God's Glorious Plan
Our world is
fascinated by well-developed solutions to difficult problems. We
thrill when medical science uncovers the solution to a disease that has plagued
men for centuries. Mankind is constantly challenged and inspired as he reaches
out for the solutions to our world's problems.
The most thrilling
story ever told has to do with God's scheme for redeeming
lost men. It encompasses centuries of preparation, and its end is one of
unimaginable joy and satisfaction. God's Glorious Plan needs to be
proclaimed around the world today. Let us notice the way in which God met the
problem of the ages and gave a solution.
THE PLAN PURPOSED
It is needed...
When sin came
into the world, the need for a plan of salvation became obvious.
The wages of sin are death. (Romans 6.23.) The cry of Jeremiah voices the need
of all men when he says, Is there no balm in Gilead? (Jeremiah
8.22.) Paul, in the New Testament, cried out for all men of sin, Wretched
man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (Romans
It is promised...
No sooner had
sin entered into the world than God gave the seed of a promise of
salvation. (Genesis 3.15.) The serpent would be crushed at the expense of the
Seed of the woman. Thus was set into motion a mystery that men in every age
desired to see fulfilled. (Romans 16.25-26; Ephesians 1.9-10; 3.3ff.) The
promise was renewed to the patriarchs and the prophets. Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob all were promised a blessing. (Genesis 12.2-3; 26.4; 28.14.) The prophets
gave tantalizing glimpses into the promise. (Cf. Isaiah 2.2-4.)
The promise is set in motion...
God chose a family
because of the faith of Abraham. This family was nurtured
and taught by God Himself. The story of the providential working of God with
the family of Abraham is phenomenal. Finally, the Lord chose an entire nation
through whom He could reveal His plan. God blessed this nation and gave them a
land and a law. In spite of this, most of them forgot the Lord and His promise
THE PLAN FORESHADOWED
God's Plan was foreshadowed by the nation...
It was a nation of
people set apart. God expected His people to be different
from the pagan nations around them. They were not to ally themselves in any way
with others that would compromise their relationship with God. (Cf. 2
Corinthians 6.14-18.) It was a nation that was to reflect to the world
something about God and be an example to others.
God's Plan was foreshadowed by the temple...
The temple made
men aware of the need of sacrifice and a high priest. It also
made them aware that one does not approach God irreverently or disregard His
commands. The temple made men aware that man was separated from God by a veil.
God's Plan was foreshadowed by the prophets...
God's Plan is
pictured as a kingdom by Daniel. (Daniel 2.) It is pictured as a
flock of sheep and a wonderful temple by Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 34, 40-48.)
THE PLAN IS COMPLETED
The timing was perfect...
(Romans 5.6; Galatians
4.4.)It was a time of stability and order maintained by
the Roman Government. All parts of the world were open to travel and trade. A
universal system of coinage was in effect. (Matthew 22.19-21.) Roman citizens
were accorded special privileges. (Acts 16.37-39; 22.25-29.) It was a time of
peace. There was a nucleus for the church in the Jewish people, who had been
scattered into all parts of the world. (Acts 2.3-11.) Wherever they went, they
publicized the concept of One True God. There was one universal language. Men
were ready for Christianity because they were in a state of helplessness.
(Romans 5.6.) The religions of the world were bankrupt.
The teaching was perfect...
The teaching was
with authority. (Matthew 7.29.) It was simple and to the
point. It furnished the guidance that was needed. (2 Timothy 3.16-17.)
The result was perfect...
Jesus fulfilled all
of God's plans. (Matthew 5.17-18.) He came to do the will
of God (John 6.28), and on the cross He proclaimed, It is finished.
(John 19.30.) The mystery was revealed (Romans 16.26; Ephesians 3.9-10), and
the throne of God was made accessible to all men through Christ.
THE PLAN IS REVEALED
The church was the culmination of God's plans.
It revealed the
wisdom of God. (Ephesians 3.10.) It is the pillar and ground of
truth. (1 Timothy 3.15.)
The establishment of the church was the fulfillment of prophesies.
Characteristics of the primitive church.
It was established at the time predicted by the prophets. (Daniel 2.44.)
It was established in the place predicted by the prophets. (Acts 2.5; Isaiah
It was established in the manner predicted by the prophets:
With the outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2,41.)
With the preaching of Peter and the apostles (Matthew 16,18; Acts 2,14)
With the obedience of penitent belivers (Acts 2,41.)
It was composed of the people predicted by the prophets. (Isaiah 2.2.)
It was called the ekklesia or the called out, assembly, or
assembled multitude. (Colossians 1.13.)
It was composed of those who were being saved. (Acts 2.47.)
Its terms of membership: Faith, Repentance, Baptism. (Acts 2.38; 3.19; 8.37.)
Its organization and government: Apostles, elders, deacons, evangelists,
teachers. (Ephesians 5.19; James 5.13; 1 Corinthians 16.2; Acts 20.7.)
Its cardinal doctrine: Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection.
Its work: Develop its members spiritually, provide for the needy, and
evangelize the lost world.
God's Glorious Plan is the only hope of salvation for lost men. A
prominent doctrine of modern times is that the church is unimportant, but the
Lord intended that it be the greatest body of people on earth. It was
prophesied many centuries in advance. It was in preparation for thousands of
years, and John was finally sent to prepare the way. Christ promised to build
it (Matthew 16.18), and He spent three of the hardest years that man could on
earth preparing for it. He even purchased it with His blood. (Acts 20.28.)
Don't you want to take advantage of God's plan and tell the world about it?