God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display His wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.Ephesians 3:10
To the intent – Greek, “so that” Ἵνα [hina] The sense is the grand purpose in the creation of the universe was, that the wisdom of God might be clearly shown by the church. The formation of the sun, the stars, the earth, the seas, the mountains, the flood was not enough to show it. Hence the universe was created, and man was put upon the earth, not merely to illustrate the divine perfection in the work of creation, but still more importantly, the work of redemption. This work of redemption is being carried out for all of creation to see. The work of God is displayed there below; the angels are looking on too.
Ha ha I feel a song coming on. I always seem to include a song with each book. It seems this is the moment for the Ephesian’s song.
I Heard the Angels Sing by Ellis Deibler
I heard the angels sing “Glory, hallelujah” A mighty chorus way up high I heard the angels sing “Praise the name of Jesus” Singing in God’s choir in the sky
I heard a thousand trumpets sounding out His glory Telling the story how He came to earth to die I heard a million voices praise the name of Jesus Singing in God’s choir in the sky
They say the angels sang to praise the Lord of glory When God made light begin to glow, They saw the earth established – mountains rose from valleys – And heard the Lord tell all the plants to grow.
But angels held their breath when God created people Seeing them turn their back on such a God of love They wished that we would join them praising God the Father Singing in God’s choir up above.
The angel Gabriel was sent upon an errand That made the other angels cheer That Mary’s boy would be the promised seed of David The Saviour sent to bring salvation here
They told some shepherds resting, watching o’er their sheepfolds “Go see the baby! God’s Messiah sent to die” Then angels, thousands, praised the God of heaven, Wanting us to join them by and by.
And now I know that some day I will join the angels In thanking God for all He’s done. I’ll join with those of every tribe and tongue and nation Singing out the praises of God’s son.
But I will sing with joy unmatched by heaven’s angels. Telling how Jesus died for sinners such as I; I’ll join the millions who have been redeemed by Jesus Singing in God’s Choir in the sky.
The word “now” means that this display is to be made under the Gospel. Now, since the Messiah is come; now, this revelation is to be made know to all created world, including the fallen angels. The grandeur of the scheme is breathing taking. It is like the angels (the good ones) look down over the edge of heaven (Ian’s word picture; not reality) and comment on what is going on now. “Oh God come quick, do you see what Adam is doing?” “Oh Father, Abraham is selling Sarai to a harem AGAIN.” “Oh God the fallen angels and Satan are rejoicing that Jesus is dead” All the while God says, “Don’t worry angels. My plan will succeed, I assure you. See what happens in a few days.” The panorama of it all is staggering.
The principalities and powers in heavenly places – Who are these principalities and powers? Some think only the good angels are intended. I think all angels are intended here because of the link to Eph 6:12. Yes the good angels are meant; these heavenly angels being curious to observe the outcome and effects of the Gospel, though they are not its immediate focus. Remember the angels can’t sing “Amazing Grace” with the experience of the heart; they can only observe from afar. But it is also true that this effect of the gospel must be demonstrated to the fallen angels too.
By the church – we the church are the ones who work in conjunction with angelic assistance to bring back the rule of God. To the degree we the church realize our position and standing “IN CHRIST” we have the power over the fallen angelic world. I remember another song we used to sing in church a few years ago “You have won the victor’s crown . . . and we, Your church enforce that victory in the world”.
I had the most amazing experience on one occasion a long time ago in New Zealand. I had been called to a house by a woman who was being troubled by demons spirits. Amazingly as I approached the house the front door was open and I could see the woman standing in the lounge inside looking furtively outside as me coming to the front door. I called her name and poke my head in the door. She ran to the far end of the lounge and called in a strange voice not her own “You stay away from me you man of God. Stay away from me.” Then she ran to the kitchen. As I had been called to helped I decided to enter the house and follow her. I found her in the kitchen cowering under the breakfast bar and screaming out the same words as before. I took my Bible and started to read Colossians 1 which tells exactly who Jesus is and what he has done and how everything is under Him. She started whimpering in the unnatural voice “No, not the sword, no, not the sword.” The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. Believe it, it is true. We need to be reminded of it just as the demonic world need to be reminded of it. “we, Your church enforce that victory in the world”.
The manifold wisdom of God – It does not mean merely that there was just “great” wisdom, but that the wisdom shown was diversified and varied; like changing, variegated colours. It is like a landscape, or a panoramic view passing before the mind, with a great variety of phases and aspects, all tending to excite admiration. In the redemption of the church, there is not merely one form or one phase of wisdom. It is wisdom, ever-varying, ever-beautiful. There was wisdom manifested when the plan was formed; wisdom in the selection of the Redeemer; wisdom in the incarnation; wisdom in the atonement; wisdom in the means of renewing the heart, and sanctifying the soul; wisdom in the various phases by which the church is sanctified, guided, and brought to glory.
There you have it. I have tried to describe and capture in words the scale and grandeur of this verse. But irrespective of my words above there is more . . . so much more to it. Understand your position “in Christ” and go do some enforcing.
There is a war going on. All talk of a Christian’s right to live luxuriously “as a child of the King” in this atmosphere sounds hollow — especially since the King himself is stripped for battle.John Piper
It is impossible for a Christian to have a secular job. Doing things in church doesn’t make it holy. It was holy before that.Rob Bell
Go out into the world and manifest the presence of God in a world that desperately needs to see the church being the church as God intended it.Ian Vail