We are “accepted in the Beloved,” because “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Jesus died a martyr to be sure, but the real purpose of his suffering and death was that all those whom the Father had given Him would redeemed and forgiven. This was and is “according to the riches of His grace.” As His we are rich. This plan was and is done “in all wisdom and prudence.” It is far more than just an emotional experience, but this and much more besides is rooted in His wisdom and understanding, “having made known to us the mystery of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace.” It is God alone who authored this plan, and part of this is in the knowing that it is entirely “according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.” This purpose originated in the mind of God alone.
“That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him.” History is indispensable to the Christian faith, and as Paul has been stressing throughout, it is a story written by the sovereign predestinating purpose of the Father. All the particulars of history come to fulfillment in and through His Son. In Him also, heaven and earth are brought together in harmony – the many in the One. “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” We are also predestined to an inheritance. There is much more to come, all because Jesus has become our brother. Paul and his contemporaries were just the beginning of those who are predestined to trust ‘in Christ’, “to the praise of His glory.”