temporal lives have changed in Christ. Our spirits are quickened in Christ and we have a life kept with Christ in God. Paul presses the church in Colosse to set aside all things worldly. End all that is earthly in you. End immorality of all kinds. Put aside passions. Do not succumb to self. Let pride and envy go. Do not idolize your self.

Every person ever exposed to the Light of Christ acknowledges his sins. Pride, which is also idolatry, puts up obstacles, but over time with the Spirit of God working in us we “put away: anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk.” We come to live lives in Christ Jesus and we do not deceive one another. Christ has given us a new life and we change. Our old self is discarded and He gives us renewal in Him. He is in us and we strive to bring glory to Him and away from ourselves. The old self that condemns another is put off and love is put on. The old self that judges harshly is put off and love is put on. The old self that practiced the ways of the world is put off and the life of Christ is put on.

Christ’s Gospel is not party to any nationality or culture. “There is not Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Knowing Christ Jesus and being known by Him is crucial. Being a believer “is a gift from God and that by way of faith.” He leads us to believe. Our lives change and our focus is to bring glory to Him. That is Christ-like life…bringing glory to God. God intends that believers set aside animus for those who disagree with us and take up a new life with the Spirit of God at our head. Christ is everything. He is the fullness of God dwelling in Him. God is pleased in Him. Christ Jesus is in the men and women He created. Everything that is created was created by Him at His command. He is in all. This is universal reconciliation wrapped in relentless love.

Other doctrines teach that billions of people will be eternally punished by a just God. Those doctrines lessen the power of Christ. They diminish the “fullness of God in Him.” Those doctrines contradict the meaning of scripture as these verses simply and plainly understood teach “Christ is all, and in all.”

Dave Armstrong writes a Bible Study from a Catholic perspective. He posits about forgiveness on a human level and then declares God cannot forgive an unrepentant sinner. 1He writes, “Forgiveness is, of course, a distinguishing characteristic of the Christian life.” We are commanded by no less than Christ Jesus to love our neighbors, to love our enemies, to make peace with our brothers. We are taught to care for widows and orphans. Mr. Armstrong teaches we forgive others “because God has forgiven us.”

Mr. Armstrong tells his audience that the person receiving God’s forgiveness “must repent.” If there is not an act of repentance then the receiver cannot “obtain true forgiveness.” Mr. Armstrong adamantly states Divine forgiveness “is not absolutely unconditional, as many falsely teach.” However, being truly remorseful and truly repenting is “a firm resolve to try to do better…and a determination to cease engaging in that sin.” He writes Christians ought to forgive others unconditionally, especially others who have repented. God, though, does not forgive unconditionally. “…God cannot and will not forgive a person who doesn’t repent and accept the forgiveness (in this case, salvation itself).”

Universal reconciliation teaches it is enough that Jesus, Whose Name means “God Saves,” is all and in all just as scripture declares. Mr. Armstrong expounds upon the orthodox understanding that the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Him, but that the fullness of God cannot and does not dwell in all men. Jesus is Emmanuel. His Name is “God is with us.” Scripture declares all has been given over to Him and He has subjected it to Himself. He then subjects His creation to His Father and God is pleased. These verses stand alone, even so all other scripture supports this simple truth; “It is God’s will that all be saved.” “God is Love. His love will save all.” This is Impartial Grace.

1 Dave Armstrong. “Apologetics-Oriented Biblical Commentary on Colossians (RSV).” Biblical Evidence for Catholicism. July 7, 2015. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/07/commentary.html. Date accessed:06/06/2018.

Impartial Grace: Colossians 1

For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross. You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him, if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant.

(Colossians 1:19-23, emphasis added)

Paul is writing to the church he helped found in Colosse near Ephesus. Like the congregation in Galatia the people were being swayed by men to abandon the truth of their faith. Traditions, rites and rituals infiltrated the church there, consequently, false doctrines were rising in prominence. Paul instructs the faithful to recall the “mystery” revealed to them. God is pleased with the work of Christ on the Cross. Everything has been covered in the Savior’s blood and peace abounds.

There are some alive today who have not heard the Gospel. Verse 23 dismisses that assertion because “…the gospel you heard…has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven.” How that may have been fulfilled I cannot say. I can say with absolute certainty that Christ Jesus said, “It is finished.” “All creation” has received the Gospel. It has been proclaimed to “all creation under heaven.” “The Blessed Hope” is somehow passed to all generations. “All creation” receives the gospel and “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the Glory of the Father.” What good news! What a Gospel!

