This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Most Surely Believed

Chapter 10

Predestination's Final Chapter

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us
accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6.

This verse ends the sentence which began in Verse 3 with Paul's
"Eulogy" of God for spiritual blessings.  From this eulogy of
God, Paul moved our minds immediately into God's choice of his
people in Christ before the foundation of the world, and then
into the doctrine of predestination.

What is biblical predestination?  Most people hear the word
predestination and think fatalism, the false notion that God
ordered every event in the history of the world, sin and
injustice included.  The Bible will hear none of such a black
doctrine!  However, Paul used predestination in this verse and
praised God for it.  What does the Bible teach about this

In Verse 4 Paul wrote that God's choice of his people would
result in our appearing "Holy and without blame before him in
love."  In Verse 5 he wrote that God predestinated us to the
adoption of children by Jesus Christ. Finally, in closing the
sentence he wrote the words of our study verse.  To praise God's
glorious grace, to be fully accepted in Christ, God's beloved
Son, Paul firmly merged these wonderful truths with true

Man's false notions of predestination find their fulfillment in
tragedy and sin.  God's implementation of predestination, fully
set forth in scripture, finds its fulfillment in the secure
salvation of his chosen people. Examine this one sentence from a
cause and effect perspective.

Cause–God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ.
Effect–Paul, and we, eulogize God, speak well of him in worship
and praise for his blessings.

Cause–God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.
Effect–we shall be holy and without blame before him in love.

Cause–Predestination, God's true predestination, reflects the
compassionate eternal purpose of God. Effect–We receive the
adoption of children, become legal members of God's eternal
family according to the good pleasure of his will.

Cause–Predestination, God made a merciful determination for our
salvation before he created the universe. Effect–We shall
finally and certainly praise the glory of his grace.  Effect–God
accepts us as his children in his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

When we thus examine God's predestination, we gladly join Paul in
speaking well of the loving God who so fully provided for the
eternal blessing of his family.

Another significant scripture which we should examine on this
topic appears in Paul's letter to the Romans.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be
conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he
also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom
he justified, them he also glorified.  Romans 8:29, 30. God's
foreknowledge in this lesson does not refer to God's omniscience,
but to his special knowledge and determined love for his own.  We
should carefully note in this lesson that Paul did not say, "For
what he did foreknow, …."  "Whom," a personal pronoun which
denotes people, makes up the total content of God's
predestination in this lesson.  Without stretching the words in
the least, we can embrace God's eternal purpose for salvation,
his exact completion of that purpose, and the final glorification
of those whom he first foreknew. The five verbs in this sentence
(Foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified) move
our minds from God's eternal purpose before he created the
universe to the resurrection at the end of time.

The repeated "Whom," associated with each verb in sequence draws
us to the unquestionable conclusion that the same exact number
whom God foreknew he will also glorify. Those who believe in
salvation by works teach that God foreknew every human being,
wished their salvation, but that only a small portion of mankind
will enjoy salvation.  This lesson will not tolerate such a cheap
notion of God and his eternal purpose to save.  Whatever the
actual number, the grammar of this verse requires us to conclude
that God will resurrect and glorify exactly the same number he
foreknew and predestinated!

Paul followed these two verses with a question?  "What shall we
then say to these things?"  Designed to provoke sweet thoughts of
God, he answered his own question, "If God be for us, who can be
against us?"  You see, Paul knew what God's predestination meant.
He knew it applied particularly to the salvation of God's chosen
people. On the foundation of these five verbs, Paul built the
remainder of the chapter and stood joyfully on the conclusion,

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to
come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be
able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38, 39.

Because of God's predestination, we can speak well of God, rest
securely in his eternal love, and join Paul in our persuasion
that nothing can separate those whom God loved and chose in
Christ from his eternal love!

Chapter 11


In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of
sins, according to the riches of his grace.  Ephesians 1:7.

In the beginning of this series I told you that we would keep God
at the center of all essential Bible doctrines. When we stand on
the Bible, this emphasis presents no problem. Only when we try to
make the Bible support our personal views of God and essential
doctrines do we find difficulty.

Where do we find our redemption?  The closing phrase of Verse 6
teaches that God has accepted us in the beloved, his beloved Son.
This acceptance appears as an accomplished fact, not as a
conditional offer.  The verse we now study continues the growing
list of eternal blessings Paul listed in Ephesians 1, all of
which he located in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He did not attribute
our redemption to some redeeming quality or conduct in us.  He
established our redemption in Christ.

Redemption does not appear in our everyday language as often as
it did in the First Century.  What does it mean?  The Greek word
from which redemption was translated means to pay the ransom in
full.  Partial payment or conditional payment do not qualify for
this word! It requires payment in full!  It signifies that God
loosed the legal debt of your sins from you and took them off and
away from you.  Paul included the specific price of redemption in
the verse, through his blood.

Leviticus 25 contains a long discussion of redemption under the
Old Testament law which symbolized the work of Christ.  According
to Mosaic law, no one could sell his land; it belonged to God.
When a man became so indebted that he could not repay the debt,
he could sell himself and, if necessary, his family, into
temporary servitude to his creditor.  Sometimes these creditors
were severe and demanding.  Therefore, the law provided that "One
of his brethren," someone near of kin to him, could pay the debt,
enabling the man and his family to return to their home.  The
redeemer must be a near relative. Redemption was truly a family
matter. Redemption did not occur until the redeemer paid the
price and the indebted man was released.

