7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8 Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make everyone see[c]what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in[d] God who created all things; 10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.[e] 13 I pray therefore that you[f] may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory.
Gotta say it, even though there’s more happening here in this passage, it’s what is speaking to me tonight on this snowy first day of (meteorological) Spring.
Verse 10 jumped off the page and smacked me in the face tonight. It’s by far not the only place the scriptures mention this idea, but here it is again:
“so that through **the church** the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known …”
Did you catch that? I don’t want to miss it, and I don’t want you to, either: the wisdom of God is made known διὰ τῆς ἐκκλησίας, through the church.
::impending snarkiness alert:: But I could have sworn it said God is made known primarily by folks reading the Bible, or through apologetics, or through “Christian” bestselling books, or through overly repetitive not-so-creative Christian music, or though hip, trendy pastors preaching hip, trendy sermons, or special crusades, or name-it-claim-it, neo-charismatic emotionalism?
Nope. In this passage, and other places splattered throughout the New Testament, the world (and beyond) knows about Jesus being Lord through the church. They will know Jesus is the Messiah, and this the wisdom of God in Christ, by watching how we live in the world. I’m reminded again of what one of my Seminary professors said: “Don’t forget: God has one plan for the redemption of the world… The Body Plan. And there is no Plan B.”
Man, we’ve got a lot of work to do. Through the grace of God in Christ by the presence of the Spirit, let’s get to it.