God's Plan

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 

HE SPOKE, and galaxies whirled into place, stars burned in the heavens, and planets began orbiting their suns - words of awesome, unlimited, unleashed power. He spoke again and the waters and lands were filled with plants and creatures, running, swimming, growing, and multiplying - words of animating, breathing, pulsing life. Again he spoke, and man and woman were formed, thinking, speaking and loving  - words of personal and creative glory! Eternal, infinite, unlimited - he was, is, and always will be the Maker and Lord of all that exists! 

And then he came in the flesh to a speck in the universe called planet earth. The mighty Creator became a part of the creation, limited by time and space and susceptible to aging and death. But love propelled him, and so he came to rescue and save those who were lost and to give them the gift of eternity. He is the Word; he is Jesus, the Christ. ~ NJKV

 "I am the bread of life; I am the light of the world; I am the door; I am the good shepherd; I am the resurrection and the life; I am the way, the truth, and the life; I am the true vine." ~ John NKJV

When God created, he made something from nothing. Because we are created beings, we have no basis for pride. Remember that you exist only because God made you, and you have special gifts only because God gave them to you. With God you are something valuable and unique; apart from God you are nothing, and if you try to live without him, you will be abandoning the purpose for which you were made. ~ NKJV

The darkness of evil never has and never will overcome or extinguish God's light. Jesus Christ is the Creator of life, and his life brings light to mankind. In his light, we see ourselves as we really are - sinners in need of a Saviour. 

When you welcome Jesus Christ as Lord of your life you are reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God. Through faith in Christ, this new birth changes you from the inside out - rearranging your attitudes, desires, motives and goals.  ~ NKJV

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses,

but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. ~ John 1:14, 16-18 NKJV

Ephesians 1:7-9 ~ NKJV
In Jesus, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, ..
He made known to us the mystery of His will, .. 
that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times
He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -
in Him.

In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

God kept His plan a 'secret' (the mystery of His will) because His plan for the world could not be fully understood until Christ rose from the dead. Many people still do not understand the plan of God but when the time is right ("in the dispensation of the fullness of times"), He will bring us together to be with him forever. 

Cross-reference: Colossians 1:26 ~ The Divine Mystery

Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus - all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. 

This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts!

And He chose us to be his very own, joining us to himself even before he laid the foundation of the world. Because of his great love, he ordained us, so that we would be seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence. 

For it was always his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace - for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!

Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood - the total cancellation of our sins - all because of the cascading riches of his grace. The superabundant grace is already powerfully working in us, releasing within us all forms of wisdom and practical understanding.

And through the revelation of the Anointed One, he unveiled his secret desires to us  - the hidden mystery of his long-range plan, which he was delighted to implement from the very beginnings of time. And because of God's unfailing purpose, this detailed plan will reign supreme through every period of time until the fulfillment of all the ages finally reaches its climax - when God makes all things new in all of heaven and earth through Jesus Christ.

Through our union with Christ we too have been claimed by God as his own inheritance. Before we were even born, he gave us our destiny; that we would fulfill the plan of God who always accomplishes every purpose and plan in his heart. 

God's purpose was that the Jews, who were the first to long for the messianic hope, would be the first to believe in the Anointed One and bring great praise and glory to God!

And because of him, when you who are not Jews heard the revelation of truth, you believed in the wonderful news of salvation. Now we have been stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.

He is given to us like an engagement ring is given to a bride, as the first installment  of what's coming! He is our hope-promise of a future inheritance which seals us until we have all of redemption's promises and experience complete freedom - all for the supreme glory and honor of God!

Ephesians 1 ~ TPT

"Our Sonship and the Father's Plan"

"Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" means that in Christ we have all the benefits of knowing God - being chosen for salvation, being adopted as his children, forgiveness, insight, the gifts of the Spirit, power to do God's will, the hope of living forever with Christ. 

The heavenly places means that these blessings are eternal not temporal. The blessings comes from Christ's spiritual realm, not the earthly realm of the goddess Diana as some had believed.

~ NKJV footnotes

Ephesians 2 ~ TPT

But God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, he united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by his wonderful grace! He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ!

Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it.

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Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny
and the good works we would do
to fulfill it!
 

Philippians 2:6-11 ~ TPT

The Example of Jesus Christ

He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!

Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names!

The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father! (Back to the page: The Church)

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God's purpose is to offer salvation to the world, just as He planned to do long ago. God is sovereign; is still is in charge overall. When your life seems chaotic, rest in this truth: Jesus is Lord, and God is ultimately in control. God's purpose to save you cannot be erased no matter what evil Satan may bring.

~ Taken from footnotes NKJV

Galatians 4:6 ~ NKJV

God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts! [This is when you believe and accept Christ as your Saviour].

The Holy Spirit is God's seal that we belong to him and his deposit guaranteeing that he will do what he has promised. The Holy Spirit is like a down payment, a deposit, a validating signature on the contract. 

The hope we have is not a vague feeling that the future will be positive, but it is the complete assurance of certain victory through God. This complete certainty comes to us from the Holy Spirit who is working in us.

Colossians 1:15-17 ~ NKJV

The Supremacy of Christ

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all Creation.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. 

All things were created through Him and for Him. 

And He is before all things, and in Him, all things consist.

And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 

Jesus is not only equal to God, he IS God! As the image of the invisible God, he is the exact representation of God. He not only reflects God but he reveals God to us. As the firstborn over all creation including the spirit world. He has all the priority and authority of the firstborn prince in a king's household. Christ is the Lord of all.

Colossians 1:19-20 ~ NKJV

Reconciled back to God

For it pleased the Father that in Him [Jesus] all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth to things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of the cross. 

Christ brought in a new covenant, and His death provided a way for all people to come to God. It cleared away the sin that keeps us from having a right relationship with our Creator. This does not mean that everyone has been saved, but that the way has been cleared for anyone who will trust Christ to be saved. Only by believing in and trusting in Christ, we can be saved. We can have peace with God and be reconciled back to him by accepting Christ and that he died in our place. Christ is the only way, the only truth, and the only door to salvation and eternal life with God. 

No matter what you have done or what you have been like, God's forgiveness is for you.

We don’t talk a lot about covenants today. But we should. Covenants are one of the most important themes in the Bible because they act as the skeletons upon which the entire redemptive story is built. They’re like the backbone of the Bible. From Genesis on, God enters into one formal relationship after another (i.e. covenants) with various humans in order to rescue his world. These divine-human relationships push that narrative forward until it reaches its climax in Jesus. Thus, to tell the story of God redeeming his people through Jesus is to tell the story of God’s covenantal relationship with his people.

Key Covenants

There’s no consensus on the number of divine covenants. There are, however, five explicit covenants that form the backbone of the Bible: those that God made with:

  • Noah 

  • Abraham 

  • Israel

  • David and then,

  • the New Covenant that was inaugurated by Jesus.

You’ll want to know these as they keep the narrative moving along until we get to the climax of the story—Jesus!

You can read more about it here:

Partnerships between God and People
Covenants: The Backbone of the Bible
- by Whitney Woollard

Colossians 1:21-22 ~ TPT

Made Holy through Christ

Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself. He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence.

And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored, if indeed you continue to advance in faith, assured of a firm foundation to grow upon.

Never be shaken from the hope of the gospel you have believed in. And this is the glorious news that must be preached all over the world. 

More will follow..