GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

09-07-2022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

GBIBLE.ORG

EPHESIANS 0290-004

PDF: EPHESIANS 0290-004 NOTES

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JESUS CHRIST & CHRIST JESUS & THE DOCTRINE OF DIVINE DECREES PART 1, Definition & Introduction;

EPH 1:1; ISA 46:8-11; ISA 43:7; 2TI 1:8-9.

 

On Sunday morning, the one major point in closing the subject from Lewis Sperry Chafer’s work on Satanology is the fact that;

 

Ignorance of this subject and an inaccurate understanding of the Gospel and its purpose in the world has led astray and distracted these people to help Satan clean up his world.

 

This is so he can try and create further accusation against God.

 

Our main verse is EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

 

Now, in EPH 1:1, so far, we have covered the first phrase in EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle

 

Next, we have the phrase “of Christ Jesus”

 

The next two words;

 

 “of Christou Ieesou” = Christ Jesus – there is no preposition (of) in the original language.

 

The translators add it to make it more understandable.

 

Why does the King James Bible say “of Jesus Christ,”

while the NAS says “of Christ Jesus.”?

 

The NAS = EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus

The K.J.’s = Eph 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ

 

Here again is another reason why we study from the NAS and not the K.J.’s because;

 

In the original manuscripts it says “Christ Jesus” not “Jesus Christ,” which basically follows the rule of emphasizing the deity of Christ, when Christ is put first, or emphasizing the humanity of Christ when Jesus is placed first. (Repeat)

 

Let me give you some examples;

 

The following passages illustrate this principle;

 

We will note Matthew on the Humanity of Jesus and we will note Romans on the deity of Christ.

 

Look at MAT 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David,

 

Go forward to:

 

MAT 1:16 and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

 

In MAT 1:18   Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

 

Look at MAT 16:20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

 

MAT 16:21   From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.

It was Jesus who died for our sins not Christ which is the Messiah part of the name we call Jesus Christ.

 

Here is the main rule to follow:

 

When Jesus is placed first, the passage normally emphasizes the human part of our Lord Jesus Christ, -- when Christ is placed first, the passage normally emphasizes the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

For example, let’s notice when Christ is placed first as in ROM 1:1 Paul, a bond‑servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

 

In ROM 2:16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

 

In ROM 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Then in ROM 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

ROM 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

ROM 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

ROM 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 

Now, remember I said this is usually the norm or standard but is not always the case.

 

Back now to EPH 1:1.

 

EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Next is the phrase;

 

“by the will of God” which is literally, “through the will of God”

 

We have “by the will of God” is literally, “through the will of God,” dia plus the genitive singular of thelama which means God’s will, purpose, design which reveals His Divine decrees.

 

And this brings up one of the most important doctrines in Ephesians, which is;

 

(Y) The Doctrine of Divine Decrees.

 

(Y) Point 1. Definition and Description.

 

The decree of God refers to His eternal (always existed), holy (perfect integrity), wise (the application of omniscience to creation), and sovereign purpose…..

comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions (status), successions (interaction with others), relations, and determining the certainty of their future. ®

 

This definition begins by expressing the source of the decrees which is found in the word "comprehending" referring to the source of the omniscience of God.

 

The definition also expresses the attributes of God in terms of divine will in human history.

 

The definition emphasizes that the omniscience of God knew simultaneously in eternity past everything that would happen in human history (the thoughts, actions and decisions of every person in his life).

 

Look at ISA 46.

 

ISA 46:8 "Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors.

 

ISA 46:9  "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; {I am} God, and there is no one like Me,

 

ISA 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';

 

ISA 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned {it, surely} I will do it.

 

Furthermore, the omniscience of God knew everything in relation to all of the things pertaining to it.

 

So that;

 

The several contents of this one eternal purpose are, because of the limitations of our faculties, necessarily perceived by us in partial aspects and logical relations (from Scripture).

 

This means that we grow little by little.

 

As in ISA 28:10 which says 'Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.'"

 

Therefore,

 

We classify the decrees as being plural, but in reality, it is all ONE decree.

 

Now, while all of this will be technical, it is very important for you to understand this because, it is a reminder to you that;

 

Billions and billions of years ago before man existed God had you personally in mind.

 

And what a comfort that is!

 

And this entire principle is basically discussed in Ephesians 1.

 

EPH 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

 

EPH 1:4  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

 

EPH 1:5  He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

 

EPH 1:6  to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

 

Or EPH 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

 

And as EPH 3:11 says This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,

 

The decrees of God then are His eternal and immutable will regarding the future existence of all events which will happen in time and the precise manner and order of their occurrence.

 

By decrees is meant the eternal plan by which God has rendered certain all of the events of the universe (angelic history, human history) past, present, and future.

 

So, The Decrees of God are the chosen and adopted plan of God for all of His works.

 

Now, when we deal with a subject like this, it requires a tremendous amount of concentration.

 

No one expects you to learn the entire doctrine in one week...it takes time!

 

So, just relax and let God the Holy Spirit communicate to you what you are able to comprehend.

 

The decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsels of His own will whereby for His own glory He has foreordained whatever comes to pass.

ISA 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."

 

PRO 16:4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

 

Look at 2TI 1:8  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,

 

2TI 1:9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

 

Prin-The decrees are the all-inclusive will and purpose of God concerning all that ever was or ever will be, which originates wholly within Himself.

Because of the fact that God is omniscient, He knew everything that would ever happen in one moment of time.

