The Berean Expositor
Volume 36 - Page 75 of 243
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The same word is used of those who were prompted to serve the Lord out of "good
will" as opposed to those whose motive was out of "contention" (Phil. 1: 15), and the
Apostle could pray nothing better for the Thessalonians, than that God should "fulfil all
the good pleasure of His goodness" in them (II Thess. 1: 11).
Thelema, the Greek word "will" occurs seven times in Ephesians.
A1 | 1: 1. Apostleship.
A2 | 1: 5, 9, 11. Doctrine.
A3 | 2: 3; 5: 17; 6: 6. Practice.
The three references to doctrine in the first chapter are:.
A2 | a | 1: 5. Good pleasure of His will.--Predestination to sonship.
b | 1: 9. Mystery of His will.--Fullness of seasons.
a | 1: 11. Counsel of His will.--Predestination to inheritance.
The three references to practice that follow seem to be a response to this manifestation
of grace.
A3 | c | 2: 3. Doing the will of the flesh.--"Once."
d | 5: 17. Understanding the will of the Lord.--Present rule.
c | 6: 6. Doing the will of God.--"Now."
The final statement of this great section of the Father's will leads us to "The Beloved".
We have already observed the sphere of our blessings "in the heavenlies", but we have
not paused to consider the most fundamental of all spheres, without which all promises
must for ever remain unfulfilled, we refer to the recurring words "in Christ", "in Him",
"in Whom", that meet us at every turn. The spiritual blessings in heavenly places are
"in Christ" (Eph. 1: 3); those thus blessed were chosen "in Him" before the overthrow of
the world (Eph. 1: 4); they are "accepted in the beloved" (Eph. 1: 6). While the theme
changes at verse seven to Redemption and "the Work of the Son", the passage opens with
the words "In Whom", and the goal of the ages, together with its inheritance, is still
found to be "in Christ" (Eph. 1: 7-11).
An adequate exposition of all that is involved in the terms "in Christ", "with Christ"
and "by Christ" would exceed the limits of these articles, but no presentation of either
doctrine, dispensation or practice is of any value that does not place these terms in the
very forefront of its exposition. We may be able to devote a series of studies to this
aspect of truth, and may then hope to give it the attention that is its due. Meanwhile, we
proceed to the most blessed title "The Beloved" in Whom this passage of Ephesians tells
us we are "accepted".