Ephesians 1:3-10. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
We’ve been walking day by day, one by one through the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places that we have in Christ. Paul started us before time: chosen, elect, predestined in Christ. Then he moved us into the present time: holy and blameless, adopted, redeemed, forgiven. And now he will move us into a future time of our blessings in Christ: a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him.
This blog is all about our union with Christ. Ephesians 1:10 is one of those verses that comes along once in a while that is so specifically about union with Christ, so foundational, so rich in its pronouncement that it almost knocks us out of our chairs.
All things united in him.
The word unite means to “sum up,” or “to gather together into one.” Everything in the universe will be unified in Jesus. He will be the head of all things. He is the final answer. Union with Christ is the ultimate plan of God for the entire universe. Everything in heaven and earth (that’s a figure of speech which means everything) is going to be united to Jesus Christ. This is where all of time and space is headed. The goal of all of history is Christ. His glory. His rule. His goodness. His love over all things.
Ever since we destroyed this world we’ve longed for a New World. A world of peace and prosperity will always be elusive until God unites all things under Christ.
Do you see it? We are already united to Christ. One day all things will be united to Christ. We are right now a glimpse of what the world will be one day. We are the New Creation before there is a new creation. We are redeemed before there is a redemption of all things. We are reconciled before there is the reconciliation of all things. We are the “coming attractions.” Just as Christ rules our lives right now, he will rule the universe one day. Just as Christ has glorified us now, he will glorify the entire creation one day. Just as Christ has restored the spiritual right now, he will restore the physical someday.
Paul is not painting a picture of Christ absorbing all things – that would be the destruction of all things. He uses the word plan which means administration, management, or overseeing. Jesus will rule all things, administer all things, manage all things. This is not the Greek teaching that all things are absorbed into the divine Logos. Nor is it the Hindu belief that we are absorbed into the Brahman. Both of these would destroy the personal being. The body gone, leaving only a soulless spirit to be melted into a larger spirit. But that would not be the incarnated Christ. The personal Christ. The God-man who is still a person.
Again we learn what unite all things to Christ means by looking at our current union with Christ. Has Christ absorbed us spiritually, destroying our bodies and eliminating our personalities? Nope. Rather, he has united his life to ours while maintaining our individual unique lives, and our physical bodies. Union with Christ does not destroy us, on the contrary it emboldens and energizes us. It makes us more “us” than we’ve ever been. It makes us our true selves. The persons we were meant to be.
One day everything else in the universe will also be brought to its fullest potential. It’s true self. Everything will function exactly how God intended for it to function. God’s just rule will be established everywhere. Christ will reign supreme. It’s coming. And “to live is Christ” is the first-fruits. What has happened to us will happen to the rest of the universe when Jesus returns for his children. O Glorious day!
Romans 8:20-25. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.