11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
The Eternal Purpose
What is the eternal purpose of God? That really is a huge question. What makes God do what he has done, is doing and will do. As created beings do we even have the right to know?
One of the earliest books in the Bible is the book of Job. Job went through severe suffering and learned to trust God “even if he slay me” (Job 13:15). He eventually admitted that previously he heard of God but through his experience he came to see God (Job 42:5). In order for us to “see” God we need him to reveal himself. That is what he did through Christ Jesus our Lord. God’s eternal purpose is to reveal himself to us through his Son. God wants to dwell with us but we prevent him because of our sin. What Christ accomplished brought us back to be able to dwell with God.
Everything is from Christ, through Christ and for Christ (Romans 11:36).
- Creation involved Christ (John 1:3)
- He holds all things together (Colossians 1:17)
- Everything united in Christ (Ephesians 1:10)
- Creation is for Christ (Colossians 1:16).
- All things become subject to Him (1 Corinthians 15:28)
- He will receive all things
We believe our salvation is for our benefit but that is a vert self-centred view. But, in reality the Father has done all this for the Son. The Son gave himself for the Father’s sake so that we could be reconciled to the Father (Romans 5:10). Christ then gave us the Holy Spirit (John 20:22; Acts 1:8)
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
Christ saved us because of the mercy of God who by the Holy Spirit cleanses and renews us, justifying us by his grace through our faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8). Creation reveals the glory of God and gives him Glory. God realised his eternal purpose in Christ.
Access Through Faith In Christ
How do we have access to God the Father? There is only one way. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6). No one can come to the Father except through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Father sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) who bares witness of Christ (John 15:26). Jesus returned to be with the Father (John 16:28). But now the Holy Spirit dwells in those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26-27) and enables us to come before the throne of grace and seek mercy from the Father because of what Jesus accomplished through the cross (Hebrews 4:16). So our access to the Father is by faith in Christ thought the power of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t lose heart
Paul went through a lot of suffering during his ministry (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). But he rejoiced in his sufferings (Romans 5:3) knowing that God was working in him strengthen his character. Paul encourages them not to loose heart because of the suffering he experienced. Ultimately it was so they could receive his glory, eternal glory through believing in Christ.
Bow My Knees
What is the correct response to this tremendous news? Bow before Almighty God, the Heavenly Father. Humility before the God of the universe. Our response should be to prostrate ourselves and call on his mercy. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). This is not a feeling of terror but of awe, of how sinful, corrupt, tiny, helpless and weak we are before God. And yet he loves us.