Apply the laws of Leviticus 25 to our spiritual relationship with
God.  First, our sins hopelessly indebted us to the righteous
demands of God's law.  We had nothing with which to pay that
debt.  Therefore, we must submit to its legal penalty,
condemnation under the law.  Even before the debt, we must hold a
close family relationship with the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus
Christ.  How did this relationship occur before we were born?
Remember our study of Verse 5 on predestination, that God
predestinated us to the adoption of children.  God's election of
a particular people in Christ and his predestination of those
people to adoption established our family relationship with God
before we were ever born.  In response to the legal debt of his
chosen family, Jesus came into the world, assumed the whole of
our sin debt, and paid the price necessary to redeem us from that
burden. His blood, his sacrificial life, offered in death to the
Father, satisfied every demand God's just law held against us.
Through his payment of that price, our redemption was fully
accomplished!  This doctrine prohibits the idea of Christ dying a
conditional death which actually accomplished nothing unless we
meet certain conditions. Based on the price he paid to the
Father, the redemption, God released us from the law and returned
us to our family relationship with him.

This doctrine assures the integrity and security of God's family
for eternity.  It cannot tolerate the notion that a single one of
those for whom Christ died will not receive the full release
purchased by his blood.  When Jesus died and offered himself to
the Father, he for ever took our sins off and away from us.  His
death released us from the debt of sin.  It purchased our eternal
release from sin, assuring our return to the heavenly homeland
with the Father.

In Romans 8 Paul built the eternal security of God's family on
this same truth.  Notice the certainty of blessing which rests on
the death of Christ.

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God
that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth?  It is Christ that
died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right
hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Romans 8:33,

To the charge of God's elect, these words remind us of the debt
we owed to God for our sins.  Can any lay that debt back to our
charge?  No, God accepted the payment his Son made and declared
that the debt was paid. Who can condemn any of those for whom
Christ died?  Who can ignore the consequences of Christ's death
and judge you?  None, for Christ died, and God accepted that
payment in full satisfaction of the debt.  Christ not only died,
he has risen again and stands at God's right hand.  What if
someone raises the sin issue against one of those for whom Christ
died?  Jesus speaks out to the Father, "Father, this charge is
false!  The sins raised by this accuser were paid when I died on
the Cross.  This accuser seeks double payment for a debt which I
already paid!"

Paul continues his reasoning on the legal consequences of
Christ's death.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation,
or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril,
or sword?  Romans 8:35.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to
come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be
able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38, 39.

Chapter 12


In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of
sins, according to the riches of his grace.  Ephesians 1:7.

In this verse Paul attributed two notable blessings to the Lord
Jesus, redemption and forgiveness.  Although the Greek word
translated forgiveness in this verse may well carry an eternal
significance, this setting seems to lend itself more to the
practical or timely aspect of God's blessings.  As we learned in
the last chapter on redemption, Christ paid the full price of our
sin debt.  According to the law, he settled the debt in full,
restoring his chosen people to their heavenly inheritance.

In the customary perspective of forgiveness we forgive someone
who offended us without strict legal satisfaction or remedy.
True biblical forgiveness, however, requires that we dispose of
the offense by laying it upon Christ.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32.

Unless you forgive your offender in this manner, the offense will
likely simmer just beneath the surface and reappear in your
relationship with that person at a later time. You may give the
appearance of forgiveness, but you cannot scripturally forgive in
any other manner than this verse sets forth.  These words richly
instruct us. God forgave us for the sake of Christ, his Son.
Jesus prominently appears as the cause of God's kindness, tender-
heartedness, and forgiveness of us.  If we ever truly forgive our
brothers or sisters who offend us, we will necessarily deal with
their offense the same way God dealt with our sins, by looking at
them through Christ.

Our study verse deals with forgiveness between us and God, not
between us and our brother or sister.  From an eternal
perspective, Jesus paid the ransom price for our sins by his own
blood, thus satisfying the legal debt we owed Divine Justice.  He
cancelled the debt!  Redemption assured the eternal security of
everyone for whom Christ died.  God need not do anything else for
our eternity. However, he did something else for us.  In him we
have forgiveness, according to the riches of his grace.  This
thought suggests that, in addition to accomplishing our eternal
redemption, Christ richly endows us with daily blessings and joys
right here in this present life.  Even now, he does not hold
every sin against us.  He forgives us according to the riches of
his grace.  When we sin or fail to honor him, he deals with us as
with children.  He chastens, but does not kill.  We appear before
the parental judgment seat of Christ, but we will never appear
before the judicial bar of Eternal Justice.  Christ appeared
there and settled that legal matter for us. God's chastening does
not intend to extract payment for our disobedience.  Even in a
timely sense under God's parental law, we could not pay our debt.
Chastening serves to correct the erring behavior of the child,
not make him pay his legal debt.  We should not ignore that often
a child of God sins in ways that impose lasting consequences upon
his conscience and upon the lives of those close to him.
However, according to the riches of God's forgiving grace, he
does not hold such a sin between us and him, even in a timely
sense.  He richly sends his forgiving grace!

We need to carefully examine our view of forgiveness, biblical
forgiveness.  Repentance, however sincere and thorough, cannot
erase the debt of our wrongs.  A good life from this date forward
cannot block out the black stain of past mistakes.  We cannot
repay all the debts our past sins accrued.  Only the riches of
God's forgiving grace can put those sins in the past and enable
us to look to him with a clean heart.  David's prayer for
forgiveness speaks volumes to this point.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:2.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall
be whiter than snow.  Psalm 51:7.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit
within me.  Psalm 51:9, 10.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy
free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and
sinners shall be converted unto thee.  Psalm 51:12, 13.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou
delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a
broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt
not despise.  Psalm 51:16, 17.

Remember, the writer of these words was David, the man after
God's own heart.  He was not a lost sinner, but a broken,
chastened child of God praying for forgiveness.  He realized his
deep need for present inner cleansing from his black sin.  The
cleansing for which he prayed had nothing to do with his eternal
redemption, but it had everything to do with his timely service
to God and the joy of his salvation.  That we have the psalms and
the continuous record of his life after this event witnesses that
God answered his prayer and forgave him.

