Why the Church? (part 3 of 4)

Alright, so what is God’s glory? It is what He is and does. You know, the adage: WWJD? The problem we face with this world is that non-believers don’t know God. They do not acknowledge His existence or rule over us. There is no knowledge of Him, His nature, or His love. In all of the seeking and wondering about Him, and energy spent to discover truth, it does not know God. Ah, but Yahweh’s glory is to reveal himself; to show what He is like. We don’t seek Him; He seeks us! He reveals Himself to us. Turn over to II Corinthians, and you will find Paul’s comments on this very issue. He says:

We now can enlighten men only because we can give them knowledge of the glory of God, as we see it in the face of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:6)

As Tozer taught:

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me (Psalm 63:8)

Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated means this, that before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man.

Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him; imperfect it may be, but a true work nonetheless, and the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow.

We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. “No man can come to me,” said our Lord, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him,” and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the out working of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand: “Thy right hand upholdeth me.”

That, my friends, is where you see the glory of God: in the face of Christ, in his character, in His being. Paul confirmed this in the fourth verse:

We use no hocus-pocus, no clever tricks, no dishonest manipulation of the Word of God. We speak the plain truth and so commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. If our Gospel is ‘veiled,’ the veil must be in the minds of those who are spiritually dying. The spirit of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, and prevents the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, the image of God, from shining on them (II Corinthians 4:3-4)

That is our responsibility: to declare Yahweh’s glory, to declare His grace and character. Paul described this in Chapter 1 of Ephesians:

God has placed everything under the power of Christ and has set him up as head of everything for the Church. for the Church is his body, and in that body lives fully the one who fills the whole wide universe (Ephesians 1:22-23)

The secret of our faith is that Christ lives in us. So, our message is to declare Him, to talk about Him. Paul deals with this again in Chapter 2:

So you are no longer outsiders or aliens, but fellow-citizens with every other Christian—you belong now to the household of God. Firmly beneath you in the foundation, God’s messengers and prophets, the actual foundation-stone being Jesus Christ himself. In him, each separate piece of building, properly fitting into its neighbor, grows together into a temple consecrated to God. You are all part of this building in which God himself lives by His Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22)

My friends, that is the mystery of the church! It is now where Yahweh dwells! He lives in His people. That is the message we share. You have it again in Chapter 3. Paul says his ministry is, “to explain the way this mystery works. God, who created all things, kept it hidden in the past. He did this so that now, through the church, he could let the rulers and authorities in heaven know his infinite wisdom” (Ephesians 3:9-10)

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

This entry was posted in A Life of Prayer, A Perfect Heart, A Time of Elightenment, Daily Thoughts, Ephesians. Bookmark the permalink.

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