Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:6-10; 4:1-6; 4:30-32

What is God’s plan for creation?

[God is] making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.  (Ephesians 1:9-10)

– God’s grand plan: Bring all things together and unite them in Christ.
– All the separated elements in this fragmented universe can be and will be brought together in Christ.

What is the role of the church in God’s plan?

This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.  Of this gospel I was made a minister… to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 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 3:6-10)

– The church is to be a showcase, not only to the world, but also to the powers in the spiritual realm, to angels and demons, to showcase God’s grand plan in action.
– Koinonia is the outworking of God’s plan. We are a local manifestation of God’s manifold wisdom.
– We are a statement to the hostile forces out there that their power has been decisively broken, that their defeat is imminent.

How to BE church at the end time?

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (Ephesians 4:1-3)

– There are ten thousand reasons (things) that could potentially divide us. But we only need a few reasons to stay united.

You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. (Ephesians 4:5-6 MSG)

– This is the mission of the church – to eagerly maintain the unity of the Spirit – based on one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God.
– Because by keeping the unity of the Spirit, we are showcasing to the world the manifold wisdom of God’s plan.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  (Ephesians 4:30-32)

Reflection and Response

- If there is any bitterness remaining in you: whether it is with someone in this church, a staff, a leader, a pastor; or with someone from a previous church that you used to attend; will you ask God to take away your bitterness?

- Will you ask him to remove your anger?
- Will you let go of your hatred?
- Will you ask him for forgiveness?
- Will you ask God to give you a humble and gentle heart?
- Will you ask Him for a heart that is able to forgive?

- God is more than willing to give you a new heart, a heart that is humble, and gentle, and patient, and ready to forgive.
- But you need to tell him that you are ready. You are ready to give up the anger and the hatred inside; and you want to receive a new heart.