The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 191 of 211
Index | Zoom
It is most evident that no one person can be blessed in all three spheres, or even in two
at one and the same time. One cannot be numbered among "the meek that shall inherit
the earth", and at the same time be "seated together in the super-heavens". One cannot be
the bride, and, at the same time, a member of the perfect man.
The one word that makes three spheres of blessing necessary to the fulfillment of
Scripture is the word "adoption". This word is in some ways equivalent to the idea of the
"Firstborn", and if we find three distinct companies to whom pertain the "adoption",
three families would appear to be in view.
In the earthly sphere adoption belongs to Israel (Rom. 9: 1-6), with pre-eminence
over the surrounding nations.
In the heavenly sphere adoption belongs to the seed of Abraham who inherit the
heavenly city.  This adoption is found in  Gal. 4:  together with the reference to
"Jerusalem that is above". Parallel with this is Heb. 12:, where the "birthright" and
"church of the firstborn" are equivalent to the idea of adoption, and where the heavenly
Jerusalem is again before us. This calling gives this church pre-eminence over angels.
In the super-heavenly sphere we have adoption (Eph. 1: 3-5), and a citizenship of the
saints. This calling gives this church pre-eminence over principalities and powers.
When once these three spheres are perceived, all Paul's epistles fall into their two
spheres, the epistles of the circumcision are understood, and confusion is avoided.
We commend this testimony to any who may have been bewildered by the amount of
detail that confronts the beginner. Leave for the time being the question of the correct
interpretation of "before the foundation of the world". Leave the question as to how we
must understand "in heavenly places". Leave the matter of Paul's claim in Eph. 3: 1-13,
and look at Scripture as a whole, take the three distinct "adoptions" as your guide, and
light will dawn. We commend this approach to the subject to all who seek to have the
joy of making men see "what is the dispensation of the mystery" (Eph. 3: 9, R.V.).