Ephesians 3:10, “… so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
Christians enjoy many benefits in the redemption Christ has purchased. These benefits include:
- Peace with God.
- Freedom from sin’s bondage.
- Eternal life.
These truths can become so routine that we take them for granted or to think the Lord’s purpose in saving His people is only to bless them. The default of our hearts is to view salvation as man-centered. To that end, we regard our well-being as our Creator’s chief concern. We must not, though discount, the Lord’s genuine love for His people. Scripture teaches that God loves His people with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:1-3). God’s Word also stresses the preeminence of His glory even when He redeemed His Old Covenant people (Exodus 14; Isaiah 42:8), so we know His glory is also His principal goal when He saves His people.
A God-centered view of Scripture will thaw our hearts and help us to recapture how amazing it is that God saves His people by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Ephesians 3:10 is one of the clearest of all Paul’s writing in helping people understand that the redemption Christ won is to make the glory of God known to His creation. The creation of the Church comes through the preaching of the gospel to proclaim, “the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). The Greek word here used in Ephesians 3:10 translated here as manifold was often used in the first century to describe intricately embroidered patterns found on cloaks worn by the wealthy. Divine wisdom is rich, even colorful, similar to the patterns found on these cloaks. God’s glory is even richer, evidencing it to other creatures displays His magnificence more fully.
The heavenly rulers and authorities mentioned in this passage are angelic beings. Paul may be thinking here of Satan and his demons. Even so, we must ask, “How does the creation of the Church show the Lord’s glory and wisdom to these evil creatures?” We can most clearly understand the answer to this question through the fellowship between Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles. We see this in Paul’s emphasis on the unity of Jews and Gentiles in Christ Jesus and the end of the Mosaic law as a dividing wall between these two people’s (Ephesians 2:11-12).
Satan in seeing the unity of fellowship of Jews and Gentiles in Christ sees that his power to incite sin and direct people to use the law to sinfully separate them from others is not absolute. A united faithful church is a reminder to the Devil of his defeat in the finished work of Christ. Christians living in peace and unity with other Christians glorifies God and manifests the victory of Christ over evil.
Local churches unified in truth and love are one of the most powerful displays of the glory of God to all of creation. Christians should strive to bear with one another’s failings and endeavor to study the Word diligently together that they may pursue this kind of unity together with one another. Please ask the Lord today to help you promote peace and unity in the local church and to give you an earnest desire to seek always to love your brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as to help you hold fast to the truth of Scripture.