One God, One Eternal Purpose

One God, One Eternal Purpose

By Paul Palmer, Sr.

The One God
“There is one God” (Rom. 3:30 NKJV).

“God is one” (Gal. 3:20).

“There is one God”(1 Tim. 2:5).

God has been pleased to reveal Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God. The Lord Jesus is the only person in the Godhead who became incarnate, “coming in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). We would not have known about God the Father and God the Holy Spirit apart from God the Son. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (Jn. 1:18). The Lord Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9).

We have seen from Scripture that there is one God. We also learn that there are three distinct persons in the Godhead: Father, Son and Spirit. In the Lord Jesus “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). He is Immanuel, “God with us” (Mt. 1:23).

The persons in the Godhead are eternal. “The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Dt. 33:27). The Lord Jesus “through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God” (Heb. 9:14).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (Jn. 1:1-2). The Word is the Lord Jesus. He is the Eternal Word, the Eternal Son. So in eternity there were three distinct, eternally divine persons.

The Eternal Purpose
There was established in eternity an eternal purpose: God’s eternal purpose. This was revealed to the apostle Paul, and in writing to the Ephesians he was at liberty to share this truth with them. He said,

“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:8-11).

This eternal purpose was the plan of the Godhead in eternity. It is what the Godhead determined and established. “Plans are established by counsel” (Prov. 20:18). The persons in the Godhead counseled together, the Three in One. “As I have purposed, so it shall stand” (Isa. 14:24). “I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” (46:11). What the apostle Paul shared with the Ephesians and the Colossians was no afterthought on God’s part. It was not conceived in time; it was from before the foundation of the world.

O God! the thought was Thine …

The motives, too, Thine own,

The plan, the counsel, Thine!

Made for Thy Son,
Bone of His bone,

In glory bright to shine.
—George V. Wigram (1805-1879)

It was established in eternity that in time – the measured periods – the Lord Jesus would come into His own creation, suffer, bleed and die. His side would be pierced. He would rise from among the dead on the third day and subsequently enter into His glory. Christ having been glorified, the Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost and baptized all believers into one body. That was the formation of the Church. The Church is composed of Jew and Gentile in one body. This is the mystery which was hid in God but is now fully revealed. This was God’s eternal purpose, that there should be a company for the Son. This unique living organism taken out of Jews and Gentiles is united together in one body, of which Christ is the head. It is the vessel through which principalities and powers in heavenly places are learning the manifold, or multi-faceted, wisdom of God.

The Lord Jesus “Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (Eph. 2:14-15). The Church is the “One New Man,” entirely new. In the purpose of God it was hidden in Him, but now it is fully revealed, fully made known.

In deep, eternal counsel, Before the world was made,

Before its deep foundations On nothingness were laid,

God purposed us for blessing, And chose us in His Son,

To Him to be conformed, When here our course was run.
—George W. Frazer (1830-1896)

Thank God we are those who have believed on the Lord Jesus and are subjects of God’s eternal purpose!

By Paul Palmer, Sr.

The supreme exhibition of unfathomable wisdom is seen in the way taken to fulfill the eternal purpose of God. The cross is its center (Acts 2:23). It is the grand unifying power of the universe of bliss. By becoming Man, the Son brought an eternal relationship into manhood, for He did not cease to be the Son when He became Man. The Son, in nature and relationship eternal, became a Man to die, that the claims of divine holiness might be met in the heirs predestined to sonship. Glorified on high, He is the Firstborn of many brethren. —James McBroom (1934, adapted).