Notice Paul declares himself to be a minister of the Gospel of Christ. He never alludes to the traditionalist doctrine of eternal conscious torment. Men and traditions manufacture that doctrine from thin assumptions and questionable interpretations. God is Christ Jesus. Scripture records here that “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” in Him. “All” of God was in Christ Jesus “to reconcile to Himself all things.” The Father in Christ Jesus. The Father’s plan is fulfilled in Christ Jesus. “All things” are reconciled to the Father through Christ Jesus. The plain meaning of these scriptures is easily understood.

We sin because of the fallen state of the world. None of us is ever free of sin. We live sin or we feel sin or we think sin. Sin is all around us. These scriptures teach we can say with confidence we are “reconciled in His body of flesh by His death.” The degree of our sin does not change the fact that “by His death” we will be given to the Father “holy and blameless.” We, all of us, “all things” will be “above reproach before” the Father because Christ Jesus reconciles all things. We must also “…continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven….” Who can claim they have been every moment of every day “stable and steadfast?” I dare say, none. Who among us has not fallen away “…from the hope of the gospel that…” we heard? I dare say “all things” fall short.

Universal reconciliation embraces these scriptures as literally true. Other doctrines dispute that conclusion. In order for any of those to be true they alter the plain meaning of scripture. Those doctrines conclude not “all things” will be reconciled to God. Only a few things will be deemed righteous, blameless and holy. Mr. Sprenger asks, “How could Paul state it any more clearly!?”

Universal reconciliation requires that all things are reconciled to Him and that He is able to persuade unrepentant, rebellious people with His overwhelming love. This is Impartial Grace.

Impartial Grace: Philippians 3

For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who think about earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.

(Philippians 3:18-21, emphasis added)

If there is an eternal end for the rebellious, then “their end is destruction.” These scriptures make a better case for annihilation, also known as conditional immortality, than eternal conscious torment. Those who believe in Christ Jesus and who are brought into the family of God certainly have reason to rejoice. He “will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body….” That, indeed, is good news. But, greater than that He has the power “…even to subject all things to Himself.”

Other doctrines stretch the plain meaning of scripture to say He will not. Those doctrines do not allow that Christ will end the spiritual lives of the disobedient by eternal destruction, rather they go another step to say Christ supervises their eternal torment. The doctrine insists Jesus, Who is the Savior of the whole world, really is not.

Universal reconciliation advocates for God’s immutable love. We cannot say His power to save even the most heinous person ever created cannot make that man subject to Himself. Otherwise, His power is not all-powerful. He is love and He wills all of His creation be reconciled to Him. He is the Shepherd tending all His flock. He rules over a Kingdom of all. It is reasonable to conclude Christ can reconcile all to the Father and because He is love, He will. This is Impartial Grace.

Impartial Grace: Philippians 2

If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, didn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2:1-11, emphasis added)

All persons regardless of their respective state of salvation; saved or unsaved, will know the Name of Jesus is “above every name.” Every knee will bow in submission to Him and in recognition of His Holy Place. All things will give glory to God. The unsaved (every knee) will bow to Him and bring glory to the Father. The unsaved will experience a remedial punishment for their sins and the blood that flowed from Jesus will cover them, too. The Father will reconcile all to Himself. He will be “all in all.”

I use notes from A. E. Knoch’s Concordant New Testament as background. Scripture teaches Christ Jesus came from a place with the Father. They were One in the Same. They had the “same love, being in full accord and of one mind….” Christ Jesus was “in the form of God….” He is the Son of the Father, He has the same plan as the Father, and He is His Father’s Servant. He “emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant.” He set aside His position and took on Himself the physical nature of His creation. It was a complete transformation. Little of His glory is seen in His physical nature. Before He came to serve He was in form God. He was above all in the heavens. He lowered Himself to take up the curse of death on the cross. He was once almighty and made Himself the least of all. He, of His own volition, descended from the highest. He came to the lowest. The sweep of His plan gathers all to Himself. “Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

That time wherein all mankind confesses their love for Him has not yet come. There remains a rebellion. There are enemies still that cannot or will not acknowledge His love for them. There is a time coming “when all things are subjected to Him” and when He will “put all things in subjection to His Father, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). The Father has been exalting His Son since His resurrection. There are enemies still. There are those who oppose Him still. However, the Christ rules over many celestial powers and soon all creation will be subjected to Him. Christ Jesus has ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of His Father (1 Peter 3:22).The earth is His Kingdom. He is Sovereign and it is His Dominion. The whole universe is subject to Him, now.

