“The Gospel, the Church, and God’s Cosmic Purpose” (Ephesians 3:1-13)

Since the Church is at the center of God’s eternal purpose, it ought to be central to our life and purpose as well.

I. THE MYSTERY REVEALED: Gentile inclusion in all the blessings of the Gospel (3:1-6).

A. To preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (3:8).

“He was convinced, as we must be, that Christ never impoverishes those who put their trust in him, but always immeasurably enriches them. Here then was the double obligation Paul felt, first to share God’s truth and secondly to share Christ’s riches. So what is needed today for a recovery of evangelistic zeal in the church is the same apostolic conviction about the gospel. Once we are sure that the gospel is both truth from God and riches for mankind, nobody will be able to silence us.” (John Stott, Ephesians, p.121)

B. To make plain for all what is the plan for the Church of Jesus Christ (3:9).

III. GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE: For the Church to be the demonstration of His wisdom (3:10-13).

“So then, as the gospel spreads through the world, this new and variegated Christian community develops. It is as if a great drama is being enacted. History is the theatre, the world is the stage, and church members in every land are the actors. God himself has written the play, and he directs and produces it. Act by act, scene by scene, the story continues to unfold. But who are the audience? They are the cosmic intelligences, the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. We are to think of them as the spectators of the drama of salvation.” (Stott, pp.123-24)


“Every church in every place at every time is in need of reform and renewal. But we need to beware lest we despise the church of God, and are blind to his work in history. We may safely say that God has not abandoned his church, however displeased with it he may be. He is still building and refining it. And if God has not abandoned it, how can we? …[H]istory is ‘his story’, God’s story. For God is at work, moving from a plan conceived in eternity, through a historical outworking and disclosure, to a climax within history, and then on beyond it to another eternity of the future. The Bible has this linear understanding of time. And it tells us that the centre of God’s eternal-historical plan…concerns the church, the creating of a new and reconciled humanity in union with Jesus Christ.” (Stott, pp.126-127)

• The Church is central to God’s saving purposes in the world.
• The Church is central to your sanctification – learning to live out the implications of the Gospel.
• The Church is central to your personal relationship with the Lord.