OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew




A.    The title of our lesson is:† ďGodís Eternal Purpose.Ē


B.    When finite man thinks of something being ďeternal,Ē it is difficult to comprehend.

1.     Without beginning and without end (Where did God come from?)

2.     Lasting forever

3.     Unchanged by time

4.     Deathless, undying, imperishable, indestructible


C.    The Almighty God of heaven had an ďeternal purpose.Ē† Paul wrote about it in his brief epistle to the Ephesian church (Eph. 3:8-11).


Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:† to the intent that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly placed might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


1.     In this text, we learn what Godís eternal purpose is.

2.     In fact, we are told at least eight things about Godís eternal purpose in these four verses.




A.    Preaching is the method that God has chosen to reveal His eternal purpose to mankind (I Cor. 1:21; Rom. 10:14).


For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolish-ness of preaching to save them that believe.


B.    Paul had been commissioned by God to preach the eternal purpose ďamong the GentilesĒ (Acts 9:15; Gal. 2:7).


But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way:† for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.


C.    Paul tells us that the purpose of his preaching was ďto make all men see.Ē

1.     Preaching is to open the eyes of oneís understanding.

2.     Preachers need to do all they can to make the message simple, plain, and clear.


D.    Throughout the book of Acts we find Paul preaching about Godís eternal purpose (Acts 14:22; 19:8; 20:25: 28:23, 31).




A.    The eternal purpose of God falls within ďthe unsearchable riches of ChristĒ (Eph. 3:8).


B.    Riches involve something that is extremely valuable.† Riches involve something of great wealth.

1.     Godís eternal purpose is of great wealth to the spiritual man.

2.     Sadly there are many today who do not think Godís eternal purpose is worth anything at all.


C.    Paul also describes these riches as unsearchable.

1.     Men can study Godís eternal purpose.† They can research it.† They can test it.† Yet, they will never fully comprehend its massive worth.

2.     Like Godís judgments and like His ways, His eternal purpose is ďpast finding outĒ (Rom. 11:33).


D.    It we had the time, we could spend several minutes discussing two of Jesusí parables that would tie into this point.

1.     The Parable of the Hidden Treasure in A Field (Matt. 13:44).

2.     The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price (Matt. 13:45-46).




A.    ďAnd to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mysteryĒ (Eph. 3:9).


B.    Fellowship

1.     Strong (2842):† partnership, that is, (literally) participation or (social) intercourse

2.     Thayer:† fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse.


C.    Godís eternal purpose unites man, that is, brings him into a friendly association with others.

1.     I Corinthians 1:9


God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


2.     The eternal purpose of God bring us into fellowship with

a.     God (I John 1:3)


That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us:† and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.


b.     Man (I John 1:7; Eph. 2:12-22)

1)    One new man (Eph. 2:15)

2)    One body (Eph. 2:16)

3)    Fellow citizens (Eph. 2:19)

4)    Of the household of God (Eph. 2:19)

5)    A temple in the Lord (Eph. 2:21)

6)    A habitation of God (Eph. 2:22)




A.    In Ephesians 3:9, Paul speaks about ďthe fellowship of the mystery.Ē


B.    Mystery

1.     Strong (3466):† a secret

2.     Thayer:† hidden thing, secret, something not obvious to the understanding


C.    There was a period of time when Godís eternal purpose was hidden.

1.     Paul notes that it had been hidden ďfrom the beginning of the world.Ē

2.     It was hidden in the Patriarchal Age and in the days of the Mosaic Law.

3.     During this time even angels desired to look into the things that God was doing (I Pet. 1:12).


D.    In the Christian Age, however, the mystery is revealed.† It is no longer hidden.† Godís eternal purpose can be known by all (Eph. 3:3-5).


How that by revelation his made known unto me the mystery, (as I wrote afore in few words; whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ,) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.


1.     Godís revelation in the New Testament clearly reveals unto us what the eternal purpose of God is.

2.     In fact, in our very next point we learn exactly what it is.




A.    We have briefly looked into Paulís text about the eternal purpose of God.


B.    Thus far, Paul has not revealed it unto us.† He will do this in the next lesson.


C.    He has definitely made us desire to know what it is.

1.     He wants it to be preached.

2.     It is part of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

3.     It involves fellowship with God and with man.

4.     It once was a mystery, but now it has been revealed.