“His 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.” Eph 3:10-11
I love a good mystery. I remember reading Agatha Christie and watching the adventures of Hercule Poirot on public television. I always wanted to solve the mystery before the end of the story. Paul, writing to the church in Ephesus, had the honor of revealing a mystery that had been kept secret by God for thousands of years. “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” Eph 3:6. Paul says to the Colossians, “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Wow! Is Paul really saying that God is putting the “hope of glory” in us? God trusts you and me to be His hope for a lost world? I find God’s redemption plan so amazing. God is so confident in us that he would use the power of His only son’s death on the cross and our belief in the shed blood of Christ, to empower us to change the world for God’s kingdom. Amazing!
The “manifold wisdom,” of God is according to the Greek root, diverse, varied, or multi-colored. As one commentator puts it God’s wisdom is “inexhaustible.” It is unbounded as his eternal nature. In God’s manifold and unfathomable wisdom he makes known his great mystery of salvation through his Church the body of Gentile believers now supernaturally “grafted in” with Israel. (Eph 3:6) In this amazing and “round about” way, God, will use a growing body of believers who testify to the person of Jesus Christ, supernaturally circumcised of heart (Rom 2:29) to tell even the principalities and powers (rulers and authorities – including heavenly beings-good and evil. Even more amazing, how can a “wretch like me,” be used by the Creator of the universe to unlock His mystery? The short answer: “by grace.”
Paul writes, “(God’s) grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9). In this naturally unusual but supernaturally powerful mechanism of power through weakness, God is able to render us strong through our meekness and humbleness. As we become submissive to God, empowered by the Holy Spirit and the righteousness provided us by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we gain the power of the Creator to serve Him and our fellow man. Our willing service across the body of believers transforms a mustard seed of faith into a mighty force able to move mountains. Like the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6: 41-44) God can take our little faith, wrapped in our humbled and submitted spirits and reveal His “eternal purpose…accomplished through (His Son).”
At odds with this teaching, however, has been the Body of Christ whose lack of unity borne by pride and manifested in denominational differences, worship style disagreements, and a continual tickling of unrepentant ears (2 Tim 4:3). “(Today) is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:2) As a Church we must get our act together if we are to be involved in God’s assignment. His grace continues and the mystery is being revealed, but some of us are missing the quickly departing train of humbled believers who are doing what God called them to do. Drastic action may be our only recourse in this late hour. Perhaps its time we “gouge out an eye,” or “cut-off,” an unrepentant appendage from our Body (Mark 9:47) along the journey; better we enter the Kingdom blind or lame than not at all!.
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways;” if we decide today that the Kingdom of God is at hand and we have a role to play in God’s plan; and if we love God and our neighbors more than ourselves, our agendas and our idols, God will use us. However, if we cannot, God’s in his manifold wisdom will find other believers to help. The job will get done, with or without us!
“Here I am, Lord. Send me!”