Did God arbitrarily decide to overlook David's sin, as if to
pardon a convicted criminal?  No, ten thousand times, no!  He
forgave David exactly as he forgives us today.  In Christ we have
forgiveness according to the riches of his grace!  May we
treasure this rich blessing of grace!

Chapter 13


Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that
is in Christ Jesus.  Romans 3:24.

Any serious Bible study of eternal salvation will necessarily
delve into the issue of law, God's law.  According to scripture,
God has no intention of populating heaven with pardoned
criminals.  Rather, he made full provision to satisfy his holy
law for every sin of every person who will live with him in
eternity.  Job questioned his miserable comforters, "I know it is
so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?" Job 9:2.
Job's question urges our thoughts into this rich field of God's
justice and man's sin.  That God will not condemn a good man, all
will gladly confirm.  How a man becomes good before God commands
our attention.  Job's friends accused him of some secret sin,
protesting that God would never unjustly punish a good man.  They
could not see beyond their own good works, a common problem with
many theologians. Job agreed with their conclusion, but countered
with the probing question, "How can a man be just with God?"

Perhaps theologians and preachers have over-simplified the
question of justification.  One school of thought insists on
salvation by works; the other insists on salvation without works.
We cannot study Bible justification without reaching the
conclusion that a tremendous work must occur to justify a man.
The real question is this, "Whose works justify the sinner?"  The
Bible answer cries out that man's works, mixed with sin and ego,
cannot justify the sinner before a righteous God.  When Paul
taught Titus that God saved us according to his mercy, "Not by
works of righteousness," he intended the best of human effort,
not the worst.  Those who believe in salvation by works attempt
to make the works of righteousness in this verse contrived,
imagined good works. The definition of righteousness, in English
or in Greek, will not allow this interpretation.  A contrived
righteousness is hypocrisy, not actual righteousness.  The Greek
word translated righteousness in this verse means equitable in
character or act, innocent, or holy.  This strict definition
limits the verse to valid righteous actions, not hypocritical or
selfish pretenses.  Paul said that these acts of righteousness do
not accomplish our salvation.  Job countered his miserable
comforters with the probing question, "How can man be just with

Our study verse reveals the simple beauty of God's righteous
character.  According to his own law and justice, he accomplished
our justification.  In our criminal court system normally one of
two verdicts will be reached, guilty or innocent.  In the New
Testament the parallel to these two verdicts is condemnation and
justification. Condemnation equates to our verdict of guilty, and
justification equates to innocent, or not guilty.  How can God
declare a man innocent whose lifestyle loved sin and pursued it?
Can a few acts of obedience or legitimate righteousness erase the
black sins of the past?  No, Paul's conclusion in Titus 3:5
addressed this matter precisely.

Being justified freely by his grace.  Freely, without a price,
what does this mean?  It cannot apply to God, for the remainder
of the verse defines the price Jesus paid for our justification,
his very life.  It refers to us; we did not pay a price for our
justification.  God did not impose the price of justification
upon us.  God demanded that justice be satisfied for our
salvation.  Our question should not quarrel over works.  God
saved us by works!  Our question, answered by this verse, should
rather be this.  Whose works saved us?  Everything Jesus did
during his thirty three years upon earth represent his works for
our salvation.  Did God accept his works for our salvation?  Yes!
The price of our justification cost Jesus his life, but God gave
it to us freely, without a price!

Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  We tend to
isolate various Bible doctrines in neat little isolation
chambers, but the Bible will not tolerate such narrow thinking.
This verse joins justification, our legal peace with God, and
redemption, our indebtedness to God.  When Jesus paid the price
of redemption, he freed us from the debt of sin.  Simultaneously,
he accomplished our justification, our legal position of
innocence.  The context of Titus 3 enlightens this topic

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according
to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his
grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal
life.  Titus 3:5-7.

Paul captured all of our salvation in these verses.  Not by
equitable, holy,  innocent actions which we did, but according to
his mercy, he saved us.  He didn't perfume over the stench of our
sins.  He washed them away in his blood.  Through denotes agency,
instrumentality.  By the agency of Jesus Christ, not our own
works of righteousness, he saved us.  This work assures a certain
result.  Justifying us by his grace, God makes us heirs of
eternal life.

Does the Bible teach other aspects of justification?  Of course,
but only this justification by grace, through the redemptive
death of Christ, saves the sinner from eternal separation.  "For
if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but
not before God," Romans 4:2. Without a doubt, Abraham was
justified by works. Did those works earn an eternal reward for
him?  Did they give him reason to glory before God?  No!  In the
court of his conscience he could rejoice that God approved of his
righteous life.  Surely, anything which earns an eternal place
with God deserves glory.  The Bible teaches that Abraham was
justified both by faith and by works.  Did either of these
matters earn his eternal life?  No, only one thing gave him
reason to rejoice and glory before God, the day of Christ, John

Chapter 14

Legal Sanctification

Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.  He taketh away
the first, that he may establish the second.  By the which will
we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus
Christ once for all.  Hebrews 10:9, 10.

We will study the Bible doctrine of sanctification in two phases,
legal and practical.  Unfortunately, most contemporary teaching
on this subject deals with only one of these aspects, while
ignoring the other.  As we will see, the Bible contains both, and
the believer needs to know both dimensions of sanctification.  We
will study legal sanctification first.

