The church is very important and precious to God in His economy. Everything He does is for the church. In particular, He has a threefold purpose regarding the church: He wants to be expressed through the church and have His dominion exercised through the church, and He wants to head up all things in Christ through the church.
The church is “the church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:23), and all the believers in Christ as the members of the church are sons of God and collectively they are the sonship, the corporate expression of God.
Through the process of God’s organic salvation we all are growing in life unto maturity, we are being transformed and conformed to Christ’s image, and we will eventually be transfigured in our mortal body to be the same as Christ is for the corporate expression of God.
God’s eternal purpose is to work Himself in Christ into us so that He may be thoroughly mingled with us and expressed through us, and for this He marked us out, He saved us, and He is continually working Himself into us day by day until we express Him in full in a collective way as the Body of Christ, the church.
Through the church God’s multifarious wisdom is being displayed and is being made known to the whole universe, and through the church God deals with His enemy. When the believers in Christ are being built up as the church, when God succeeds in working Himself into our being and building us up as the Body of Christ, God gets the glory, Satan is defeated, and God’s wisdom is manifested through the church.
God’s original purpose in creating man, that is, to be expressed and represented through man (see Gen. 1:26), is fulfilled through the church in a corporate way. Hallelujah! We need to have a vision of how the Lord will use the church for His expression and for the defeat of His enemy; the church brings in God’s kingdom on the earth and recovers the earth for God!
The Church has the Sonship so that God would be Expressed through Many Mature Sons
God’s desire is to have many sons who are the same as Christ is and who corporately express Him. God’s purpose for the church is that the church would have the sonship and that God would be expressed through many matured sons (Eph. 1:5).
God wants to have many sons born of Him with His life and nature, sons who collectively are the sonship, a body of sons through which God is expressed in the universe. For this, God works Himself into His believers so that He may be thoroughly mingled with them and expressed in them.
When we are born again, God is born into us, and a mingling process begins. He is born in our spirit, and as we open to Him, fellowship with Him, and enjoy Him, He spreads from our spirit into our mind, emotion, and will.
God wants to work Himself into every part of our inner being to transform our soul and eventually to transfigure our mortal body into the body of Christ’s glory.
As believers in Christ we are now in the process of being mingled with God and saturated with God in all our inner being. Together, we as believers in Christ and sons of God compose the church. Only the sons of God can be part of the church.
God predestinated us, marked us out, and selected us to be His sons before we were created; at the appointed time in our life, we were regenerated by Him to have His life and be His many sons (see Eph. 1:5; John 3:3, 6). Now we are growing in life unto maturity from regeneration all the way to the glorification of our body.
God predestinated us, chose us, selected us, marked us out, and hand-picked us from eternity past, and now in time we are regenerated, we’re being renewed, transformed, sanctified, conformed, built up, and glorified in order to be the mature sons of God, the sonship expressing God in full.
We need to grow in life to have not only the life of a son of God but also the position of a son of God, being lead by the Spirit and living Christ for God’s glory. As we grow in life unto maturity, we participate in God’s life to be the sonship expressing Him corporately, having the life and the position of a son of God, one with Christ as the Firstborn Son of God!
God’s purpose is fulfilled through the church as the believers are being matured in the divine life to become the sonship, the corporate expression of God in the universe. Hallelujah, we are God’s marked-out ones having God’s life to be His sons and we have the position to inherit Him (Rom. 8:14-15, 17, 29; Heb. 2:10)!
Thank You Father for predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are now sons of God, those marked out by God to have the divine life and express God corporately. Lord Jesus, grow in us unto maturity. Work Yourself into us day by day until we become the sonship, the corporate expression of the Triune God. Transform us in our soul by renewing our mind, subduing our will, and balancing our emotions through the divine element being wrought in all the inner parts of our being! Lord, gain the church of the firstborn, the sonship, which expresses God in full!
The Church Makes God’s Wisdom Known to the Enemy and Deals with Satan
The Apostle Paul was given grace by God to announce the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel and to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, in order that now to the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church (Eph. 3:8-10).
God’s purpose for the church is to make His wisdom known to the enemy and to the whole universe, and He wants to deal with Satan through the church.
God’s original intention in creating man in His image and with His likeness was so that man would express Him and exercise His dominion over all the earth (see Gen. 1:26). The first man, Adam, fell, and all humanity fell with him. But the second man, Christ, individually fulfilled God’s purpose: He expressed God and He dealt with Satan, crushing his head on the cross.
Today, in the age of the church, Christ lives in us and He is being formed in us, being our life and our everything. Now the church is meant to express God and represent Him in dealing with His enemy. God wants to use the church to deal with, shame, and cast out His enemy! God is not sorry and He doesn’t regret that there is such a one as Satan, because this one helps God display His wisdom.
In His infinite wisdom, God takes men who are ruined, corrupted, and damaged by Satan, and He makes them sons of God filled with His life and nature to be the church, the corporate expression of God.
The church is produced by the enjoyment of the unsearchable riches of Christ by all the sons of God (see Eph. 3:8), and through the church God’s multifarious wisdom is made known to all the angels, the angelic rulers and authorities in the heavenlies (Eph. 3:9). When the church is built up to be the Body of Christ, Satan trembles and he is scared.
The church is strategic to God since in this universe there’s a warfare between Him and Satan, and through the church God deals with His enemy. Christ as the Head and the church as the Body of Christ are the one new man who deals with God’s enemy and defeats him once and for all, kicking Satan in the lake of fire.
The church is God’s greatest boast in His economy; through the church the multifarious wisdom of God is made known for the shame and the defeat of His enemy!
We need to have such a vision of how the Lord will use the church to defeat His enemy and recover the earth (see Gen. 1:26-27; Rev. 11:15; 12:10). He takes hopeless sinners, people dead in trespasses and sins, scattered and divided, and makes them sons of God, the built-up church, the Body of Christ, those one with Christ for God’s intention to be expressed and to defeat His enemy!
The more Satan does to damage and destroy, the more God’s wisdom is manifested in a multi-faceted, multifarious way. Hallelujah!
Hallelujah, Christ is victor – He has won the victory over Satan! Hallelujah, the built up church as the Body of Christ is one with Christ to execute Christ’s victory over Satan! Praise the Lord for the church, the public exhibition of the multifarious wisdom of God to the whole universe! Christ and the church are the one new man defeating Satan and putting him to shame openly! Praise the Lord, the church is being built up as God’s wise exhibition of all that Christ is! Praise the Lord for the church, the corporate expression of God and the instrument God uses to deal with His enemy and recover the earth!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Minor Chen’s sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, The Heavenly Vision (ch. 2), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Heavenly Vision, week 3 / msg 3, The Vision of the Church – the Body of Christ (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Hymns on this topic:
# God ordained us unto sonship, / Ere creation’s work was done, / To conform us by His Spirit / To the image of His Son; / That His only dear Begotten / Might become the firstborn One, / And by Him with many brethren / His expression full be won. (Hymns #741)
# As we’re daily in this process / And by life are sanctified, / How we thank Him for the blessing / Of the church life He’s supplied. / Here God is our full enjoyment, / Practical and real to us; / Sons we are, and heirs together, / In the church life, glorious! (Hymns #1203)
# The Lord chose you to be a part / Of His great plan, His work of art. / What wonder! What a privilege! / To satisfy / His yearning to share all He is— / Divine, unsearchable riches! / What wisdom, multifarious expressed! (Song on The Church)