Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1: Saints Foreordained/Restoration of the Gospel

                Paul writes a letter to the Ephesians, he starts by explaining that he is an Apostle of the Lord and explains that we are all God’s children, for God “…hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, what we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ… In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (Ephesians 1:4-5, 7) We learn from Paul that we are not only children of God, but that Jesus Christ will adopt us and through His atoning sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and His Crucifixion, we can be forgiven of our sins.

Paul goes on to explain that God will make known “…the mystery of his will…” (Ephesians 1:7) Essentially Paul is telling us that ONE DAY we will have answers to the questions of our soul, like: Where did we come from? Why are we here and where are we going after death? Paul explains that in the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times’ we will come to this knowledge;

“…the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” (Ephesians 1:10)

What is the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times?

                First, what is a ‘Dispensation’? Dispensations are periods of time in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is administered by Holy Prophets, who are ordained by God. Through these Prophets, God can speak to His children and administer the affairs of His kingdom on Earth. Dispensations begin with the calling of a prophet, by God. Dispensations end, when the people reject the prophets and kill them.

The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times began in 1820, when Joseph Smith had the First Vision. During this time God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. Through Joseph Smith, the Church of Jesus Christ was restored back to the earth. In modern day scripture we read; “It is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18).

                So we learn that through Joseph Smith, the Father and the Son ushered in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, where all dispensations from Adam to Present are linked together to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Paul ends his letter to the Saints in Ephesus, and prays that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ given them the “…spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; The eyes of your understanding being  enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:17-18) Paul was urging them to open their minds and hearts to being filled with knowledge and enlightenment over the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asks the same thing, for people to open their hearts and understand that the Church, Jesus Christ personally established when He was on the earth… is now Restored with modern day Prophets and Apostles.

Romans 9

Romans 9: The Law of Election

                Paul expresses his sorrow over the stubbornness of the Jews. Paul then explains  how the Law of Election, or predestination works. We learn that God chose Jacob over Esau before either of them was born. This shows that it is possible for someone to be pre-destined to accomplish a goal for the Lord. God deals with individuals in either mercy or judgment, and no one can find fault with His dealings. God also foreordained Israel for adoption of the covenants, the promises, and the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This Salvation comes to both Jew and Gentile and is obtained through Faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings.

Romans 8

Romans 8: Joint-Heirs with Christ

                Paul explains that those who walk according to the Spirit, rather than according to the flesh are not condemned. Paul points out that even the; “…Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17) This means that we are literally Children; sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father. Because we are God’s offspring, we too are heirs and joint heirs with our Brother Jesus Christ. Paul explains that we all suffer, but that the; “…sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18), in other words our suffering now will be nothing compared to our eternal glory and reward.

Glory, Hope and the Holy Ghost

                “…we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:24-25)

If we know the outcome of something, then we have no need for hope. However, if we don’t know the outcome of something, we must wait. Waiting helps to build patience and through patience we gain a testimony of hope and a growing love for God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Spirit [Holy Ghost] is our intercessor, and even during times of uncertainty the Holy Ghost will guide us when we know not what to say or what to pray for.

Wisdom from Paul

                Paul teaches some great words of wisdom;

                “…he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27) In other words; he who has a clean heart will know the will and love of God.

                “…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) Anyone who truly loves God, will find that eventually in God’s timing, everything will work out.

                “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30) The Bible does not speak that often on the word “pre-destiny” or “predestination”. But, essentially those who follow the Lord have the opportunity to become like Him. We are predestined to conform to the image of Jesus and those who are predestined are called. God foreknows, predestines, calls, justifies and glorifies

                “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) If God was willing to let His own Son be tortured and killed for the Sins of all mankind… wouldn’t that mean that God would freely give us ALL things? YES.

                “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35-39)

If God is with us, who can be against us? No one!