Hebrews 10 deals powerfully with the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
The two verses quoted above reflect the lesson's conclusion on
the issue of legal sanctification.  It begins with a quotation
from Psalm 40.  The rejection of sacrifices offered under the law
does not contradict God's institution of those sacrifices.  It
rather enlightens us to the reality that those sacrifices never
removed sin from a single sinner!  Verse 1 of this chapter in
Hebrews confirms that point.  Our text deals with the literal
removal of sin by the sacrifice of Christ, not its symbolic
removal by those offerings under the law.  Therefore, he could
correctly bypass every offering which the Old Testament priests

What puts away our sins?  The last part of the quotation from
Psalm 40 represents the words of the incarnate Christ, "I come to
do thy will, O God."  Jesus came into the world to perform God's
will, as symbolically stated in those Old Testament sacrifices.
However, he did not take away symbolic sin.  He took away actual
sin, the legal debt of the sins of those for whom he died.  "By
the which will," Jesus incarnate performing the Father's will,
sanctified those for whom he died.  Did Jesus die for every human
being?  If he did, every human being was sanctified, for his
sacrificial offering of his own body fully accomplished the
sanctification of those for whom he died.

Through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.  Through
denotes means or agency.  The means of our sanctification, our
eternal sanctification, Jesus accomplished through his death on
our behalf.  Once for all refers to time.  Once, for all time,
Jesus' death sanctified those for whom he died.  This speaks of
absolute accomplishment, not a provisional or conditional
proposition. Once Jesus died, the Father looks upon every one for
whom he died as fully sanctified to him, without sin, spot,
wrinkle, blemish, or any such thing, as if they had never
committed the least sin of any sort.

Many systems of belief make a difference between sins committed
before salvation and sins committed after salvation.  This lesson
makes no such artificial difference. Jesus died to satisfy God's
holy demands for every sin which his elect would ever commit,
before or after he saved them.  Once for all time, he satisfied
the legal requirements of Divine Justice for our sins, thus
sanctifying us to the Father as holy vessels of mercy.

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
sanctified.  Hebrews 10:14.

First, he sanctified us by his coming to accomplish the Father's
will.  Then he offered himself to the Father, as both priest and
offering.  By that offering, unconditionally accepted by the
Father, he perfected us for ever. Before he saved us, after he
saved us, for time, or for eternity, his offering to the Father
perfected us for ever.

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.  I
Corinthians 1:30.

When I began this study, I promised to keep you close to your
Lord.  How can we explore these doctrines apart from him?

Why should we make this issue of our redemption, sanctification,
and eternal salvation so important?  My friends, at best, we will
spend but a brief time in this life. From womb to tomb, our life
is no more than a vapor, a puff of mist which appears and then
vanishes.  The success or failure of what Jesus did, as reflected
in these Bible doctrines, determines where we will spend
eternity. Jesus gave us supreme comfort that he would accomplish
the Father's will, our sanctification, our redemption, and our
eternal perfection.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from
heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent
me.  And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of
all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should
raise it up again at the last day.  John 6:37-39.

Hebrews 10 tells us that Jesus came to do the Father's will,
intimately associated with the lesson of Old Testament
sacrifices.  It assures us that his coming accomplished what
those sacrifices could never do.  By coming to do the Father's
will, he sanctified those for whom he came.  By his sacrificial
death, he perfected for ever those whom he had thus sanctified.

What does this mean to you?  It means that God now looks upon you
as if you had never known sin in your life. You may live with
your failures and sins.  The sting of conscience may inflict
daily pain upon you.  Painful as it may seem, this sting may be a
blessing in disguise to prevent you from future sins.  To
understand these doctrines means you understand that God does not
see you as you see yourself.  He sees you through the crimson
flow of Christ's offering.  His sight of your sins stops there.
When he looks beyond Christ at you, he only sees you in
sanctified perfection and love.

Chapter 15

Practical Sanctification

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye
should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should
know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not
in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not
God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter:
because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have
forewarned you and testified.  For God hath not called us unto
uncleanness, but unto holiness.  I Thessalonians 4:3-7.

When confronted with the idea of salvation altogether by grace
without works, those who believe in salvation by works often
object, "If I believed that, I'd go out in the world and take my
fill of sin."  Perhaps they respond to a deficiency of knowledge,
but their answer reveals a dreadful lack of respect for practical
sanctification.  One could infer from their answer that the only
reason they live a godly life is to gain eternal security, a
self-centered motive at best.  What about the Bible motives of
love, and God-honoring integrity?  Are they not incentive enough
for godly living?

God carefully instructed us in discipleship with good cause. He
did not intend that discipleship should purchase heaven for us.
Discipleship, practical sanctification, builds upon the secure
family relationship of God's grace. Its only motive should be
loving respect and gratitude for the God who loved and saved us
when we were unlovable and incapable of saving ourselves.  To
that end, we examine this lesson of practical sanctification.

What is the will of God in practical sanctification?  For God
hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.  This
topic includes both those things which we should practice and
those from which we should abstain.  The verses quoted here deal
with the negative. Verses 9-12 deal with positive holiness.
Before we can commit our lives to positive holiness, we must
discipline our conduct and remove sinful habits.  That ye should
abstain from …. defines the first step of practical
sanctification.  Let's examine Paul's list.

Fornication, sins of a sexual nature, this word embraces far more
than mere sexual intimacy with someone other than your marriage
partner.  The word in the Greek language is the root for our
English word, pornography.  Sexual sins of any sort tend to be
addictive.  They consume the mind and rob it of that sense of
holy integrity which honors God.

That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in
sanctification and honour, applies to all appetites of the body,
not just the sexual appetite. Lack of control and moderation in
any area of physical appetite often blights the otherwise
positive influence of those who profess godliness.

The lust of concupiscence, carries our minds beyond the actions
of the body to the source of those actions, the lust of the mind.
Lust represents any unlawful desire.  James 1:15 explicitly maps
the degenerative progress of lust from the evil desire in the
mind, to sin in action, to death.  We should not underestimate
the deceptive powers of Satan as to the illusive consequences of
any form of lust, sexual, financial, or ego-oriented power over
our fellow-man. Lust may bring momentary pleasure, but it will
always bring long-term misery!

