| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 4 & 5 - Page 61 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
All blessings past, present, or future, realized or anticipated, are according to, and in
subservience to, His will. If we count the number of occurrences of the word will
(thelema) in Ephesians we shall find that it is seven, the number always connected with
spiritual perfection. The seven occurrences are as follows:--
A1 | 1: 1. Apostleship.
A2 | 1: 5, 9, 11. Doctrine.
A3 | 2: 3; 5: 17; 6: 6. Practice.
It will be seen that doctrine and practice are equally related to this mighty will.
A2 | a | 1: 5. Good pleasure of His will.--Predestination to sonship.
b | 1: 9. Mystery of His will.--The fulness of the seasons.
a | 1: 11. Counsel of His will.--Predestination to inheritance.
Such is the blessed doctrine; what shall the practical answer be? Shall we be blessed
with sonship and inheritance, shall we contemplate the heading up of all things in the
Christ without at least a desire to "walk worthy"? The remaining references seem
designed to answer the question.
A3 | c | 2: 3. Doing the will of the flesh.--"Once."
d | 5: 17. The will of the Lord.--Present rule.
c | 6: 6. Doing the will of God.--"Now."
Let us look again at the three doctrinal references. We have the "good pleasure," the
"mystery (or secret)," and "the counsel" of His will. This is the will of One Who is
infinitely gracious, this is the will of One Who is seeking the blessing of His people. The
first qualifying term "good pleasure" is the one we will pause to consider here. The word
translated "good pleasure" is the word eudokia, which occurs nine times in the N.T. In
Matt. 11: 26 and Luke 10: 21, "So it seemed good"; Rom. 10: 1, "My heart's desire";
Luke 2: 14 and Phil. 1: 15, "good will" as opposed to envy and strife, and in conjunction
with "peace"; Phil. 2: 13 and II Thess. 1: 11,"good pleasure." These last two passages are
helpful by reason of the light which they throw upon the relation of good pleasure to the
will of God. Phil. 2: 13, "For it is God Who worketh in you both the willing and the
working on account of (His) good pleasure"; II Thess. 1: 11, "And fulfil all the good
pleasure of (His) goodness and the work of faith with power." What depths of grace and
graciousness are here! "This," as Blackwell observes, "is the shortest and most charming
emphatical representation that is anywhere to be found of the immense graciousness and
admirable benignity of God, which no words or thoughts can fully express as here."
Eudokia comes from eudekeġ, "to think well"; dekeġ, "to think," also means to decree or
determine (see "dogma," "dogmatic"). "It seemed good to me"; dekeġ supplies the idea