God’s Merciful Purpose

“See what marvellous love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called God’s children; and that is what we are.” “And if children, then heirs too—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; if indeed we are sharers in Christ’s sufferings, in order that we may be also sharers in his glory.”
—I John 3:1; Romans 8:17, Weymouth

THE GENERALLY ACCEPTED BELIEF that our natural birth made us children of God is unscriptural and untrue. We were actually born in sin and shapen in iniquity. (Psalm 51:5) “God, being rich in mercy, on account of his great love with which he loved us,” …“Has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, by Christ.”—Eph. 2:4; 1:3, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

The Apostle Paul also wrote concerning the faithful in Christ Jesus, the true church, in a collective sense, “He [God] predestined us to be adopted by himself as sons through Christ, such being his gracious will and pleasure, to the praise of the splendour of his grace with which he has enriched us in the beloved One. It is in him, and through the shedding of his blood, that we have our deliverance, the forgiveness of our offences, so abundant was God’s grace, the grace which he, the Possessor of all wisdom and understanding, lavished upon us, when he made known to us the secret of his will. And this is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it, the purpose which he has cherished in his own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in him.”—Eph. 1:5-10, Weymouth

By Divine grace, the Scriptures have revealed to us a great and wonderful eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. Reference is made to “the much diversified wisdom of God, according to a plan of the ages, which he formed for the Anointed Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 3:10,11, WED) This Divine plan, so fully and beautifully elaborated upon in the inspired Word, is permeated with the marvelous love of the Heavenly Father.

All the fully consecrated children of God are a wonderfully privileged people, ever grateful for the Divine grace so richly lavished upon them. Having been called out of darkness into the glorious light of Truth, as revealed in the inspired Word, they rejoice in the exceeding great and precious promises of God, and in their experiences as God’s children. They count it a joyous privilege, and a great honor, to be baptized into Christ, and collectively to be all one in Christ Jesus; also to be Abraham’s seed, and heirs in a very special sense.


“Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:26) Earlier in this letter the apostle has stressed the need of the Gospel of Christ; also that justification is by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law. Through one man (Adam), and his disobedience, “sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12-19) Every member of the fallen race, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female, has been condemned through Adam, and thereby being “by nature children of wrath” it required wondrous Divine grace and mercy to be manifested on our behalf before any could become children of God.

So, “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem [publicly purchase and take possession of] them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal. 4:4-6) These blessings come to all such through their faith in Christ Jesus, not only to those who were of the Law, but to those also who are of the faith of Jesus. And, “to as many as received him [at Pentecost, and since], he gave authority to become children of God, to those believing into his name; who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”—John 1:12,13, WED

It is a great privilege to receive Jesus; also to believe on him, which, according to Young’s Analytical Concordance means to “adhere to, rely on, and trust” him. This involves our accepting the invitation to follow him—denying self, and taking up our cross daily. We thus fully consecrate ourselves to do God’s will, and in effect exclaim: “Not my will, but thine be done.” Then he is pleased to beget us as New Creatures to the spiritual nature. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”—James 1:18


“As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:27) This verse refers to the real and essential baptism, which is to precede the symbol of water immersion, and the Apostle Paul deals very thoroughly with this matter in Romans 6:3,4: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” This overwhelming, or burial, of ourselves which resulted in our becoming body members of Christ, took place when we made a full surrender of our will to God, consecrating our all to follow Jesus, and to prove faithful unto death. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death.” As a result, God begets us by the holy Word of Truth, “That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Henceforth Jesus, in every particular, is to be our Head, our Leader, our Ruler. Reckonedly, we are dead to our own will. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”—Col. 3:3

The result of this and essential baptism is that we “have put on Christ.” “For all of you who had yourselves baptized into Christ have taken on the character of Christ.”—Gal. 3:27, Moffatt

There is to be a putting off and a putting on. For example, “Cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, … put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13:12-14) “Put off, according to the former course of life, that old man, corrupted by deceitful desires, … and be you clothed with that new man, who, according to God, has been formed in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”—Eph. 4:22,24, WED


As Paul says, “In him the distinction between Jew and Gentile, slave and freeman, male and female, disappear, you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28, Weymouth) Irrespective of who or what we are, the Scriptures clearly teach what is required of us, and this includes our repentance (to change the mind); conversion (to turn about); full consecration; justification by faith (declared right, on account of the faith); complete sanctification. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular,” or, individually.—I Cor. 12:27

Our Father gave Christ Jesus “to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body.” (Eph. 1:22,23) “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, … and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”—I Cor. 12:12-14

To be called into this wonderful relationship is indeed the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus; and because we fully appreciate this great privilege, we give diligence to make our calling and election sure, and assist others to do the same.

The building up of the body of Christ is a great and important work in which it is our privilege and responsibility to take part. Our Father’s purpose in this connection is beautifully described in Ephesians 4:11-16, WED: “And he gave indeed the apostles, and the prophets, and the evangelists, and shepherds and teachers, for the complete qualification of the saints for the work of service, in order to the building up of the body of the Anointed one; till we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the full stature of the Anointed one; so that we may be infants no longer, tossed and whirled about with every wind of that teaching which is in the trickery of men, by cunning craftiness in systematic deception; but being truthful in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the Head, the Anointed one; from whom the whole body, being fitly joined and united, by means of every assisting joint, according to the proportionate energy of each single part, effects the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”


“If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29) The grandeur and immensity of this verse is completely beyond the comprehension of any who are natural minded. Even the spiritually begotten and enlightened of God cannot visualize the full significance of these words of the apostle, and the extent of the exceeding greatness of Divine favor toward us, so that in the ages to come, God “might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”—Eph. 2:7

Three very interesting and important features are here recorded: ‘If ye be Christ’s,’ then, ‘are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’ If we experience the first condition and belong to Christ, then, as emphatically indicated in this verse, we are, without any possible doubt, Abraham’s seed and heirs.

To belong to Christ involves our doing his will, which, in effect, is the Father’s will. We are Christ’s because we do not belong to anyone else. No man can serve two masters. We do not compromise with error, nor with the world. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom. 8:9) We empty ourselves more and more of self, that we may be able to receive an increasing measure of the holy influence. Being dead to self, we live unto our risen Lord Jesus.

“If you belong to Christ, certainly you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to promise.” (Gal. 3:29, WED) In full assurance of faith we are to hold fast to this marvelous statement. This sublime Divine favor comes to us, not on account of any merit of our own, but because we truly belong to Christ.

In this connection, very illuminating verses are: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” “And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Gal. 3:16,29

The Greek word here translated ‘heirs’ means those who receive a lot, or portion. (Young’s Analytical Concordance) If we are in Christ, then the Divine promises to him are inherited, or possessed, also by us, his body members. As in a natural sense it is customary for a wife to share her husband’s name, position, and possessions, so also with the bride of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus, because of his obedience to the Father’s Word and will, is “appointed heir of all things,” including God’s wonderful oathbound promise to Abraham. (Heb. 1:2) And many are the scriptures which describe the children of God as heirs, and also make reference to their inheritance, or possession. For example, “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body [of Christ], and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel.” (Eph. 3:6) “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7) Being begotten again, “to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and unfading, preserved in heaven for you.”—I Pet. 1:3,4, WED

Seeing that God has appointed Jesus heir of all things, we, his body members, are heirs with him in this vast and glorious inheritance, including the Divine nature and the Abrahamic promise. The great work to be done by the spiritual seed of Abraham is the blessing of all the families of the earth. What a glorious prospect is before us. May we prove worthy to enter fully into our inheritance!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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