His shed blood reconciles all things to God. “All things, whether on earth or in heaven…” will be reconciled to God. “All things, whether on earth or in heaven…” will be made subject to Him. He became the lowest and shall become the highest. The Name of Christ Jesus is the Name above all other names. There is none of greater honor. There is none other that blesses us with grace. When His Name is called out “every knee shall bow” and “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…!” All of this to glorify our Father God. By the power of His Name will the knees of every generation bow and tongue of every person confess Christ is Lord. This is Impartial Grace.

Other doctrines require we believe that at the Name of Jesus a few knees will bow and a few tongues will confess Jesus Christ is Lord. The glory that is due the Father is lessened because only a few will find salvation in Him. The remainder, those who are condemned to annihilation or to eternal conscious torment, will be looked upon from heaven by the Christ that could have saved them, but did not.

The plain meaning of scripture is the best meaning. Every person will be reconciled to God. No person will be abandoned to a place that cannot be proven exists. Mr. Sprenger asks us to “Remember that ‘No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).” Christians sing with joy in the knowledge of the mystery revealed in Christ Jesus. All means all. Every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord and will be in the Holy Spirit. This is Impartial Grace.

Impartial Grace: Ephesians 4

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all. But to each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Therefore he says, “When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” Now this, “He ascended”, what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

(Ephesians 4:4-10, emphasis added)

Paul is closing this letter to the Ephesians. He proclaims himself “a prisoner of the Lord” and uses this position to appeal to the Church. He gives them instructions to “walk in a manner worthy” of the Christ-like life we are called to. Paul encourages us to treat one another “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Paul is not a prisoner of Romans only, but certainly a prisoner of Christ. He writes elsewhere that “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” What manner of life is worthy of Christ’s body broken and blood shed? It is love. It is love that is Christ’s love. It is love that is the Father’s love. Walking in a manner worthy of our calling requires we strive for peace and unity in Spirit. We can only do that in love. We must practice “bearing with one another in love.”

What is the unity of the Spirit? What binds us to peace? Christ’s overwhelming, all-consuming love binds us to Him and to the Father. We are in concert with God’s Divine Plan when we agree that God is love and that God Saves. We agree Jesus is “God Saves.” Emmanuel is “God with us.” Jesus and Him only can save any of us. Paul points out there is only One Spirit, “one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.” One God over all. One God sovereign over all. One God Who is in all. One God Who is love. One God Who reconciles us all.

Christ Jesus has ascended to the Throne of God. He reigns from the right hand of the Father, now. He was with us for a time and He was buried for a time. He preached to the saints for three days. He was resurrected at the command of His Father. His life, His body broken, His blood shed is sufficient grace to save all. It is God’s will that all shall be reconciled to Himself. God’s Son sacrificed on the cross is redemption for the sin of the world. This is Impartial Grace.

Impartial Grace: Ephesians 3

To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him.

(Ephesians 3:8-12, emphasis added)

Paul tells what his calling is. He has been given “…this grace…to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ….” Paul identifies himself as the least of the disciples and in other scripture as the worst of all sinners. He has been redeemed. The worst of all sinners is reconciled to God. He is not elevating himself or setting himself above any other person. “I am the very least of all the saints….” His ministry mission is to preach to the Gentiles. He is to expose the mystery of God’s plan to Gentiles. Gentiles are all men and women created by God who do not or cannot claim Israel as their birthright. Gentiles are the whole world, the whole human world, minus Israel.

The mystery that Paul is preaching is that God intends to save the whole world through Christ Jesus. Every Gentile ever created and every Israelite ever created will be reconciled to God. That is His Divine Plan. The Light that is Christ Jesus is revealed. The Light that is Christ Jesus shines brightly in His church. It is by God’s Divine Plan that His power is known. It is for His good purpose that the church be given wisdom of “unsearchable riches.” Ask yourself to define “unsearchable riches” in your own life. Could there possibly be a limit to His grace considering His “unsearchable riches?”

This knowledge that all of His creation will be reconciled through Christ Jesus to Him is the mystery revealed. It is this knowledge of this mystery, the knowledge of Christ Jesus, that empowers each of us “to go and make disciples.” It is God Who gives boldness. It is God Who gives faith. It is God Who gives us confidence to speak the Truth.

Universal reconciliation embraces these scriptures as literally true. Other doctrines, such as the doctrine of eternal conscious torment, teach that most of mankind is doomed to suffer eternally. Rebels would strive to live in the darkness and ignore the Light, but they cannot escape Him. The Light cannot be ignored as it is God’s Plan that Light reveals all things. All things will be made new in Him. This is Impartial Grace.

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.