 

So, The decrees are the all-inclusive will and purpose of God concerning all that ever was or ever will be, which originates wholly within Himself and which He must have objectively designed for His own glory and for His satisfaction.

 

And the fact that our life hangs by a very fine thread for His glory and for His satisfaction ought to cause all believers to take their calling and election seriously.

 

So; By accommodation to creatures of time and space which we are, and subject to subdivisions reaching out to such minute details as the falling of the sparrow, all decrees were simultaneous, not given by stages.

 

And therefore, it is most unfortunate that our finite mind must understand these things by stages rather than as one divine decree.

 

Therefore, Because of the finite mental limitations of man, we must perceive them by logical and chronological progression.

 

The human mind, when thinking properly, thinks according to logic and chronology or the order of things that follow.

 

All decrees are efficacious in that they determine all that ever was, all that is, and all that ever will be, but the decrees are viewed by man from two standpoints.

 

(a) First of all from the standpoint of the word efficacious which means that which is directly wrought by God from His sovereignty.

 

Secondly, (b) From the standpoint of permissiveness, it is that which is appointed by God to be accomplished by secondary causes or by the free will and action of agents (the free will of man).

 

Permissive refers to the free will of man or the volition of mankind.

 

And from this comes that concept that the sovereignty of God and the free will of man co-exist in human history by divine decree.

 

(Y) Point 2. There are five characteristics of the divine decrees.

 

(Y) First of all, the decrees of God are all comprehensive which means that not the slightest uncertainty could exist as to one of the smallest or most insignificant of events without confusion to all. 

 

In other words,

 

You cannot change what God has decreed to happen.

 

What about my decisions that I would make”

 

The Lord knew about them from eternity past and they were placed in His divine decrees.

 

You cannot change history because history has already been written and revealed in the divine decrees.

 

Therefore, All events in the life of every person are interwoven and interdependent.

 

This means that all the decisions that we would ever make, with the people that surround us, are all related to the Divine Decrees.

 

This is why God is not the author of confusion; 1CO 14:33.

 

1CO 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

 

Think about it;

 

Everything you think, why you think it, and the environment in which you think it, was all known to God in eternity past.

 

This also says everything in life is a chain of cause-and-effect events.

 

This is one of the meanings behind such passages as;

 

LUK 12:6  "Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And {yet} not one of them is forgotten before God."

LUK 12:7  "Indeed, (even)the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.

 

Now, although it may not seem to some of you that your life has been blended perfectly together by God, in heaven you will understand that it was!

 

God is perfect and therefore He gave you life at the exact time that He knew would be the best time and environment for you personally.

 

God is perfect and therefore He chose who your parents at the exact time that He knew would be the best time and environment for you personally.

 

He picked your parents!

 

He picked the color of your skin!

 

He picked your gender!  Male or female.

 

He picked your environment!

 

He even picked what genes you would have in your DNA which makes you unique!

 

So, everything that every person does or will do has always been known to God and God has decreed for all these things to exist.

 

Everything you think, why you think it, and even the environment in which you think it, was all known to God in eternity past.

 

Still under Point 2. The five characteristics of the Divine Decrees.

 

(Y) The second characteristic is that the divine decrees are eternal. 

God is not gaining in knowledge.

 

What God has known at any time He has always known.

 

Omniscience means God knew simultaneously everything that ever was or will be in their causes, conditions, successions, and relations.

 

Understanding the omniscience of God is a great factor in understanding the divine decrees.

 

And this is why we spent some time on the omniscience of God!

Therefore;

The decrees are the eternal and simultaneous knowledge of omniscience expressing the will of God by which all things are brought into being and controlled and are made subject to His divine pleasure, and result in His eternal glory.

(Y) The third characteristic is that God is perfect; therefore, His decrees are perfect. 

 

Now this is vital for you to understand.

 

They are not perfect in content, because they include evil, sin, failure, etc.

 

But everything that would ever happen was always known to God.

 

His is a perfect system of comprehension.

 

It does not always appear that way as they relate to us because we have a tendency to be relative and temporal and not realize that God sees the end of what He's doing!

 

And in Deu 32:4;

DEU 32:4 "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

 

(Y) The fourth characteristic is that the decrees are unchangeable and certain. 

 

Nothing can possibly occur to necessitate a change.

 

God is never caught "not knowing" something.

 

As I have told you many times before,

 

God is never shocked at what we think, say, or do, because He knew it billions and billions of years ago in eternity past.

 

And; When you see passages like Gen 6, where God seems to change his mind about creating man, it is still a part of the divine decrees.

It is not a change of the divine decrees, so let me illustrate this with the passage in GEN 6.

 

GEN 6:1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,

 

GEN 6:2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

 

GEN 6:3 Then the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

 

GEN 6:4  The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore   children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

GEN 6:5   Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 

GEN 6:6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

 

GEN 6:7 And the Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."

 

God has never had to make any changes or any adjustments in the divine decrees.

 

(Y) The fifth characteristic, the decrees are the free choice of God in eternity past.

 

This is the most important point to understand, one which many theologians do not understand.

God is not bound to follow any necessary path.

 

GEN 16:9 Then the angel of the Lord [Jesus Christ] said to her [Hagar],"Return to your mistress [Sarah], and submit yourself to her authority."

 

GEN 16:10  Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, "I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall be too many to count."

 

Now, that word "Moreover," because it has to do with the fact that if Hagar obeys TLJC, His will is to bless her but she must obey Him in order for His blessing to be upon her.

 

And that is why we have begun a study on a very technical doctrine, which is the Doctrine of the Divine Decrees.

 

 

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