Thursday, July 14, 2016

Manifold wisdom - Ephesians 3:10

"so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 3:10)
No one person can, by themselves, fully express the full depth, breadth, and completeness of the manifold wisdom of God. The Greek term "manifold" refers to the many faceted nature of the wisdom of God. Each of us, in tern, are appointed to reveal some aspect of God's wisdom, but it takes a many member body to fully express every aspect and nature of God's wisdom. The truth is that we can only ever be but a part of what God intends for His church upon this Earth. We ourselves are not the fullness. The fullness of the expression of the many faceted nature of God is only revealed by the fullness of the many faceted church of God. We are only a part and we need each other to complete the mission and purpose of God and to fully reveal God to the world around us. It is only when we learn to live in unison and harmony with other believers as the church of Christ that together we are able to express and reveal the fullness of God to the world, both seen and unseen, around us. One person cannot do it, it takes a church.

While Paul was sent to preach and to bring to light the mystery of Christ, it is through the church that the wisdom of God is to be revealed. The revealing of the wisdom of God is not done through preaching, doctrine, or even dogma but is shown through our everyday lives we live as born again and regenerated believers in Christ. It is not our teaching and creeds that reveal God's wisdom to the world, but the lives we live as Christians. Many may wonder "where is God is such a world filled with sorrow and suffering," but when they see the wisdom of God as demonstrated through the salvation he has provided for all who would believe, and when they see the power of His Holy Spirit who lives within us and teaches and enables us to live a new life in Christ, then they see His wisdom in all that has transpired through out history to bring us to this place. When we see the salvation of God it all makes since. All that went on before was to prepare us for the salvation of God that was to come, and now that we have received this salvation, it continues to work in our lives to conform us into the image of Christ. Our doctrine will never convince the world of the wisdom of God, but our lives lived in Christ will.

This manifold wisdom of God is not only revealed to this world but also to the rulers and authorities in the spiritual realm. This, to me, is an odd statement. Why would God need to reveal His many faceted wisdom to the spiritual powers in heavenly places? Can they not already see it through His creation and His constant watching and care over all He has made? Being created from the beginning, have they not already seen and learned of God from all He has done? I believe what Paul is driving at in this statement is that, through the Church, God is revealing to those who have sought to destroy us that, though they have tried, God has won. From the very beginning, the Devil has sought to destroy all that is God's, but God's wisdom was greater than his plans. In the end, God always wins. Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10) This is the manifold wisdom of God. The Devil sought to destroy but God had a plan to bring salvation to all mankind and to thwart the work of the enemy. All who receive His salvation and learn to live in His grace and truth, reveal this wisdom to the world around them, both seen and unseen.

David Robison

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