References to the plan of God, made before the creation of the universe, appear frequently in the writings of Paul. In fact, there are so many references to the plan of God that the centrality of the plan in eternity becomes difficult to ignore. Organizing and categorizing the only the descriptions of this plan found in the writings of Paul show a consistency of detail, the sum of which gives a picture of God’s intent for His creation which is being fulfilled in these last days.
The idea in this section of posts/pages is to take a composite picture assembled from these scriptural references explaining the plan, as it has been fully revealed, and to look in other places in scripture for similar descriptions or references that will likely occur in less obvious detail — perhaps even finding them throughout the continuum of scripture.
The figure below has so much information on it that you will have to click on the image and then click again to enlarge it enough to read.
Summary – (somewhat embellished with interpretation and opinion)
God had a plan – out of which the universe was formed. The universe was created by God as a physical realm — an environment controlled by physical laws, set into place to function in such a manner so that gradual and progressive change would take place over time. The universe has gone through (and is going through) a process of change or evolution following an inevitable foreordained pattern set out by God in the principles and laws of energy, matter, dimensions, and time. A characteristic of this evolution is a continual progression from the simple and basic to the complex, with increasing capabilities. This evolution over time might be understood in three categories or phases. Although the evolutionary mechanisms from each phase continues throughout the next phase(s), the rate and degree of changes within subsequent phases are so significant that developments within the new phase override the advancements of previous phase(s). The first phase is the physical evolution of the universe, occurring from the beginning of time to present and into the future. From our perspective, this includes our solar system, the earth, the beginning of life, and the formation of increasingly complex forms of life. Eventually, a human being (humanoid) of sufficient intelligence was formed who had the brain capacity to think, create, be aware of right and wrong, and to continue physical evolution into subsequent phases of social and religious development. Then, the dominant evolution of humankind involved interactions between people, which grew more complex with increasing population. Humankind evolved socially, culturally, politically, and religiously through the major periods described in the Old Testament. There was one particular group, or race, of people. from the patriarchs to the children-nation-people of Israel, who were chosen by God as the steward, the preserver, the “incubator” of the eternal plan of God that, at the correct time, the next and final phase of the development out of God’s foreordained plan would be delivered as “the Promise of the Father.” God revealed His plan in increasing detail throughout recorded Biblical history as people had sufficiently developed (matured) to understand it and to continue the mental and spiritual evolutionary process. But the plan was not fully revealed – only prophetic hints were revealed to particularly spiritually attuned people. The Old Testament was written by people who had special perception into the plan of God, but they also wrote within the limits of their human understanding of the plan as it had been revealed at that time. The Old Testament is a history of the development of God’s foreordained plan, described in the context of the understanding of the people at that time.
When the time was fully come for the most significant change, Jesus Christ came into the world. From birth to death, He demonstrated the love of the Father for the world and the desire of the Father that all should be saved – meaning grow into the character of God in true righteousness and holiness – in preparation for fellowship with God throughout eternity. Jesus proved He was authorized to fully reveal the plan of God by fulfilling all the prophecies given up to thousands of years before, demonstrating control over all parts of the creation – in both physical and spiritual realms, showing the perfect character of the Father and teaching of the kingdom to come on earth and in heaven, being the perfect atoning sacrifice to close out the Old Covenant and conquering sin by bearing our guilt and death by His resurrection, returning to the Father so that the Promise of the Father could be delivered on the Day of Pentecost – the Promised Holy Spirit poured out upon all people.
The love of God was poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us (Rom. 5:5). Now, when one accepts by faith the forgiveness, redemption, justification and reconciliation to God through Christ, they are baptized within the Holy Spirit and born from out above as a New Creation with the gift of the Holy Spirit — the spiritual genes of God – the same holy DNA that Jesus had on earth. When these genes are expressed by the Holy Spirit, in response to our decision to remove the old nature of sin (genes of Adam) and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, into the characteristics of the Father, manifested by Jesus Christ on earth. We are thereby transformed from one appearance into another by the constant renewing of our minds – changed from the behavior of works of the flesh to the fruit of the Spirit. We are transformed into the increasing glory of Christ (1 Cor. 3:18) and into the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). Increasing holiness is the process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit. This is the plan of God because we were created to be like Him.
This objective takes precedence over anything else in the universe, because this was the plan that the creation was predestined to carry out. All people are given the opportunity to be part of that plan. People who are being transformed have a common goal, mindset, and direction, which creates a bond for fellowship and for helping one another. The church is the collection of individuals who have as their highest priority the goal of becoming like God. They work together, combine, integrate. and facilitate so that group can grow to be more like God together than they could apart. The world notices this bond of unity and peace and love and recognizes the love of the Father in the lives of those being transformed. The success and wisdom of the plan of God, as demonstrated by the church, is also noted by observers in the heavenly realms (Eph. 3:10).
Over 16 billion years of the universe carrying out the plan of God has brought focus to this moment. This plan is for us. Christians are to understand this plan and to carry it out. Christians are to be engaged in the process of being transformed into the image of God, as, collectively, the church is growing into the maturity of the full knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are we accomplishing this eternal objective brought to us and given to us to carry forward into eternity? Do we effect the plan of God by acting like the surrounding culture? Does the church effect the plan through owning real estate and buildings with marketing, name brand recognition, successful competition, and good business practice? Is this why God created the universe?
This section examines the plan of God and why it is the Unifying Field Law of Everything in the Universe.