PROOF – Planned Grace: The Author Writes His Story

Planned Grace 2Lesson 3 of – PROOF (Unconditional Election / Planned Grace).  In this lesson we learned that God’s plan in creation and redemption was carefully considered and planned by the Holy Trinity before the beginning of time as we know it.  In this plan, God set all of the variables of creation in place, so much so that we can set our clocks by it down to the very second.  However, not only were the particulars of creation carefully planned and set into motion, but God also planned out and set down the particulars of redemption – meaning the salvation of humankind.  The Christian’s salvation is part of a greater plan or story that God is telling through redemptive history so that Christ is the Author and the Completer, the Alpha and Omega, and the First and Last Word of this magnificent narrative.  In this story, the Father plans to love and adopt a daughter (the church); the daughter rebels from the Father and is enslaved by an enemy, the Son plans to rescue the daughter and make her his Bride, the Holy Spirit plans to keep the daughter in safe care until the day of her wedding when the Son returns to claim his Bride.  The overview of this  whole story can be found in Ephesians 1.

1)  The Triune God is telling a Story

  • 2 Timothy 1:9 – God has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
  • Hebrews 12:1-2 (Let us) Fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
  • Psalm 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

2)  The Father’s Plan to Love and Adopt a Daughter  

  • Ephesians 1:3-6 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he (The Father) predestined us for adoption to Sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One (the Son) whom he (the Father) loves.

3)  The Son’s Plan to Rescue His Bride

  • Ephesians 1:7-10 – In him (the Son) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
  • Ephesians 6:25-32 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

4) The Spirit’s Plan to Preserve the Bride until the Day of Her Wedding

  • Ephesians 1:11-14 – In him (the Son) we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him (the Father) who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we (Jewish Christians), who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you (Gentile Christians) also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him (the Son) with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (The Holy Spirit), who is a deposit guaranteeing (preserving, guarding) our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession (all future saints) —to the praise of his glory.

5) Notice a few things:

  1. There is a Story Being Told: God is the – Author – and the – Completer – of the story he is telling.  He has the right, privilege, and power to plan the story that we are in and to write as he wishes to tell it – according to the pleasure of his will.
  1. Predestination and Adoption:  Predestination is distinctly – connected – to Adoption. This means that the Father – chose – his child and then he – adopted – her as a – legal – co-heir with His only begotten Son. The price of this adoption would be the blood that his Son would shed, and the life that his Son would give. This adopted – daughter – would become the church – and live as the – bride –  for His Risen Son – The Sovereign King Jesus.
  1. The Basis of God’s Decisions:  In regard to – time – , the decision to choose the Bride that He would adopt for His Son was made by God – before – the before the foundation of the earth, and in regard to his – decree –, the decision to choose the Bride for His Son was made according to God’s pleasure and will alone, with no outside influences or – compulsion – .
  1. The Plan is Complex and Detailed:  The creation and redemption plan of God was – thought – over by the Holy Council of the Trinity. It is being – carefully – told. There is not one single – plot hole – in the story. Your role in the story is – crucial – , yet it was not – designed – by you.  From the First to the Last, from Beginning to End, From Everlasting to Everlasting, every – movement – and every – detail – of this story is designed by God.

Canons of Dort:  It was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of his Son’s costly death should work itself out in all his chosen ones, in order that he might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. In other words, it was God’s will that Christ through the blood of the cross (by which he confirmed the new covenant) should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to him by the Father. (2: 8)

Hebrews 12:1-2 – And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Psalm 139: 16 – Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Job 42:2 – I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Psalm 115:3 – Our God is in heaven and he does whatever pleases him to do.

Revelation 21:5-6 – He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End!

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