“. . . so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10).
IF GOD’S GLORY IS SEEN IN THE HEAVENS, HIS WISDOM IS SEEN IN THE CHURCH. And as Paul points out, it is not just to human beings that the church reveals God’s wisdom; it is also “to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” To every being God ever created, even in the heavenly realms, the church stands as an exhibition of just how wise the Creator (and Redeemer) truly is.
The plan of salvation. When we see how God worked out His plan to save us, we stand amazed at the wisdom of it all. None of it happened by accident. Every bit of it was “according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v.11).
The local church. The design of the local church reflects God’s wisdom. The very idea that there needed to be such a thing as the local church was so wise that only God could have thought of it.
Incidentally, one of the most striking things about the church in the New Testament is its simplicity. Universally, it consisted of all of God’s saved people, with Christ as their head (Ephesians 1:22,23). And locally, it was simply the saints in a particular area, led by bishops and served by deacons (Philippians 1:1). There was no ecclesiastical hierarchy that stood between Christ and the local church: no pope, no collegium of cardinals, no denominational structure — in fact, nothing like the complex religious machinery of today.
The wisdom manifested in the church as God created it will not always seem wise to the world. As Joe Fitch observed one time, God created the buzzard as well as the bald eagle, and neither reflects the glory and wisdom of God any more than the other. It is only the wisdom of the world that would turn all buzzards into eagles. And so it is with the church. There are some things about God’s plan for the church that to our “common sense” seem unworkable, but those things reflect the “manifold wisdom of God” just as much, if not more so, than the parts we happen to like. Let us beware of trying to create the church along the lines of our own wisdom. It was meant to reflect God’s wisdom, not ours.
“The whole history of the world is discovered to be but a contest between the wisdom of God and the cunning of Satan and fallen men. The outcome of the contest is not in doubt” (A. W. Tozer).