The particular focus of this study aims to explain what Paul meant by saying “to unite all things in him” (ESV), “the summing up of all things in Christ” (NASB), and “gather together in one all things in Christ” (NKJV). It will argued that this refers to the recapitulation of all created things by our exalted redeemer in accordance with the design of the Father.
The Bible is ultimately about God getting glory for Himself through the work of Christ, the incarnate Son of God, the mediator between God and men, the redeemer, the reconciler of all things created, the skull-crushing seed of the woman. This is one of my working assumptions as I approach this text. In this study, I want to analyze Ephesians 1:7-10, seeking to do exegetical justice to it in its immediate context and then place it in its wider redemptive-historical and canonical context. The fruit of this interpretive exercise will give some warrant to the claim that the Bible is about God getting glory for Himself through what He does in the Son.
…Before we move on it is important to note that the subjective knowledge of the mystery of God’s will is based on the objective coming of Christ and the implications of His coming drawn out for us by the writers of the New Testament. In other words, that which God gives us in terms of understanding His will is based on His act in Christ and the subsequent interpretation of that act by apostles and prophets and, especially for us, the writers of the New Testament. Also, the implications drawn out by the writers of the New Testament were based on previous revelation concerning Gentile inclusion. The “mystery” was new revelation in the sense of being New Testament Scripture but it was also clearer understanding of previous scriptural revelation in light of the redemptive-historical revelation of the sufferings and glory of Christ. The New Testament writers, in other words, interpreted the Old Testament in light of God’s revelation in Christ.*