Last week we studied how the mystery of God’s grace that was revealed through Christ was made plain through Paul’s ministry. The next verse, Ephesians 3:10, adds a significant and remarkable reason why this must be done:
in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Most evangelical Christians learn how to witness to other people soon after their conversion, but how many are taught about our calling to be witnesses to principalities and powers in the heavenly places? How do we do this?
Satan has had a boast since man’s fall in the garden. His boast is that even the crowning glory of God’s creation, "man," when given a choice between good and evil will choose evil. Even after the cross his boast has continued, declaring that God can choose to forgive men of their evil ways, but He really can’t change them. He even points at the church as proof that given the choice, mankind will choose Satan’s ways over God’s ways.
Before the end comes there will be a church without spot or wrinkle, without any corruption in her heart, who will prove for all time, and to all of creation, even the principalities and powers, that good will ultimately prevail over evil.
Presently, Satan is still boasting about the fact that the first man and woman lived in a perfect world, yet they chose to sin. However, the bride of "the last Adam," who is the bride of Christ, will live in a most imperfect world, and against all the opposition of the devil and his hordes, against the opposition of all of fallen mankind, she will choose to obey. She will stand for truth and righteousness without compromise, and she will push the darkness back by the power of the light she has been given.
When the church finally does this, all of heaven, hell, and earth will look upon the beauty of holiness that is revealed through the church. The men of the earth will look upon those who have been restored to what they were created to be, and will be drawn to this light. Men will then know that this is what they too were created to be. The women of the world will look upon the dignity, nobility, and grace of the sanctified women of the church, and know for certain that this is the way that they too were created to be. Even the principalities and powers will marvel at the grace and beauty of the holiness that is revealed through the church. The darkest of times in which this will take place, will cause the light to be even more spectacular.
This is our calling. The Lord did not die just to save us from the consequences of sin, but from the sin itself. If His salvation is continuing to work in our life, we will be growing up in all things to be like Him, which is one of the central points of this Epistle to the Ephesians that we will see unfolding more and more as we continue.
It is easy to be discouraged as we look at a world that is degenerating into increasing darkness, and sadly the church seems to be doing the same. Even so, you can be sure of one thing. There are thousands upon thousands who are not sliding back into corruption. They are continually growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, and their impending revelation to the world will not only stun the world, but will shake the heavens themselves. As the Lord exhorts through Isaiah:
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. "For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.
"And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
"Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.
"Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you (Isaiah 60:1-5).