That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter,
applies practical sanctification to the more subtle interaction
we experience in our daily routine with each other, especially
those whom we know and regard as fellow-members of God's family.
The marginal footnote to the word defraud, suggests that the word
applies to oppressive activities, over-reaching the other
person's rights or feelings. We call this activity "Stepping on
the other person's toes."  Often, under the guise of honest
dialogue, an aggressive Christian will wound a fellow-believer
with cruel personal attacks.  This abrasive action violates
practical sanctification.  It satisfies the ego of the aggressor,
but it does not in any way represent the gentle holiness of
conduct which our Lord has commanded.

Did you notice the grouping of these negative violations into two
categories?  The first violation deals with an uncontrolled
physical appetite.  The second warns of aggressive tendencies in
personal relationships.  God always applies his counsel where it
is needed.  On the positive side of this topic, build your holy
lifestyle on the following activities:

Brotherly love, treat every member of God's family with the same
loving protection and tenderness as if they were your brother or

God taught you to love one another.  The word translated love in
this phrase defines a kind of love entirely different from
brotherly love.  It comes from the Greek word which always refers
to God's love, love which does not evaluate whether the object
deserves to be loved or is lovable.  It describes unselfish,
sacrificial love which looks out for the good of another above
self.  It raises our spiritual minds above the lower, but
altogether commendable, fraternal love of brothers and sisters.

Verse 11 instructs us to study, engage in deep, contemplative
meditation.  Our study should seek three objectives; personal
quietness (the avoidance of foot in mouth disease), attention to
personal responsibilities and calling (not minding the other
fellow's business), and personal work (doing what God has
assigned to us).  The consequence of this study will appear in
the activities of Verse 11, honest, well-grounded walk toward
them that are without.

May God direct and strengthen our practical sanctification!

Chapter 16

God's Abundant Wisdom And Prudence

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of
sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath
abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.  Ephesians 1:7, 8.

Sometimes verse and chapter division in the New Testament text
hinders our study.  We should always study these writings as one
continuous document, not as a fragmented writing of disjointed
thoughts.  Although we have already explored Verse 7, it forms an
integral part of the sentence structure of Verse 8.  Verse 7
communicates two essential blessings which God bestows upon the
heirs of his grace, redemption, eternal union through his blood,
and forgiveness, timely kindness and relief through his rich

Wherein he hath abounded toward us.  We could think of
innumerable blessings in which God has abounded toward us.  In
all of his intervention in our lives, God abounds in blessing.
Verse 3 of this chapter comprehensively embraces all spiritual
blessings which we enjoy in Christ.  This particular verse
focuses tightly on God's abundant blessing in two individual
factors, redemption and forgiveness.  God's redemption did not
make a meager down payment on our salvation, reducing the debt of
our sins to an amount we could pay.  He paid the full price of
the debt!  God's forgiveness was not a grudging, "I'll forgive,
but I won't forget."  He did not forgive us on conditions or
contingencies of our obedience. He forgave us freely for Jesus'

In all wisdom.  When God arranged the scheme of salvation before
he created the universe, he knew exactly what was necessary to
accomplish our salvation.  He knew who would be saved, and how.
He arranged everything which his will and holy nature required to
justly pay our redemption and restore us to our inheritance.  The
death of Christ was particular, not general. He died for the
elect, not for every human being. "I am the good shepherd: the
good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep," John 10:11.  It
assured the salvation of all the elect for whom he died.  "All
that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh
to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from heaven,
not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And
this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which
he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up
again at the last day," John 6:37-39. I added emphasis to
underscore the certainty of Christ's work.  All whom the Father
gave to his darling Son shall come to him.  According to the will
of God which determines and governs the question of salvation,
none whom the Father gave to Christ shall be lost, but he will
raise them all up to be with him at the last day.  This certain
accomplishment in the work of Christ displays the wisdom of God,
his abounding wisdom in our redemption.

In all prudence.  Prudence was translated from a Greek word which
means perceptive insight.  God did not plan salvation, hoping to
save all mankind, only to realize in time that his plan was not
sufficient and that most of mankind would not cooperate.  His
omniscience, his all-knowing attribute, comprehended every event
in history, every thought which would ever pass through every
mind.  He made the saving choice of the elect, and then designed
the exact means to redeem them from their sins and secure their
eternal life.  He wisely and prudently determined that his will
and its fulfillment would coincide in the salvation of those whom
he chose.  The popular idea that God willed the salvation of the
whole human race, but that only a small per cent of that number
will realize salvation, slanders the integrity of God!

Having considered God's wisdom and prudence in our eternal
salvation, we now examine his regard for our timely blessings in
forgiveness.  If you think of God's holy nature without regard
for his merciful kindness, you could quickly remove every joy
from your mind.  According to scripture, the thought of
foolishness is sin, Proverbs 24:9.  "If thou, Lord, shouldest
mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" Psalm 130:3.  Do you
see the force of these words from Solomon and his father David?
In the sense of eternal justice, God does regard iniquity!  His
regard for iniquity caused him to send his Son to die for the
sins of those whom he loved.  His judicial regard for iniquity
will sentence the wicked to eternal punishment.  These words
speak to God's timely forgiveness of his own children.  They
rejoice that he does not regard iniquity in his children, at
least in the way their iniquities deserve.  Certainly, he
chastens them as children, but he does not impose the legal debt
of their sins upon them.  If he did, none could stand before him.

The religious elite of Jesus' day despised him for telling a poor
beggar, "Thy sins be forgiven thee."  Some things never change!
The religious elite look upon the same sick man and tell him all
the impossible things he must do to earn God's forgiveness.  If
someone just told a sin-sick man that God had forgiven his sins,
these people would accuse the good news bearer of blasphemy, just
as they accused Jesus.  Without God's merciful, wise prudence in
our forgiveness, the church would cease, for none could bow in
worship unforgiven.  None could pray or show compassion in any
way to the unfortunate.  Since none could claim God's
forgiveness, none could forgive those who offend them.  We would
live in a cold, unforgiving world void of any value whatever.
Thank God, his wisdom and prudence abounds toward us in
forgiveness!  All of the blessings we enjoy in time as believers
in God start at this abundant fountain of refreshing forgiveness.

