Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 4

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our fourth blog post will begin with passage 4, Ephesians 1:7-10

Passage 4

Ephesians 1:7-10

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ

as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Mr. Giles continues with his list of Bible passages, providing Ephesians 1:7-10 for our consideration this morning. Sometimes I like to read the passage identifying the pronoun as I read through the passage. Lets try that with this passage.

Ephesians 1:7-10
In him (Christ) we (believers) have redemption through his (Christ’s) blood, the forgiveness of our (believers) trespasses, according to the riches of his (Christ’s) grace, which he (Christ) lavished upon us (believers), in all wisdom and insight making known to us (believers) the mystery of his (God’s) will, according to his (God’s) purpose, which he (God) set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

God has lavished grace on believers. This grace includes the redemption we cherish, and the forgiveness of our trespasses. Although I previously thought of these two aspects of our relationship to God as being the same thing described in two different ways, I believe these are two separate acts of grace provided to the saint. See Simple Thoughts – Colossians 1:14.

Paul is speaking of the multiple benefits of the grace of God to the believer.

God has allowed believers to know the mystery of His will. Within the will of God, His purpose is in the Messiah, as all things of God are centered in the Messiah. In the Messiah, God has invested all of His will, all of His plan and all of His love.

If my thinking is correct, Paul has elevated the Christ to preeminence and only rightly so. He is the Lord of all. So why does Paul continue with the phrase “to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth”

Unity is a grand theme in the Scriptures. This is not revelatory as the Word often describes God’s pleasure in the unity of the brethren. This is referring to the life of the brethren, yet is this the intent of the apostles message?

The term “unite” in this verse is the Greek word anakephalaioō, and I am not going to ask anyone to pronounce it!

Thayers Greek Lexicon is somewhat helpful.

In Ephesians 1:10 God is said ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, to bring together again for himself (note the middle) all things and beings (hitherto disunited by sin) into one combined state of fellowship in Christ, the universal bond

Vines also is referred to below

Eph 1:10, RV, “sum up” (AV, “gather together”), of God’s purpose to “sum up” all things in the heavens and on the earth in Christ, a consummation extending beyond the limits of the church, though the latter is to be a factor in its realization.

Ok, the plan of God is to sum up, or “combine” all things in heaven and on earth. Our God is a rebuilder, One who brings together. It is a teaching that Paul identifies later in this book when he teaches of the Christ knocking down the wall of separation between the Jew and the Gentile. Could Paul be breaching this topic in our verse here? It is a common method of his to introduce a topic somewhat generally, prior to the main teaching being fleshed out.

Maybe.

But what are we to make of the term “all things”. So generic. So “fuzzy”.

Could Paul mean all souls that are in heaven and on earth? All things certainly sound inclusive, and may actually mean all things, without exception. It is a possibility!

Could we be dogmatic on this verse? Certainly not, since it is so generic, so “fuzzy”, and yet there are “fuzzy” passages in the Old Testament, that in thier fulfillment, was much more expansive than many (all?) could have hope for or believed.

With this passage that Mr. Giles provided, a possibility of Universal Reconciliation is allowable in my thinking at this time.

What think you?

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.


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29 thoughts on “Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 4

  1. Ephesians 1:17 -23 gives us more context and the answer to the meaning of all things

    The Saints, Us, His Assembly, His called out ones, His believing ones, are being addressed in the chapter as the elect, those predestinated to receive an inheritance. All according to Grace. The Ephesians letter is written to the Saints.

    The chapter isn’t about saving everyone individual in the universe. It is about putting all things in Heaven and earth under His ruler ship because He earned it through His shed blood and perfect imputed righteousness. He said He chooses to reveal himself to whomever He chooses to reveal himself Matthew 11:27

    Ephesians 1:17-23

    17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowl- edge of Him,

    18 the eyes of your mind having been en- lightened, for you to know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

    19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of His mighty strength

    20 which He worked in Christ in raising Him from the dead ones; yea, He seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, Psa. 110:1

    21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and lordship, and every name being named, not only in this age, but also in the coming age;

    22 and He “put all things under His feet” and gave Him to be Head over all things to the Assembly, Psa. 8:6

    23 which is His body: the fullness of the One filling all things in all;

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        1. Since we are talking about the redeemed addressed in Ephesians 1, where does it say in that chapter that the group addressed was classified or labeled as “sinners” that were redeemed ?

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                    1. Ephesians 1:1

                      Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, to the saints being in Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus

                      I assume you want to keep the word “ sinners” at the forefront so you can leave an opening for the possibility that everyone that has or is and will live to be redeemed. Ephesians 1:5 says He made them “alive”

                      It can’t happen because scripture says if you don’t believe the Gospel before physical death, you are condemned. Mark 16:16

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                    2. Calvin denied the very heart of the gospel, which is the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ.

                      I believe in the efficacious atonement; therefore you shouldn’t label me a “Calvinist” and you have been incorrect in consistently labeling me a “Calvinist”

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                    3. You are that specialized you won’t identify with any Christian teaching?
                      Is it because everyone else is a heretic worthy of burning in hell forever, or that you just don’t want to associate with lower forma of Christianity?

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                    4. No, every label may or not describe exactly. We have went through enough written exchanges on scripture that you should know what the scripture says

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          1. Your post I thought was about the possibility of every individual being redeemed. I might have misunderstood but I understood the author is trying to make a case for the redemption of everyone?

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  2. Quote from Carl

    “So why does Paul continue with the phrase “to unite “all things” in Him, things in heaven and things on earth”

    Would “all things” “united ” in the heavens include Fallen angels?

    1 Corinthians 15:23-29 (KJ3)

    for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

    23 But each one in his own order: Christ, the firstfruit; afterward the ones of Christ in His coming.

    24 Then is the end, whenever He gives over the kingdom to God, even the Father, whenever He causes to cease all rule and all authority and power.

    25 For it is right for Him to reign until He puts all the hostile ones under His feet; Psa. 110:1

    26 the last hostile thing caused to cease is death.

    27 For “He subjected all things under His feet;” but when He says that all things have been subjected, it is evident that this it ex- cept the One having subjected all things to Him. Psa. 8:6

    28 But when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be put in subjection to the One who has sub- jected all things to Him, that God may be all things in all.

    29 Otherwise, what will they do, the ones being baptized on behalf of the dead ones? If the dead ones are not at all raised, why indeed are they baptized on behalf of the dead ones?

    Ephesians 1:7-10 (KJ3)

    7 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of deviations, ac- cording to the riches of His grace

    8 which He caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding,

    9 making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

    10 for the administration of the fullness of the times to head up all things in Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things on earth, in Him,

    11 in whom we also were chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of the One working all things according to the counsel of His own will,

    12 for us to be to the praise of His glory, the ones who had before trusted in Christ;

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