Ephesians on The Church

July 31, 2009

…through the gospel, Gentiles are including with Jews in God’s covenant community (Eph 2:14-16; 3:6). Paul goes on, “[God’s] intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (3:10-11). The Christian community makes God’s wisdom known in the heavenly realms. And that is because we are the beginning of God’s purposes for the whole cosmos. God is going to bring “things in heaven and on earth together under one heard, even Christ” (1:10). “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth,” says James, “that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created” (James 1:18). We [the Church] are the first ray of light breaking into the darkness of a disordered and fractured universe. We are the first sign of a new dawn. the night of Satan’s reign is fading. In C.S. Lewis’  vivid imagery, the snows of the White Witch’s winter are melting in Narnia. The church is an outpost of heaven. We are heaven on earth. John Stott says:

“The ‘mystery’ was not an abstraction. It was taking shape before people’s eyes. And in this new phenomenon, this new multi-racial humanity, the wisdom of God was being displayed. Indeed the coming into existence of the church as a community of saved and reconciled people is at one and the same time a public demonstration of God’s power, grace and wisdom: first of his mighty resurrection power (1:19-2:6), next of his immeasurable grace and kindness (2:7), and now of his manifold wisdom (3:10).

(Total Church, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, 66-67)

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