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God's Eternal Purpose in the New Covenant - Part 2
Dr. Allen M. Barber

Ephesians 3:8-12 NASB

8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; 10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

In Part 1, we saw that God's eternal purpose for the ages is fulfilled in the New Covenant, which is far superior to the Old because Jesus Christ is the New Covenant. The Old Covenant had to do with angels, man, and the blood sacrifices of animals, but the New Covenant is founded upon the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The Old Covenant was temporary waiting on the New when all things would be fulfilled in Christ. Now, this does not mean the Old Covenant Scriptures are no longer applicable as they still are, but are to be understood in the context of the New Covenant. Christ fulfilled the ceremonial aspect of the Old Covenant - the blood sacrifice, feast days, etc. but the laws and statues of the Old Covenant are still valid as fulfilled in the New. The Ten Commandments have not been abolished, but fulfilled in the higher laws of the New Covenant. For example, in the New Covenant, murder begins in the heart before the physical act is ever committed; Likewise, adultery begins in the mind before the act is consummated, etc. Then what is the eternal purpose of God in the New Covenant?  It is God working His will and purpose in the heart and soul of mankind, that is, God joining Himself to man that he may share God's uncreated eternal life and glory. That in itself is a great mystery, which Paul states in the above Scripture.

Mystery of all mysteries, God purposed before time began, even before the creation of man that he should be like God (notice that I did not say "a god") and conformed to the image of His Son. We must realize that God the Father purposed to have everything fulfilled in His Son, the Lord Jesus. Everything, the whole creation including the universe and mankind, was created to bring glory to the Son. Why is that? Because the Son volunteered to pay the price for man's great fall into sin. We know this from Philippians 2: 5-11:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NKJV

When the God created man in His image, it was in the image of the Son who would one day Himself become man because the Father God and the Holy Spirit are "spirit only beings." The humanness of God was given to the Son (See Eph. 1:4-5; Rom. 8: 29-30). The Garden of Eden episode has become more a mere story (to some a fairy tale or a myth) than deep theological truth. The heart of the matter is the two trees - the Tree of life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The Tree of Life is not a physical apple tree, but the Lord Jesus Himself (See Ps. 36:9; John 1:4; 11:25; 14:6; and I John 5: 12) for eternal life is in Him. Eating of the fruit connotes fellowship (I wrote about this previously) not actually consumption of food. The Tree of Life is symbolic of fellowship with God via the Son and the eternal Spirit. In contrast, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is symbolic of Satan for he is the originator of evil.  Adam and Eve were created with free will (John Calvin apparently did not understand this and wrote his heretical doctrine of Calvinism - that man does not have free will) and were given a choice - to have everlasting fellowship and eternal life with God or fellowship with the devil ending in eternal death and suffering in the Lake of Fire. This is where Jesus and the New Covenant enters the scene for Christ had to come to earth in the form of man in order to deliver man from the Satanic nature that contaminated his entire being - spirit, soul, and body.

Adam and Eve failed to enter into everlasting fellowship with God via the Tree of Life - the Son of God and were alienated from God. However, as the first Adam failed, the second and last Adam triumphed, which is Jesus Christ (See I Cor. 15:45, 47). Jesus obtained the eternal purpose of God for mankind by becoming the second Adam and therefore established a brand new class of humans - those spiritually reborn in Jesus Christ who receive God's uncreated eternal life. Eternal life is not something we will have in the future, we enter into eternal life the moment we are saved. This is the reason so many believers live carnal defeated lives - they do not perceive of themselves as spiritual beings possessing eternal life. This is why we must understand the New Covenant for only in it do we attain eternal everlasting life and not of our doing, but by Christ Jesus.

The modern Church does not teach Covenant Theology, and if they do, it is usually from a Charismatic perspective focused on the spiritual gifts. Covenant Theology at its core is having a relationship with the God of the universe via the eternal Spirit, which without the cross of Jesus would be impossible. The Spirit and Word of the New Covenant is where we learn to live in Christ and overcome our arch enemies - the world, the flesh and the devil. Jesus is the only man who is in perfect fellowship with the Father. He is both God and man and by his suffering and resurrection has elevated mankind from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of the Son in whom is unapproachable light.

The Scripture says that no man has seen the Father at anytime, only the Son (John 1:18). The Son has declared the Father to man. Jesus told the disciples that if they had seen Him, they also had seen the Father because He and the Father were one - meaning one in Spirit and Godhead. The Godhead is what it intimates - all God in nature and purpose. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same God and are in perfect unity and harmony. The eternal purpose of God in the New Covenant is to bring man into that relationship and He has done just that in the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is none like our Lord Jesus in all of the universe. He is in a class all by Himself and to think He is willing to come and live in us is beyond my comprehension! May all praise, honor, and glory be His unto the eternities of the eternities.