What we, (the church) were made for – or – The real hope of the whole world

sunset over my house last week

This morning I read through Ephesians, and there was a picture I was seeing that I thought was worth sharing.

The thing is, this is a group picture. Sure, there’s definitely significance for the individual, but this message is for a group. Paul was not writing to individuals, he was writing to a gentile church. He was writing to build up a people.

Paul was building up a once outcast people, to let them know who they are and where they stand, (or better… sit) with, in, and as the body of Christ.

It’s an exciting read, and well worth doing so over and over to take in the amazing destiny that the Father has for His Church. Take in the thought and let it build you up. I’m gonna give a few snippets the jumped out at me this morning.

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1:3,4- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. (nasb- emph is mine)

1:9,10- …He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ.

Now, growing up, whenever I read this and heard it taught from, I was just thinking that all things were simply summed up in Christ. But, though true, it goes deeper than just that however, and this is what gets me so excited. This should get the whole world excited!

1:13,14- In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Man I love that… we’re God’s possession. It’s our inheritance. I think about the promises made to Abraham, that his seed would bless all of the nations. Christ is that seed. And we are in Christ.

1:18,19- I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

So… what is the hope of His calling? Well, Paul gets to that…

1:19-23- These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Did you hear what Paul just said? That’s awesome!!!! The Church, Christ’s body… the fullness of Him who fills all in all. We, the Church, are the fullness of the living Christ. In fact, Paul goes on to encourage us in chapter 2:10-

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

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We all want to see our lost friends saved… in fact, we all want to be saved. The above exhortation from our brother Paul is a pretty big hope for what will really save the world.

What Paul describes here is exactly what Christ prayed for in John 17

I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent me.

Wow… we’re the proof. We, the Church, is what will show the world that Christ is real. And it’s not some abstract concept. Paul called the Church the fullness of Christ.

This is huge. This is everything. Our destiny is amazing. Us, one with Christ! His hands and feet walking and talking! The fullness of God walking in the earth! THE FULLNESS OF GOD!!!

Chew on that.

As I said at the beginning, these things aren’t for everyone. It’s not for the loner. You can’t be alone and live this out. (and no, I’m not saying that you have to move into Rose Creek Village either) But, you do have be apart of the living breathing Church. The one that looks like what Paul described. The one that is the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer there.

If you’ve put up with this post this far, I’m assuming you’re looking for the house of the Living God. You’re looking for a people who walk the earth and let Christ reign.

I challenge you to be discontent with anything less than these words. I challenge you to look at your life, are you one with His body? Christ said in that prayer that it would be what makes people believe.

Imagine, if in every town, across the world, this Church was living, breathing, moving… together!

Pray for it. Seek it day in and day out. “Thy kingdom come, and Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”

What Paul wrote to the Ephesians was a description of us, as a body seated with Christ in the heavenlies. May we all seek it every moment and never look back or settle for less.

I see it… I see it happening and rising! She is beautiful and I praise God that she is and will be the fullness of our Lord walking the land. They will look on His body, touch His hands and feet, and marvel.

May he be glorified in us, and may we really be all that He prayed we would be…


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2 thoughts on “What we, (the church) were made for – or – The real hope of the whole world

  1. Paul Pavao

    Because of my notable memory, I can’t remember whether you were at our Ephesians Bible study this morning. When you sent me the text about this blog, I thought you had written something about what we talked about this morning. But now I don’t think you were there.

    Besides, we were in Eph. 2 and 3, and you’re in 1 here.

    Anyway, this is great. You read Ephesians 1 and got excited about it. We all should be that excited. Excitement about God’s Word tends to bring Revelation because God rewards the grateful and diligent.

    Those who get excited and go out and do–they understand.

    Reply
  2. britt

    I think one of my favorite ones from Ephesians … and maybe Shammah talked about this already in the teaching he mentioned … but is in ch3

    “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.”

    I was listening to the Bible while on a trip with the basketball team while teaching in Korea, and I had the Bible playing in the car, and that verse rolled through and I almost pulled over it hit me so hard.

    I literally asked the whole van, a couple other adults along with the teenage guys, and said, “did you hear that?” I played it back several times …

    the manifold wisdom of God was purposed to be known THROUGH THE CHURCH, not just to this world but rulers and authorities in heavenly places … which could include, but not limited to, the “great cloud of witnesses” … all watching US and saying “Look at God’s wisdom! Look at the Church!”

    anyway … talk about renewing my mind.

    Peace.

    Reply

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