The Church - Gods Eternal Purpose
Written by Jay Yeager
Sunday, 04 October 2009 10:07

The Church – God’s Eternal Purpose

“To the intent now unto principalities and powers in heaven places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11). 

The church is according to the eternal purpose of God. To those who are thoughtful, this piece of information will cause serious deliberation. What is it about the church that God purposed it before the foundation of the world? Whatever the answer, Jesus Christ is central to that answer, for God purposed the church in him! 

4000 years of human history comes and goes during which time God is unfolding his plan for the salvation of humanity, a piece at a time (Isaiah 28:10), until the fulness of time was come (Galatians 4:4), and the builder of the church comes into the world (Matthew 16:18). Deity takes human form (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; John 1:1; 14).  

Regarding the church (the focus of this study), why was it imperative that Jesus took human form? The church would have to be purchased, not with cold hard cash, not with a promissory note – no, that would not do. The church according to the eternal purpose of God would require the highest possible payment.  The shed blood of Christ would be required to purchase the church (Acts 20:28). Now what have we seen so far?

  1. God purposed the church before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 3:10-11).
  2. Christ would be the builder of the church (Matthew 16:18).
  3. The precious blood of Christ was shed to purchase the church (Acts 20:28).

In light of those facts, we must ask, to what end did God purpose the church which Jesus built at such a high cost? 

God is glorified in the church“Unto him (God) be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). The following constitutes various ways that God is glorified in the church. 

Because the church magnifies his only begotten Son: “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18). “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23). 

I would be amiss not to point out that the church is the body of Christ, and there is only one body (Ephesians 4:4).  Christ is the sole head over the church, which is his own house (Hebrews 3:6; Ephesians 5:23). Along that same line I Timothy 3:15 emphasizes both the Deity of Christ and the primary mission of the church to make known the wisdom of God. “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”. 

Because the saved are in the church: Beloved, by raising and answering three simple questions we can see without doubt that since the church was established in Acts chapter two, that all of the saved are in the church, and not one saved person is outside of the church!

  1. What did Jesus promise to save? “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). Jesus never promised to save anyone outside of the church.
  2. Where is reconciliation unto God? “But now in Christ Jesus ye who were sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain (two) one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both (Jew and Gentile) unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereof” (Ephesians 2:13-16). Christ died on the cross, “…the just for the unjust…” (I Peter 3:18) to make it possible for those separated from God by their sins (Isaiah 59:1-2), to be reconciled (brought back).  The place of that reconciliation is the church!
  3. What are the saved added to? “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).
 Because worship offered unto God is through the church.Of course worship can only be offered unto God through the church.  The church is where:
  1. God is glorified (Ephesians 3:21)
  2. Christ is magnified (Colossians 1:18)
  3. The saved are reconciled unto God (Ephesians 2:16)
To maintain otherwise would be in effect saying that you can ignore the church where God is glorified, Christ (the Saviour) is magnified, and the saved are reconciled unto God. Now having said that, true worship goes beyond the place of worship. Jesus tells us that God, the Father, is to the object of our worship, that worship is to be sincere, from the heart and according to truth (John 4:23-24). Each act of worship requires collective participation.
  1. Prayer – it would be unthinkable for Christians to engage in worship and not seek the favor of the Father. The church at Corinth knew the importance of prayer.  When they came together to worship they prayed, and the one who lead the prayer, prayed in such a way that every Christian present could understand and say amen at the conclusion of the prayer (I Corinthians 14:14-16).
  2.  Singing – praise unto God to be sure. “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (Hebrews 2:12). Singing is also an opportunity to strengthen one another “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).
  3. Lord’s Supper – A memorial instituted by Christ himself (Matthew 26:26-29). The elements: Fruit of the vine (Matthew 26:29) and unleavened bread (Mark 14:22; Exodus 12:15). Frequency: every first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Purpose: to show forth his death until he comes again (I Corinthians 11:23-29).
  4. Giving – Christians are to: give on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 16:1-2), as they have been prospered (I Corinthians 16:1-2), giving is to be purposed, cheerful and from the heart (II Corinthians9:7).
  5. Preaching - to make known the manifold wisdom of God is a tremendous responsibility that has been entrusted to the church (Ephesians 3:10-11). We dare not fail in that mission (I Corinthians 1:21; II Timothy 4:2; Acts 20:26-27; Ephesians 4:15).