Fifth, we see the management of God’s plan. Paul wrote, “As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:10). The word “plan” (oikonomia) denotes an “arrangement, order, plan” (BAGD); or “dispensation” (KJV, NKJV). This “administration,” “dispensation,” or “arrangement” is “a plan which involves a set of arrangements (referring in the NT to God’s plan for bringing salvation to mankind within the course of history).” (Louw-Nida) God has arranged a dispensational plan, an administration over time. In Ephesians, that plan is two-fold: (1) to bring together all things in heaven and on earth under the headship of Christ; and, (2) to join other non-Jewish and Jewish believers into the one Body of Christ.
(CNN) –A couple who separated after 40 years of marriage split their house in two — literally. The husband cut the house in two.
The husband and wife had been living together in the house in a village in the Prey Veng province of southern Cambodia, roughly 50 miles (80 km) from the capital.
The couple would not talk to the newspaper, but the village chief told May Titthara that the husband was angry because his wife wouldn’t tend to him when he was ill.
Last week, the husband and his friends moved his belongings to one side of the house — and sawed and chiseled it off, said the reporter, who interviewed the village chief and neighbors.
God purposed “to unite all things” in Christ. God purposed to join all Jew and Gentle believers in Christ. God has set up an arrangement that in the fullness of time, all things in heaven and on earth shall be united in Christ. This is the dispensational plan of God in v. 10.
The verb phrase “to unite” (anakephalaioo) simply means, “to bring everything together in Christ Eph 1:10.” (BAGD) Colossians 1 portrays Christ as the head over all things. Yet Ephesians 1 pictures Christ as the unifying point of all things. Marvin Vincent summarized, “God made known the mystery of His will, the plan of redemption, according to His own good pleasure, in order to bring to pass an economy [dispensation]…which should be characterized by the regathering of all things round one point, Christ.” (M. Vincent) God chose, predestined, redeemed, and sealed all believers in Christ. Likewise, He brings together all created things in Christ. Christ, then, is the focal point of God’s eternal purpose in unifying all creation in heaven and on earth. He is the hub of the redemptive unification of all creation.
When will this happen? It is eschatological—happening in the end time. I believe that this dispensation of unifying all things in Christ will happen in the kingdom of Christ. I believe in only three dispensations in the Bible—past, present, and future—(1) the dispensation of the Law in the Old Testament, (2) the dispensation of the Church in the present age, (3) and the dispensation of the Kingdom in the age to come. These three dispensations are self-evident in the pages of Scripture. In the Millennial Kingdom of Christ after His second coming, God will bring together all things in Christ. The exaltation of Christ will be manifested in the kingdom of Christ.
The phrase “all things in heaven and things on earth” is universal. It shall include not just people, but all things—all created things—animate and inanimate, visible and invisible—in both the natural and spiritual worlds (Col. 1:15-20). “God’s purpose,” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote, “is to sum up the whole creation in Christ, the Head of angels, with whom He is linked by His invisible nature, and of men with whom He is linked by His humanity; of Jews and Gentiles; of the living and the dead (Eph 3:15); of animate and inanimate creation.” (JFB)
You might ask, “Why unite all things in Christ in the fullness of time? The answer is because sin has broken the unity of God and creation. Because of sin, there is brokenness between God and creation, God and man, man and man, and between man and creation. There is brokenness between God and angelic beings. See how the principalities and rulers of the air continue to rebel against God.
Since the Fall, there is brokenness between humans and animals. See how humans fear and kill animals.
There is brokenness between animal and animal. See how animals fight and eat each other.
There is brokenness between human and fellow humans themselves. See how people fight and kill each other.
There is also brokenness between humans and the environment. See how people destroy the trees, the mountains, and the oceans.
Yet there will be a time when all creation will be united in Christ. In the fullness of time, God will unite all creation in Christ.
At this point in v. 10, Paul reaches the summit of his doxology. Paul’s words in v. 3 signify the foothills of his declaration. Yet his words in v. 10 signify the mountaintop of his praise of God. The pinnacle of Paul’s praise is not the spiritual blessings of God upon believers, but the exaltation of Christ in the fullness of time. The culmination of salvation ends with the exaltation of Christ. All creation will be brought together in Christ. Christ will be exalted far above all things in heaven and on earth. Thus, Paul prays in vv. 15-23 that believers will fathom this truth.
Aren’t you grateful for the riches of God’s grace to you in Christ? If you are grateful, tell others about the generous grace of God at the cross of Christ. As you freely receive God’s grace, freely give to others.
 “A house divided: Estranged couple’s home cut in half.” Online: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/10/09/house. divided/index.html.