How does God forgive us?  From this same letter to the Ephesians,
Paul tells us.  "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and
clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all
malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you,"
Ephesians 4:31, 32.

Because God forgave us for Christ's sake, not our own, we can put
away bitterness, wrath, anger, raging clamor and resentful angry
speech.  We can be kind to each other.  We can even forgive each
other in exactly the same way God forgave us, through Christ!

Chapter 17

A Mystery Made Known

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to
his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.  Ephesians

Man's intense hunger to understand the mysterious may be his
greatest blessing and his blackest curse.  It drives him to new
discoveries in medicine, astronomy, and many humane fields.  It
also drives him into senseless speculation in his religious life.
Who said, "The heart is deceitful above all things and
desperately wicked?"

Ephesians 1 says as much about the will of God as any single
chapter in the Bible, verses 1, 5, 9, and 11. Enlarge your study
to all the issues in the chapter which relate to these verses,
and you see most of the chapter as a detailed technical, but
understandable, revelation of God's will.  Many religious
teachers reluctantly confess that election and predestination are
Bible doctrines, but tell you that they are mysteries which God
has chosen not to reveal to us, so we should avoid mention of
them, especially in public sermons and to young converts. I'm
glad Paul showed no such reluctance.  According to this chapter,
both these Bible doctrines pertain directly to the will of God,
and Paul revealed the relationship.  Did God reveal everything in
his will to us?  No, but he did reveal the things we can find in

In this chapter Paul presented a comprehensive diagram of God's
eternal purpose.  How does God save sinners? Why does he save
sinners?  Who does he save?  These questions have been debated by
theologians from the First Century.  Study Acts 15.  A believing,
respectful reading of this one chapter from the New Testament
would eliminate most of those destructive wrangling debates.  God
saves according to his will.  He saves those whom he chose in
Christ before the foundation of the world.  He purposed
everything necessary to accomplish their salvation in his Son
Jesus Christ.  Biblical election and predestination do not
reflect pagan fatalism, but rather the tender love of a God who
will protect and preserve his family from all enemies and

The New Testament mentions several mysteries, most often in a
context of explanation and revelation.  In I Timothy 3:16 Paul
wrote of the great mystery of the incarnation, Christ coming in
bodily form and returning to glory.  The mystery unfolded as he
reminded young Timothy that God was manifest in the flesh.  Jesus
was not a super-man who finally reached the human potential.  He
was God in the flesh!  This explained the mystery. In Colossians
1:26, 27 Paul wrote of a mystery which godly people from the
creation of the world had struggled to understand.  He told these
New Testament Christians that the key to that past mystery was
quite simple, Christ in you, the hope of glory.  As Christ was in
the Colossians, he was also in his saints throughout all past
ages.  As he was the Colossians' hope of glory, he was theirs,
too.  In I Corinthians 15:51 Paul discussed the mystery of a
bodily resurrection.  How significant this lesson should be to
countless preachers and religious professors who claim to be
Christians, but deny a bodily resurrection.  We understand
change; we live with it all the time.  My hair which was dark
brown a few years ago has changed to gray.  Paul reminded the
Corinthians that the resurrection will occur through a powerful
change which God will orchestrate at the end of time.

God could save sinners without their knowledge.  He could apply
Jesus' sacrificial blood of cleansing to their souls and remove
every obstacle from their entrance into glory, yet keep them in
total ignorance of the matter. However, according to Paul, God
chose not to follow this course.  Does he reveal the details of
salvation to all whom he saves?  No, but he has chosen to reveal
his saving purpose and truth to some portion of his family with
the charge that they make it known to their brothers and sisters
in God's family.

The mystery of God's will which he has made known to us in this
verse reflects his good pleasure which he purposed in himself.
The gospel message we preach to hungry souls should contain the
same message.  It should focus on the same topic, God's will and
good pleasure which he purposed in himself.

All too often, religious teachers tell their audiences that God
wills many things, but most of those things will never occur for
a variety of reasons, including man's lack of cooperation with
the will of God.  Such a message stands diametrically opposed to
Paul's message in Ephesians 1! They pray, "Thy will be done," but
they teach that it will never be done!  How can we so dishonor
the God of the Bible?

In Daniel 4:35 Nebuchadnezzar declared that God does according to
his will in heaven and earth.  In Isaiah 55:11 God declared the
uncompromising success of his word.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall
not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I
please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Please note that God's word goes out of his mouth, not out of
man's.  The verse speaks of God's personal will and his personal
work to accomplish that will.  This language will hear nothing of
a frustrated will.  God will have his way!

Consider these words from David in I Chronicles 29:11.

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and
the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and
in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art
exalted as head above all.

May we honor our God by honoring his victory, and praising the
certainty of his will in our salvation.

Chapter 18

Abundant Ingathering

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather
together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth; even in him.  Ephesians 1:10.

This verse continues Paul's explanation of the mystery God made
known to us according to the good pleasure of his will.
Scripture reveals God's will in all matters which we need to know
in this life.  Does God will certain things of which we have no
knowledge?  Of course, but any attempt to explore those matters
can only result in senseless speculation.  We have a wonderful
sufficiency of information in those matters where God has
revealed his will through scripture.

When does this verse become reality?  What does Paul mean by the
"Dispensation of the fulness of times?"  The Greek word
translated dispensation means administration or economy.  Rather
than referring to a particular age or dispensation of time, it
seems to refer to God's ultimate administration of time.
Fullness carries the thought of completion, of finality.  In this
statement Paul gave us his view of the end of time from God's
perspective. The God who created the universe in a brief
orchestrated fiat of Divine energy will likewise bring this same
universe to an end with equal haste.  Paul reveals part of the
mystery of that end-time.  The God who administers the whole
dimension of time will bring it to completion, to fullness, and
end its economy.

