Devotion #4 in Cultured for Reigning


" . . . and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 3:9-10)

The Word of God is clear on this point: the angelic hosts are intrigued by the redemption of humanity. They want to probe the Gospel of salvation (1 Pet. 1:12), and are attendant at our gatherings (1 Cor. 11:10). We do well to remember their interest and presence. Solomon advised that we should carefully speak with their presence in mind (Eccl. 5:6). You can rest assured if we fail to impress angels we will not be capable of impressing the God to Whom they are answerable.

God has graciously revealed His "eternal purpose" to us. It is not often that you hear of it in "church" circles. In fact, some would view this to be foolish. Lest you are tempted to think the same thing, hear the Word of the Lord. "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him" (Eph 3:8-12).

"The fellowship of the mystery" (KJV) or "the unfathomable riches of Christ" (NASV)

The idea here is that men, through the ministry of the Gospel, come into an awareness of the "eternal purpose" of God. Their perception is the result of God sharing His heart with them through their regeneration. Let it be clear to you that there is no more notable involvement than sharing the mind of God. Remember that the "mind of the Lord" can be neither discovered nor plumbed by mere human wisdom. Apart from divine initiative, these are things that cannot be known. The kingdom of God is not one of visible exploits, but of spiritual participation. That is what impresses angels!

"To the intent"

There is a grand purpose behind the drama of redemption. This objective has been determined by the Living God. It is something that is not subject to human interpretation. Rather, it requires proclamation.

It is not possible to know this Divine intention part from revelation. The counsel was decided before the foundation of the world, but was concealed from humanity. While evident to the Godhead, it was not apparent to a fallen race. No philosopher, regardless of understanding or ability, can find this purpose. Apart from the Word of the Living God, it is undiscoverable!

"The manifold wisdom of God might be made known"

God is now impressing, as it were, the angelic host. He is showing them the multifarious nature of His wisdom through the church. The body of Christ is, so to speak, the college for angels. It is where they come to marvel at the greatness of their God--particularly as revealed in His inscrutable wisdom. It is tragic that so very little is said of this in the contemporary church. It is more tragic still, that so little true wisdom is found in the contemporary church. The church is largely known for its failings,shortsightedness, and dulness. But this does not have to be the case! The grace of God, working through our faith, can become the vehicle for producing praise in heaven. Consider the angels, how they want to look into the very Gospel you hear preached!

Some are of the opinion the "principalities and powers" here mentioned are the wicked powers against which we "wrestle" (Eph 6:12). This is not, however the case. Those powers have been locked into a state of condemnation, reserved in darkness until the judgment of the great day (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). God is never depicted as engaging in an effort to teach or impress Satan and his hosts. To begin with, they are unimpressionable. They are so shrouded with darkness that they cannot change. It would be absurd for God to innaugurate a plan like the "great salvation" in Christ to impress demonic and devilish forces with His wisdom. But the "holy angels" are another story.

Although they have seen mankind from the beginning, as well as the great and mighty creative works of God, there are aspects of His Person with which they are not yet fully acquainted. One is His great wisdom. Salvation is an exhibition of Divine wisdom in a most marvelous way! In it, God divulges to the enemy, Satan, what He is going to do, then does it in spite of Satan's malicious opposition. In addition, He takes those that were "sometimes enemies, and alienated in their minds through wicked works," and reconciles them to Himself. All of this is done without compromising His own character, or violating the will of man. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!

Look on, holy angels, at the marvelous wisdom of your God as He works with we who before were His enemies! He has brought us to Himself without violating our will. We have found Him most delightsome, and have chosen to serve Him fully. He has our consent to bless us and lead us. We find no fault in the Savior He has given us, the Law He has written upon our heart, or the place to which He is leading us!