“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. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.” Ephesians 3:10-13
God had a plan, from before time began, to love us and bring us back to God! God’s plan was costly to Him-it cost Jesus His life on the cross! God used the Apostle Paul to bring His Good News to the non-Jewish people-groups of the world called Gentiles. Carrying this plan to them also cost Paul a high price-he was arrested, beaten, falsely accused, stoned & left for dead, starved, ship wrecked and imprisoned several times! He used his prison time to write 2/3’s of the New Testament, including this letter to the Ephesians! Because these high prices were willingly paid, the Gospel was spread to all the nations surrounding Israel and the Church was born! That’s where today’s text begins: “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.” God literally uses the Church to display His wisdom. His wisdom that not only rescues and relieves the world of sin, but gets to the root of sin and deals with those unseen spiritual forces that embody sin and promote it! (Remember this theme for the sake of understanding the Book of Ephesians, for later in this letter, Paul will write, “for we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12))
Now here’s the awesome part: God is carrying out His plan and because of it, “we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence”! This is amazing because before Jesus’ once-for-all redeeming sacrifice on the cross ONLY the Hebrew High Priest could go into God’s Presence, once a year to interceed for the God worshipping, mostly Hebrew people who waited expectantly outside. Now ALL of us, man & woman, boy & girl, rich & poor, Hebrew & non-Hebrew can come into and actually live in God’s Presence DAILY, and even HOURLY! WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW GOOD THIS IS!
So Paul is pleading with the Ephesians and now with us who are reading this letter to NOT GIVE UP! DON’T QUIT! DON’T GET DISCOURAGED! The cost was high and at the moment Paul was writing this letter, he was PAYING IT! So if he didn’t give up and if Jesus, Who paid the ultimate price on the cross to free us, forgive us and give us a “full access” pass into the Throne Room of the King of the Universe, didn’t give up, we shouldn’t either.
God’s plan is in motion! It includes you! Step into it!
Think about it!