Ephesians 3:11
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,

King James Bible
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Darby Bible Translation
according to the purpose of the ages, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,

World English Bible
according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord;

Young's Literal Translation
according to a purpose of the ages, which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Ephesians 3:11 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

According to the eternal purpose - see the note, Ephesians 1:4. Literally, "the purpose of ages," or of eternity. Locke, Chandler, and Whitby render this, "according to that disposition or arrangement of the ages which he made in Jesus Christ, or through him." The object of such an interpretation seems to be to avoid the doctrine that God had a purpose or plan in the salvation of people, and hence such expositors suppose it refers to the arrangement of the "ages" of the world by which the plan of redemption was introduced. On the word rendered here as "purpose" - προθέσις prothesis - see the notes at Romans 8:28; compare Ephesians 1:11. It is rendered "showbread" - the bread of setting before," Matthew 12:4; Mark 2:26; Luke 6:4; Hebrews 9:2; "purpose," Acts 11:23; Acts 27:13; Romans 8:28; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:10. It does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. In most of these cases it refers to the "purpose or intention" of God; in not a single case does it mean "arrangement or disposition" in any sense like that of making an arrangement of "ages" or periods of the world; and the interpretation proposed by Whitby, Locke, Clarke, and others, is wholly at variance with the settled use of the word.

The word rendered "eternal" - αἰώνων aiōnōn - may mean "ages;" but it also most usually means eternity; see Ephesians 3:9. Here it may mean "the purpose of ages;" i. e., the purpose formed in past ages; but the word is most commonly used in the New Testament in the sense of "ever, and forever;" compare the following places, where it is so rendered in our common version, and beyond a doubt correctly; Matthew 6:13; Matthew 21:19; Mark 3:29; Mark 11:14; Luke 1:33, Luke 1:55; John 4:14; John 6:51, John 6:58; John 8:35; John 14:16; Romans 1:25; Romans 9:5; Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27; 2 Corinthians 9:9; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:5. The fair meaning of the passage here is, that God had formed a plan which was "eternal" in reference to the salvation of people; that that plan had reference to the Lord Jesus; and that it was now executed by the gospel. It is impossible to get away from the idea that God has a "plan." It is too often affirmed in the Scriptures, and is too consonant with out' reason to be disputed. It is as "undesirable" as it is impossible to escape from that idea. Who could respect or honor an intelligent being that had no plan, no purpose, no intention, and that did all things by caprice and hap-hazard? If God has any plan, it must he eternal. He has no new schemes; he has no intentions which he did not always have.

Which he purposed - Literally, "which he made."

In Christ Jesus - With reference to him; or which were to be executed through him. The eternal plan had respect to him, and was to be executed by his coming and work.

Ephesians 3:11 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Paul's Care and Prayer for the Church.
Text: Ephesians 3, 13-21. 13. Wherefore I ask that ye may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 and that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be strong
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The Indwelling Christ
'That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; ye being rooted and grounded in love.'--Eph. iii. 17. We have here the second step of the great staircase by which Paul's fervent desires for his Ephesian friends climbed towards that wonderful summit of his prayers--which is ever approached, never reached,--'that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.' Two remarks of an expository character will prepare the way for the lessons of these verses. The first is as to the relation of this clause
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Love of Christ.
THE Patience of Christ was recently the object of our meditation in these pages. Blessed and inexhaustible it is. And now a still greater theme is before our hearts. The Love of Christ. The heart almost shrinks from attempting to write on the matchless, unfathomable love of our blessed and adorable Lord. All the Saints of God who have spoken and written on the Love of Christ have never told out its fulness and vastness, its heights and its depths. "The Love of Christ which passeth knowledge" (Ephesians
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

The Holy Spirit Forming Christ Within Us.
It is a wonderful and deeply significant prayer that Paul offers in Eph. iii. 16-19 for the believers in Ephesus and for all believers who read the Epistle. Paul writes, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

Cross References
Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:30
and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

Galatians 5:24
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Ephesians 1:11
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Ephesians 3:1
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--

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