I’m sharing a post from “Today in the Word” a daily devotional from Moody Bible Institute. I was struck by God’s perspective of the church (looking beyond the character’s name) 🙂
Ephesians 3:10-13 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Greg sat with his mother by the lake and explained why he didn’t feel it was necessary to attend church. He pointed to the sun that had just started to dip below the horizon. “You won’t see anything as beautiful as that in any church,” he said. The two watched it set the sky aflame in hues of orange and yellow. “This is my church!” Greg concluded.
Many people agree with Greg’s point of view. They wonder why church is such a big deal. Why not worship God alone in the woods or by the lake? Yet in today’s passage it is clear that church is important to God. He intends to put the church on display to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. Paul uses similar language in Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16 in contexts that seem to refer to angelic powers. The church is doing more than meeting and worshiping. It functions as a cosmic trophy to the manifold wisdom and grace of God.
How does this take place? This cosmic purpose of God is accomplished through Jesus Christ. The church’s existence testifies to the power and wisdom of Christ. It is not the church’s programs or its dynamic leaders that provoke the cosmic powers to marvel. It is rather the bold confidence with which any believer can approach God. Even the humblest believer enjoys the kind of direct access to God that might give the angels cause to envy. The angels are deeply interested in the Christ’s redeeming work (1 Peter 1:12).
God’s big plan for the church was a source of encouragement for Paul as he suffered for the sake of the gospel. Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles was often marked by suffering. This included imprisonment, hunger, and beatings (2 Cor. 11:23–30).
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments! (Romans 11:33)