So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 3:10
God’s work in saving His people, calling them out, and grouping them into biblically healthy local churches is the highest and brightest display of the wisdom and glory of God that will be seen until Jesus returns to planet earth. Did you get that? Not a beautiful sunset over the ocean, not even the miraculous birth of a child. These certainly declare the glory of God but not as much as the church does. They are not even to be compared with how God manifests His glory when the church is the church.
You wonder why I’m so passionately, unrelentingly dogmatic about being a true church? Because it is the centerpiece of all that our God is doing on the earth. God forbid a man be in a pulpit who is not passionate about the church. Why? Because our God is passionate about the church, and so we must be passionate about the church. If our Savior loved it enough to die for it, we ought to love it enough to live for it. We must be absolutely abhorred with righteous indignation when we see people tampering, toying, manipulating, and scheming to make the church acceptable to men. It is not man’s church, it is Christ’s church. It is to honor him. It is to manifest His manifold wisdom.
God forbid you go out in the community and say, “Boy, you wouldn’t believe how clever my pastor is, how creative my music guy is, how energetic my youth leader is!” God forbid such a vile and blasphemous message to our community. You should go to the community and say, “We have determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If we preach this Gospel and proclaim this Gospel, we trust it will change men’s lives and that’s all we’ve got. We stake our lives, our hope, our all on that.” The cool stuff, the faddish stuff, the gimmicky stuff, the exciting stuff, it will not save anyone’s soul but the Gospel will. Amen?
The manifold wisdom of God is displayed through the church. This gives us the highest conception of the dignity and the value of the church. So you ask yourselves: if God has ordained that until He returns in His great glory His greatest manifestation of Himself on the earth will be through the church, then what do you think Satan is going to work to destroy the most? That’s right, the church! He will clothe it with orthodoxy but make sure it is full of dead men’s bones. It will be rotten, worldly, and fleshly and built on gimmicks, excitement, and sensuality instead of the Spirit working through the truth of God’s word to convert men’s souls.