Perhaps more speculation and wild conjecture take place from
pulpits on this topic than on any other major Bible doctrine.
Often preachers will read a small portion of a figurative lesson
from scripture and offer their unfounded interpretation that the
lesson applies to the end time.  Since the lesson is figurative,
they cannot prove their interpretation.  Regardless of the wild
horrors they suggest, people blindly grasp every word, because
they hunger for information about that marvelous event.  One
school of religious thought suggests that the whole issue of
eternity is a mystery of which we know absolutely nothing.  The
other subjects eternity to their endless wrestings and senseless
conjecture.  Meanwhile, the hungry sheep of God's pasture wander
in confusion, crying out for some assurance of convincing truth
about that final event in God's administration of time.  Shame,

In this verse Paul carefully avoided any suggestion of figurative
or symbolic language.  He told us that this message makes up part
of God's revealed explanation, the mystery made known, about the
end of time.  He found it unnecessary to frighten the Ephesians
with predictions of bloody wars where human blood would rise to
the level of a horse's bridle in the valley of the war.  He made
no suggestion of a secret rapture where some would be taken to
glory in the middle of the night, while other poor souls remained
behind to wonder what had happened.

What events will characterize the end of time?  What will God
really do in that final moment of time?  According to Paul, he
will "Gather together in one all things in Christ." What does
this mean?  What are all things in Christ?  He provided another
clue to help us understand more of the mystery God has made known
about this event, "Both which are in heaven, and which are on
earth." Apparently, some of those things which are in Christ will
be in heaven at the end, and some will be on earth. Without
mentioning the word, Paul could not have more clearly described
the resurrection of the dead, the last event of time, I
Corinthians 15:51, 52.

Consider another verse whose image of the resurrection contains
great comfort.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them
also which sleep (Their bodies sleep in the grave.) in Jesus will
God bring (Their living souls which enjoyed the glory of heaven
during the time between their death and the resurrection.) with
him.  I Thessalonians 4:14.

Do you see how this verse from I Thessalonians describes the
gathering of things in heaven and things on earth? God's will,
his good pleasure, is to gather together, restore to oneness,
that which was separated in death, body and soul.  Does the Bible
teach a literal bodily resurrection? Yes, it certainly does!
From Job 19:26 (Perhaps the most graphic verse in the Bible on a
literal bodily resurrection.  God's resurrection will restore
what worms destroyed in the grave!) to I Corinthians 15, the
Bible distinctly teaches that the same body which died will rise
and be changed to inhabit eternity with God.  Do we fully
understand the resurrection?  No, but the Bible teaches us that
it will occur nonetheless.  We will not inhabit a newly created
body in eternity; we will inhabit the same body we occupied in
time, but it will be changed and adapted to eternity.  God will
gather together in Christ that which was separated in death.  He
will restore the body to life, but it will be a different life
than we experienced on earth.  What the new birth did to the
soul, the resurrection will do to the body.

I can think of nothing which more justifies the victorious
declaration of Christ in Revelation 1:8, "I am Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which
was, and which is to come, the Almighty."  Alpha is the first
letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last.  Jesus said,
"I am Alpha and Omega."  He did not merely say that he controlled
the beginning and the end.  He said he was the beginning and the
end.  As God sovereignly operated in the creation, the beginning
of time, he will sovereignly operate in the end of time, the

We will study more about this subject.

Chapter 19

Universalism Examined

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather
together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth; even in him.  Ephesians 1:10.

Appealing to seemingly universal terms in scripture, people
occasionally decide that God determined to save every human
being, the doctrine of universalism.  This tendency takes on two
distinct forms.  The common form alleges that Jesus died for
every person, making it possible for them to be saved if they
comply with certain conditions.  This doctrine makes the will of
man, not the will of God, operative in salvation.  It slanders
the will of God, for it teaches that the death of Christ alone
saves no one!  Man must do something in addition to what Jesus
did, or he will not be saved.  This error has been sufficiently
discussed that I will not further deal with it in this chapter.
The other error asserts that God will actually save all mankind.
Advocates of this position use such verses as this to advance
their position, alleging that God will gather together in one all
things, meaning all mortals who ever lived or will live.  They
build their position on a few such verses, while wresting,
denying, or ignoring a large number of scriptures which
distinctly teach that God will punish the wicked in eternity.

Paul classified all things which God will gather together.  He
will gather all things that are in Christ.  He made the same use
of all in Verse 3 where he stated that God has blessed us with
all spiritual blessings in Christ.  As we enjoy no spiritual
blessings outside of Christ, God has no intention of gathering
together anything which he has not already treasured in Christ.
Of those whom he chose in Christ, all share that eternal standing
with full security that they will not lose it.  However, this
standing in Christ does not include all mankind!  It applies
particularly to those whom God chose and placed in Christ before
the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4.

Biblical harmony will balance our minds against invasive
extremes.  If we study the Bible on the premise that God inspired
it and that he preserved its valid message to his family, void of
contradiction, then we can freely examine our opinions in the
light of all scripture, not just those scriptures which seem to
favor our private viewpoint.  Let's examine some verses which
deal with God's eternal judgment to see if they support the
universalist position.

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that
are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth;
they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they
that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John
5:28, 29.

