10 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. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
In Ephesians 3 Paul tells us God wants to use the church (you and me!) to reveal His wisdom to the world. And in Ephesians 4 Paul shows us one way God will accomplish this is by uniting us through His Spirit.
I have a precious friend Teena who has cancer and is receiving chemo treatments, which she says she will have to take for the rest of her life. She has to limit her exposure to others so she doesn’t get around people a lot. As I was taking her home from an outing recently, I asked her what was the hardest part about her current situation. Her answer: not being able to go to church; not being able to worship together with a group of people; but the connection with those people.
Wow! That got me thinking. Would that be my answer to that question? And why do I even go to church?
My dad was a minister so I grew up in church, you know, one of those “every time the church doors were opened” kids. I accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 8. In those early years, I guess church was something I was “supposed” to do, a place to go to on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights
So what about now? Why do I go? Yes, maybe part of me still goes because I am supposed to go — it’s a habit — and that’s ok. But it is so much more.
Ephesians 3:10-11 says God’s plan was to reveal His wisdom through the church. This was part of His eternal purpose. What does that mean to me? Of course it’s the church revealing God’s wisdom to me through sermons, songs of worship, teachers and other Christians. Those are the ways I have learned more about the character of God.
But the way I have gained true understanding/wisdom of God’s character? For me, it’s the church walking beside me through difficult times and helping me learn Godly perseverance. It’s the church body loving me and my family by investing time in us. It’s the church body taking the great commission seriously and going outside our physical church walls to make disciples. It’s through these and other living examples that I have learned how to be a part of “this revealing of who God is”.
And then there is another component of the church — the unity of believers. Ephesians 4 talks about how we have one body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism and one God and Father. It talks about how we have been given different gifts. And then in Ephesians 4:12-13 Paul says these gifts were given to us to equip the saints to “building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith…”
The word “unity” makes me think of fellowship with the church body, a connection with people from all backgrounds and experiences. The church body is where I have learned unity doesn’t mean we all think and believe alike. It’s not unity of total agreement, but unity of a common goal. And it begins with worshipping together as a church body-like I did this past Sunday when it hit me how much I would miss my church body if I couldn’t be an active part of it.
Scripture Memory | May | Ephesians 4:15
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”