8 “Which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:8–10 (ESV)
Thus far, the Apostle Paul has revealed that God not only chose believers in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-5), but He also adopted and redeemed them through the substitutionary atonement by Jesus Christ on the cross (Ephesians 1:5, 7). The impetus, or motivation, by God to do this was His grace alone (Ephesians 1:6-7). The result of this was the forgiveness of our trespasses (Ephesians 1:7).
God’s grace was lavished upon us (Ephesians 1:8). This was God’s intended and sovereign purpose (Ephesians 1:9). Why would God do all of this, for those who were His enemies because of man’s fall into sin (Genesis 3; Romans 1:18-32; 5:1-21)?
Ephesians 1:10 says, “…as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
The phrase as a plan (οἰκονομία; oikonomia) means to administrate, to manage a household, and/or to be a steward. It is a task, or a job, that is in need of a set of arrangements. The task God administrated was the salvation of sinners, such as you and me.
God’s managed plan of redemption was fulfilled in His perfecting timing. The phrase for the fullness of time indicates this truth. The phrase refers to the completeness of God’s plan at a particular point in time.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “The idea appears to be that the household of the cosmos has become fragmented and in disarray because the household managers allowed this to happen (Adam and his progeny). Christ is a faithful household manager who has come to put the fragmented household back together, especially the splintered relationships in the family of that household.”
God’s ultimate goal is the unification of all things in Christ, both in heaven and on earth. The Beatles sang for people to Come Together. Jesus Christ actually accomplished this task of bringing people together into one: the elect of God. They become the church of God and are in union with God through the work and in the person of Jesus Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!