EPHESIANS 3:9-12: “…and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”
OBSERVATION: Is the church important? Can’t I simply worship God in my own way without the church? After all, the church is simply filled with hypocrites. Why waste time each week going to church. I can worship God in His creation on the lake, while I am hunting, climbing a mountain, playing golf, or walking along the majestic seashore He created. WHO NEEDS THE CHURCH!?
Have you ever met someone who felt this way? Have you ever felt this way? It is amazing the positions we will take when we do not understand God’s divine purposes. When we only consult our own reason and logic, and we do not look to the Word of God, we will come up with many of our own “logical” conclusions – all of which are totally in opposition to God’s Word and His Will.
In these few verses Paul reveals what he calls the “fellowship of the mystery”. It is this mystery that has been hidden in God from the beginning of the age. The mystery is – through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He would bring together, from all nations, from all tribes, both Jew and Gentile, into this thing God calls the “church”. The “church” literally means the called out ones. It is through these “called out ones”, redeemed through faith in Christ, that God has chosen to accomplish His will in the world. This is how Paul puts it – “…to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known BY THE CHURCH to the principalities and powers in heavenly places ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE WHICH HE ACCOMPLISHED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD…”
So the next time someone dismisses the church as something irrelevant, they are really dismissing the eternal purposes of God. You cannot love the “Head” (Jesus) if you don’t love the “Body” (the church). Sure, the church is imperfect. This is the wonder of God’s Grace. He chose to take us, imperfect as we are, redeem us through the blood of Jesus Christ, and then use us to fulfill His Eternal Purposes. We should love the church and do everything within our power to protect and foster her growth and influence in the world. Jesus said – “By this will all men know that you are My disciples, in that you have love one for another.” This is the call of the church. To love one another with the same Grace and Mercy with which we have been loved by The Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, thank you for the church. May I honor your “Body”. May I commit myself to building up the Body of Christ. May I do everything I can to help her fulfill Your divine purposes here on earth! In Jesus Name!