Does this verse teach that all will rise from the dead to glory?
Or does it teach that some will rise to eternal life and some to
eternal punishment, damnation?  To ask the question challenges
the clear literal reality of the verse!  What does this verse
teach about the final resurrection?  First, it denies the popular
doctrine of a split

resurrection, that the righteous will rise at one time and the
wicked will rise to judgment years, perhaps as many as a thousand
years, later.  The hour is coming, one epochal time, one hour,
one moment of measurable time, in which both the wicked and the
righteous will rise from the dead.  Notice that those who rise
from the dead rise in the character of their nature and destiny.
The righteous rise to life, and the wicked to damnation.  This
verse does not teach salvation by works, but it certainly does
confirm that a man is known by his works.  The law of God written
in the heart of all the elect at the new birth, will convert a
man or woman to a different lifestyle than they formerly pursued.
The good tree, made good by the grace of God, will bring forth
good fruit, and the evil tree will bring forth evil fruit.  This
verse emphatically rejects the concept that all will rise to
eternal life and glory!

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that
there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and
unjust.  Acts 24:15.

In this verse, which forms part of Paul's defense of his faith,
he obviously defined what historic Baptists and Bible believers
have defended throughout the ages, that there will be a general
resurrection, both of the just and the unjust.  At the
resurrection, mankind will be divided into two categories, just
and unjust.  Does this sound like universalism?

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy
angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall
separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep
from the goats.  Matthew 25:31, 32.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the
righteous into life eternal. Matthew 25:46.

Occasionally, people attempt to interpret this lesson as if sheep
were obedient children of God and goats were disobedient children
of God.  My friends, the lesson says too much for that position!
Do those who hold to this position believe in evolution, natural
or spiritual?  Their position requires that they believe in
spiritual evolution. Sheep and goats differ genetically!  You
cannot feed a goat enough sheep food to convert him into a sheep;
neither can you feed a sheep goat food and convert him into a
goat!  The basis of division relates to a distinction in
essential nature, not behavior.  Sheep and goats will be
separated from each other.  Sheep manifested that they were sheep
by their lifestyle, and goats manifested that they were goats by
their lifestyle.  Children of God may change from time to time,
from obedience to disobedience or from disobedience to obedience.
The state of this judgment is final; the punishment and the life
are equally of endless duration.  The Bible does not teach
universal salvation!

Chapter 20

The Inheritance Obtained

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated
according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the
counsel of his own will.  Ephesians 1:11.

Once again, we find the rich treasure of essential Bible doctrine
in our Lord Jesus Christ.  In our study of Verse 10 we learned
that God's will assures the resurrection to glory of all those
whom God chose in Christ.  This verse builds on that truth, but
applies the certainty of God's grace to a blessing we receive and
enjoy in this life.  Also adds the blessings of this verse to
those defined in Verse 10. As we will receive the resurrection to
glory in Christ, we have also obtained the inheritance in him.
God filled this verse full of evidence that salvation is by his
grace and purpose, not by our works.  First, he described this
blessing as an inheritance, not wages, but an inheritance.  You
receive an inheritance based on being named in a will, normally
because of a loving family relationship.  You do not earn your
position in a will.  Your position in the will occurred by the
benefactor's love for you, not by your earning the position.  In
the same manner God saves us according to his eternal will, as it
were, his legal document which distributes his personal estate,
signed and witnessed.  Election, as presented in Verse 4, finds
its completion in perspective of God's will. God did not merely
choose his people arbitrarily, any more than he chose them based
on foreseen good works.  He chose them based on his love and his
determination to shed his love abundantly upon all the
beneficiaries of his will.

Do you actually receive the inheritance of eternal life now, or
must you wait until death?  What does this verse say?  We have
obtained an inheritance in him.  This language does not speak of
future possibility.  It speaks of present reality!  Advocates of
salvation by works teach that no one receives eternal life until
death.  They suggest that you live only with the prospect, the
possibility, of obtaining eternal life.  If, at death, you have
performed enough good works, then you will receive eternal life.
This doctrine violates our verse, along with numerous other
scriptures which teach that God gives us eternal life now, in
this life.  We must wait for the full realization of the
inheritance in the resurrection, but we have now received it in
terms of the new birth, and an irrevocable title to the full

Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh
all things after the counsel of his own will. Once again, Paul
reinforced that predestination has to do with the salvation of
the elect, not with every senseless act of man.  Paul joined
predestination with the inheritance and the will of God, not with
the wicked acts of man!  The will of God, that formal legal
document which named the heirs of eternal glory, designated both
the heirs of God and their inheritance of eternal glory.
Predestination states God's determination to see that those whom
he named in his will shall surely receive their inheritance.

Some interpret the words, "Worketh all things after the counsel
of his own will," to mean that God causes every act of sin which
ever occurs.  They are wrong!  Such an interpretation contradicts
a number of other scriptures which deny that conclusion.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all
churches of the saints.  I Corinthians 14:33.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust
of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is
of the world.  I John 2:16.

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the
valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their
daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came
it into my heart.  Jeremiah 7:31.  (How could God predestinate
something which he did not command, something which did not enter
into his heart?)

What do the words mean, "Being predestinated according to the
purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his
own will?"  All must be interpreted according to the context in
which it appears.  For example, in I John 2:16, quoted above,
"All that is in the world" specifically relates to those things
in the world which meet the descriptions, lust of the flesh, lust
of the eyes, and pride of life.  It makes no reference to the
many other things in the world whose origin is of God.  The
context determines the meaning of all.  In our study verse,
"Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh
all things after the counsel of his own will," should be applied
to all things which relate to our obtaining the inheritance, the
action and accomplishment of the sentence.  God predestinated us
to salvation and ordered everything necessary for that salvation
according to his own will.  In that wonderful activity, God works
everything necessary to accomplish our salvation, the death of
Christ for sin, his intercession before the heavenly court to
accomplish our justification, the application of Christ's blood
to the soul of the elect in the new birth, the preservation of
those so justified in this life, and the glorification of them in
the resurrection.  God is in charge of all these things to assure
that those whom he predestinated according to his eternal will
shall surely be with him in eternity.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with
me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast
given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
John 17:24.

The Father answered this prayer.  The inheritance is certain to
all the family of God!

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