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Words of Faith Final


Words of Faith 2-11-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 3

    [10] His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, [11] according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. [12] In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.


     It has been popular from time to time to be "anti-church."  After all, there are many points at which "the church" can be criticized.  There have been many errors made over the centuries by the organized churches and institutional movements that claim the name of Christ.  We may even be tempted to stand in protest against the brick-and-mortar edifices of "the church" as being unspiritual or attempt to practice some solitary form of Christianity of our own making. But the Bible teaches no such thing.  The church is central to God's purpose, and it is HUGE.

     We often call Paul the "apostle to the Gentiles," and this is true.  But Paul points out here that there was a larger purpose of God at work. The purpose of Paul's ministry was to make known the manifold wisdom of God through the church, get this, to the heavenly realms. The biggest mega-church has a tiny audience compared to what Paul was talking about!

     For Paul, evangelizing the nations was just part of the picture.  The purpose of God is to make known the mystery of redemption-- that barriers can be broken down between people and God and between people-- the heavenly realms.  HUGE. This great mystery is to be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms through the "ecclesia"-- the called out and gathered ones-- known as the church. That is why church is important.

     Wow!  We are part of a plan of witness to the angelic world!  The Greek adjective "manifold" refers to the beauty of an embroidered pattern or the variety of colors in flowers in various forms.  The "manifold wisdom of God" refers to the breaking down barriers between all sorts of people who had been fragmented by sin, the separation of Jews and Gentiles, ritually clean and unclean, men and women, slaves and free.  No place is such amazing power as evident as in the church, which manifests these new relationships.

    We sing the simple song-- They will know we are Christians by our love.  This is true, but the audience is not just in the world; it is in the heavenly realm.  The medium God is using to communicate this miracle is the church.  The recipients are the angelic hosts in the heavenly realms-- the "rulers and authorities."  These are both good and evil angels. As the angelic hosts see the church's witness, they must admit that the breaking down of the "phragmos" or barrier between humans is evidence of God's wisdom, power, and redemption.

     This mystery-- that all kinds of people, men and women, young and old, believing Jews and Gentiles-- are in one body with barriers broken down, was revealed to the apostles and prophets, empowered at Pentecost, and was proclaimed by Paul.  The prophet Joel declared: "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy (Acts 2:17-18).



      Father God, keeping me narrowing my view.  Protect me from being shortsighted.  Forgive me my slowness to see.  I want to be about HUGE.  I want to be about Your great purpose of giving witness to nations but even more to the heavenly realms.  In Jesus' Name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2010, 2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.