To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:8-11)
The Church Was In The Mind Of God
Moses declared that in the beginning God created the heavens and earth. He opened the book of beginnings by showing how everything in this world was created by the word of God. The world was formed by the design of the Creator and established through His creative power to show His glory to all men. Long before the void of earth was made beautiful by the Lord, there was something else that would not come to fruition until the death of God’s Son. In the eternal ages prior to Eden, God had His purpose that would be accomplished in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son and be called the church of Christ. The body of Christ or the church was in the mind of God before time began. It was a mystery hidden through the ages from the hearts of men. Promises were made in obscurity of the Garden of Eden when a Seed was promised. Abram was told that all nations would be blessed through his seed. Throughout the generations of men both Jew and Gentile future promises were made looking forward to a new day and a new time. Jesus referred to the coming kingdom in His ministry. Not until the death and resurrection of the Christ did the Father reveal the eternal plan for the church. Begun on Pentecost and spreading throughout the world, the church fulfilled the eternal plan of the Lord as the saved were added to the church daily.
The church is not some afterthought because the Jews rejected Jesus killing Him on the cross. Prophets like Isaiah, Daniel and Joel spoke of the coming kingdom hundreds of years before the coming of Christ. Paul declares the glory of the church is found in the manifold wisdom of God revealing to all men the eternal purpose He proposed for the church. The value and importance of the church is eternal. It is the highest expression of God’s love found in the gift of His Son which purchased the church with His blood. Jesus died for the church. He is the head of the church and savior. There is nothing slight about the church as many consider. For many today the church is an expression of something good but unessential. They see no value in being a part of the church or to be faithful to the work of the church. The world considers the church as an opportunity that one can choose any church they like. One so-called church is just as good as another so-called church. Sadly many of God’s people look at the church as a convenience once in a while and never commit to the work of the church.
When the church was established two thousand years ago, it represented the eternal plan of God fulfilled. The saved are in the church because the church is the body of Christ. Salvation can only be found in abiding in Christ. There is no other means which a man can be saved outside of the church. Jesus is the head as the only authority. The church is the bride of Christ. As King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Christ rules over His Kingdom. Saints have been baptized into one body which is the one church. All of this shows how important the New Testament church is to the mind of God and how important it should be for men. Salvation cannot be found outside of Christ and that includes the church. Admittedly one of the ploys of Satan that has brought about a misguided view of the church is the many different kinds of churches. This is nothing more than an extension of the great lie he wants to fill the hearts of men with. There is only one church because God had only one eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus. Praise God for His wonderful power that gives us the church.