The Divine Perspective
Seeing from God’s Point of View
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes: “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” I believe we can understand Solomon to be saying something like this: “It seems like there is a purpose to creation, and although Man cannot totally understand it now, God has created him such that it is his very nature to want to know and understand God’s eternal plan and purpose in creation.” The Amplified Bible says it this way: “He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun, but God alone can satisfy]….” The Young’s Literal Translation actually offers a hope for some “satisfaction”, as it were, even during our time on earth. It reads like this: ”… that knowledge He hath put in their heart without which man findeth not out the work that God hath done from the beginning even unto the end.” I believe that God wants us to understand His Eternal Plan and Purpose in Creation. I believe this simply because He has revealed it in the Scripture: In Ephesians 1:4-5, the apostle Paul states: “Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children—this was his pleasure and purpose.”
In this passage, the phrase “before the world was made” shows us that in order to properly understand God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose in Creation, we must see from the Divine Perspective – we must see from God’s Point of View – that is, from an eternal perspective. God’s perspective is an eternal one. Man’s perspective is temporal. The Scripture tells us that what we see is “temporal”, but what we don’t see (God and the things of God) are “eternal”. “Temporal” means enduring for a while, for a season. If we are needing and wanting to know where it all came from and where it is all going, we need an eternal perspective – understanding that which was in the heart and mind of God before creation and will remain after the earth passes away.
Along with this eternal perspective, Seeing from God’s Point of View requires our agreeing with and submitting to God’s perspective on things. We must “sit where God is sitting”, as it were, and look outward and “see what God is seeing”, in order to understand things from His point of view. This puts God where He rightfully belongs in our lives – in the center. God’s point of view on things is given to Man by God’s Spirit in the Bible – God’s words. If we agree with and submit to a Biblical perspective on things, we will have a God-centered point of view and not a Man-centered point of view. This is absolutely necessary to understand God and His Eternal Plan and Purpose in Creation, which plan, and purpose also include our personal lives. We can therefore appreciate the apostle Paul’s Spirit-motivated prayer for the Church: “We are asking God that you may see things, as it were, from His point of view by being given spiritual insight and understanding.” The “spiritual insight and understanding” are the eternal truths given to Man by God’s Spirit in the Bible – God’s words.
The Divine Intention
God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose in Creation
The Divine Perspective – Seeing from God’s Point of View – shows us something crucially important: The Divine Intention – God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose in Creation – goes way beyond meeting Man’s needs. Firstly, God does not exist for Man (Man-Centeredness); Man exists for God (God-Centeredness). Secondly, the Divine Intention – God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose in Creation – goes back before time – before the creation – before Man fell into sin in the garden – and before the Father sent the Son to this earth to redeem Man from sin. Does it sound right to you, that God created Man so that He could redeem him from sin – end of story? Was that God’s eternal plan and purpose? Don’t we just know in our hearts that our God had something much better than that in His heart and mind?
Simon Chan asks: “Is the church to be seen as an instrument to accomplish God’s purpose in creation, or is the church the expression of God’s ultimate purpose itself?” He then goes on to say: “God created the world in order that He might enter into a covenant relationship with humankind…. The covenantal relationship always involves the election of a people from among humankind…. Implied in this newer canonical narrative is another way of looking at the relationship between the church broadly conceived and creation, and that is to see it not as another entity within the larger creation but as prior to creation. The church precedes creation in that it is what God has in view from all eternity and creation is the means by which God fulfills his eternal purpose in time. The church does not exist to fix a broken creation; rather, the creation exists to realize the church.”
I concur: The Creator existed before the Creation. The Creator has a purpose for His Creation: “… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” God’s purpose for Creation is to form a people – “the adoption as sons”, that is, the Church.
Let’s look at Paul’s words again using a different translation: “Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children—this was his pleasure and purpose.” The Divine Intention – God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose is to have A FAMILY OF SONS IN THE SON. While redeeming us from sin was necessary for God to fulfill the Divine Intention, it is not His eternal plan and purpose in creation. And if we only have this Man-centered / Needs-oriented perspective – that God’s main pre-occupation is in redeeming, saving, healing, and blessing Man, then, not only have we missed the Divine Intention, but our understanding of the whole of the Christian life, as well as the nature, mission and ministry of the Church will all be askew with a self-centered perspective.
So, the Divine Intention – God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose in Creation was to “make us his children” — a family of sons in The Son – “THIS WAS HIS PLEASURE AND PURPOSE.” In Revelation 4:11, we see that around the throne in heaven it is being declared: “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”
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“God’s Eternal Plan & Purpose” is an excerpt from the eBook: “The God-Centered Life”, pages 8-13. See the corresponding eBook and Audio Message on our website.
At Christ’s Table – ACTpublications © 2009
“Explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13
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 Ecclesiastes 3:11. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible.
 See the preceding verses 1-10 in Ecclesiastes 3.
 Good News Translation
 I Corinthians 4:18
 (Greek) proskairos: Strong’s # 4340
 Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33, II Peter 3:10-13
 Colossians 1:9 The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips
 Excerpt from: Chan, Simon (2006) The Ontology of the Church, Chapter One, Liturgical Theology, The Church as Worshiping Community. InterVarsity Press. Cf. Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8.
 Ephesians 1:4-5
 Ephesians 1:4-5 The Good News Translation
 New Living Translation