“according to the pleasure of His will”Ephesians 1:5
I suggested yesterday you pay attention to Paul’s use of “will” as it relates to the will of God in Ephesians. I trust you found it. If you had difficulty it may have been because you were searching in a dynamic equivalence translation or even a free translation. If that was the case the word “will” would have been masked by other words.
- (BBE) the good pleasure of his purpose,
- (GNB) his pleasure and purpose.
- (GW) He freely chose to do this
- (MSG) What pleasure he took in planning this!
- (Murdock) agreeable to his pleasure:
- (NLT) This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.
My advice: do word searches for study at word level from the more literal translations.
The word we are searching for is Θέλημα [thelēma] – determination, choice, purpose, decree, volition, inclination, desire, pleasure, will.
Did you find the other uses of the word in the book of Ephesians. They are found in 1:1, 1:5, 1:9. 1:11, 5:17 and 6:6. Wow four uses in the first few verses of the opening chapter. Must be important. Three uses in the extra long sentence we are dealing with now. Very significant references in
- Eph 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
- Eph 6:6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
Do you want to know more about the will of God? Study Ephesians. Clearly Paul is on about the “will of God”.
Do you want to know still more about the “will of God”? Look at the concept in the whole Bible. If you really want to suss something out biblically then read the Word of God in its entirety looking at just that one concept. At the very least use a concordance and look up all the references to the word. The problem is that various translations mask the word at times by using other words for the concept. The best concordance to use in my opinion, apart from a Greek Concordance, is Young’s Concordance where he has listed the word usages under the root words. That is very helpful.
Enough of that. Did you find the other word link with “will” that is repeated? It’s “mystery”. Note in verse 1:9 Paul refers to the “mystery of His will”. It’s true isn’t it? God’s will is a bit of mystery at times. That is why it seems so hard to know the will of God. But note also that “mystery” is a word that is repeated through Ephesians.
- The mystery of His will (1:9)
- The mystery of Christ (3:3, 3:4) [actually the mystery of His grace]
- The mystery of Christ and the church (5:32)
- The mystery of the gospel (6:19)
Well isn’t that interesting! Ephesians is such a mysterious book. Do you like a good mystery novel? Read Ephesians.
All this mystery and secrets, but Paul actually makes the will of God plain. Where? In Ephesians. But where? You look for it. It’s a mystery – solve it. Learn to ask the right questions; like the little boy below.
More in the following Gems.
A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.”
His son asked, “What happened to the flea?”Ian Vail
All is mystery; but he is a slave who will not struggle to penetrate the dark veil.Benjamin Disraeli