The Gospel in Ecclesiastes

This article is part of the Christ in All of Scripture series.

The Wisdom of God

Jesus taught us to read our Bibles with him in mind—“everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). Even “the Psalms” or “the Writings,” which include Ecclesiastes, bear witness to him (John 5:39) and can “make [us] wise for salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15). For the Christian, what Jesus taught in John 15:10–11 is an excellent summary of the wisdom of Ecclesiastes: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Our search for eternal life, rest, joy, and justice moves us beyond the creation’s subjection to futility (the frequent subject of Ecclesiastes) to Christ.

Our search for eternal life, rest, joy, and justice moves us beyond the creation’s subjection to futility (the frequent subject of Ecclesiastes) to Christ (Rom. 8:20). The movement to Christ is not by direct statement but by the words of this “son of David” (Eccles. 1:1), revealing the futility of everything that is not of God. Throughout Ecclesiastes we are led forward to other answers, other solutions, and other wisdom than the world’s vain promises of satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment.

ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible

ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible

The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible features 375,000+ words of gospel-centered study notes, book introductions, and articles that explain passage-by-passage how God’s redemptive purposes culminate in the gospel and apply to the lives of believers today.

Our eyes are constantly taken heavenward for God’s ultimate and eternal provision of which Christ becomes the ultimate revelation (2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:17). He is the world’s supreme sage (e.g., Matt. 7:24–27; 28:20) as well as the ultimate embodiment and demonstration of the “wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24, 30; Col. 2:3).

This article is adapted from the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible. Browse other articles in this series via the links below.

Old Testament

GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbersDeuteronomyJoshuaJudgesRuth1–2 Samuel1–2 Kings1–2 ChroniclesEzraNehemiahEstherJobPsalmsProverbsEcclesiastesSong of SolomonIsaiahJeremiahLamentationsEzekielDanielHoseaJoelAmosObadiahJonahMicahNahumHabbakukZephaniahHaggaiZechariahMalachi

New Testament

MatthewMarkLukeJohnActsRomans1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatians EphesiansPhilippiansColossians1 Thessalonians2 Thessalonians1 Timothy2 TimothyTitusPhilemonHebrewsJames1 Peter2 Peter1–3 JohnJudeRevelation



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