6

I’ve heard a sermon on this, but what is the intent of God’s wisdom being known by the church to the principalities & powers in the heavenly places? What is God’s goal or aim with using the Church to display His wisdom to both Angels & Demons? Is it true that it’s meant to reflect God’s wisdom to His creation alone?

Eph 3:10, 11 - His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2
  • That depends on what you mean by "creation". That word is not used in these verses.
    – Dottard
    Oct 5, 2021 at 1:58
  • 1
    To what else would God make such things known ? What else is there other than the body of Christ (the true Church), the unrepentant and unbelieving world, and the (created) principalities and rulers of the heavens ? (Nevertheless, up-voted +1 as there is virtue in pursuing the topic.)
    – Nigel J
    Oct 5, 2021 at 2:06

7 Answers 7

3

What is Ephesians 3:10-11 about?

Answer: Ephesians 3:9, 10-11 is used to illuminate the unfathomable majesty and omniscience of God in the revelation of Christ.

  • Ephesians 3:8-12: "To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him."

Although there are signposts (everywhere) that we might look back on with 20/20 hindsight, the mystery of salvation in Christ was often misconstrued or incomprehensible to the most scholarly O/T luminaries. It will be remembered that sacrifices extended back to the days of Abel and Cain, and almost certainly to Adam and Eve (post-Fall) as well. Naturally, all of these pointed to salvation in Christ.

The reason for this, as we now understand, is that ALL sacrifices looked forward to the ultimate Sacrifice of God Himself in the Person of Christ. We might understand the need for "God's death" from the Letter to the Hebrews:

Hebrews 9:16: "For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it."

The Law of Moses was fulfilled in Jesus. Spiritually, as God, Christ could do this because He possessed a material body, one that was (voluntarily) subject to death. Thus, in the economy of God, the Law of Christ would now become the means of our N/T salvation. However, this was not foreseen (discernably) in the covenant of Moses, or in other covenants such as that with Noah, Adam, and so forth.

In fact, it appears that God's Plan was unforeseen by many, if not all, the angels themselves:

1 Peter 1:12: "It was revealed to [the prophets] that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look" (emphasis added).

The reference in Ephesians 3:10: "[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" might actually have two meanings.

First, it might symbolically refer to those of great authority in the world, that is, earthly kings and majesties who have elevated their own stature to their destruction. Of course, there is one authority on earth that is not of human origin: Satan. It should come as little surprise to the Accuser that God's intellect is well beyond imagination, and it may be to this that the verses are referring.

This leads to the second possibility, one which will undoubtedly be more palatable to some. We see that even the angelic host of heaven were not aware of the full counsel and wisdom of God (1 Pet. 1:12). Everything to be known would progressively be revealed in the New Covenant of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

Something we should understand in this vein is this: demons — the lost, etc. would never need further degradation through some divine act of humiliation. After all, God has ordered us to love our enemies. What that means is that we must pity them because of their profound loss. Further, it is beneath the dignity of the faithful to do otherwise. Spirits in prison are desperately aware of their circumstances and need no further instruction or disgraces heaped upon them at all; eternal torture in the fires of Hell is sufficient. (That is also why it is absurd to believe that Christ preached to the lost. For what possible purpose?)

God's sovereign grandeur is on full display throughout Scripture, and Ephesians 3:9-11 is a stark reminder of that fact.

15
  • Which part of, "He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone possesses immortality... ", doesn't make sense? "God's death" -1
    – steveowen
    Oct 5, 2021 at 6:22
  • Excellent points made Xeno. I would assume it’s obvious from scripture as well that God is certainly displaying His grandeur more than we first recognize it. It’s factual, like you said. Thank you for your answer!
    – Cork88
    Oct 5, 2021 at 6:28
  • @steveowen Thanks for the question, Steve. I'm making a distinction between Christ's physical body and His spiritual nature as God. I believe the reason we differ is that I believe you didn't think we possessed a spirit (or something like that). Please correct me if I'm mistaken. Nonetheless, that is the point that I'm making: God was the "testator" in Heb. 9:16: "For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it." The only way God could die is to become a human being.
    – Xeno
    Oct 5, 2021 at 6:29
  • @steveowen Jesus {God incarnate} died in His human nature, His divine nature is separate & did NOT die/perish on the cross. If you realize Jesus’ human body was NOT eternal, but His divine being was. (John 1:1-18)
    – Cork88
    Oct 5, 2021 at 6:30
  • 1
    @steveowen I'm not sure if this will help since we may have been on this carousel before. One of the passages that leads me to believe what I do is John 1:14: "And the Word [i.e. God, cf. Jn. 1:1] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father ["begotten" due to His incarnation], full of grace and truth" (emphasis added). When I say "incarnation", I mean that the Word stepped into a body prepared for Him (Heb. 10:5b). It escapes me how you think this is my personal "theory" though.
    – Xeno
    Oct 5, 2021 at 6:44
2

The particulars of the church were a mystery in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, every detail of this mystery is intended to be fully revealed, even to the demonic powers. God’s church is like a city set on a hill for all the world to see (Matthew 5:14).

In this letter, Paul used the same terminology (“principalities and powers”) to refer to the demonic realm (See Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, he was saying here that we the church are to instruct the demonic realm about the many features or forms of God’s wisdom. Of course, this is not to benefit them; it is to “rub their noses” in the defeat that Jesus won over them. As we walk in the power and victory that Jesus provided, we constantly show Satan and his demons

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “manifold” as 1. Many and varied; of many kinds; multiple. 2. Having many features or forms. God’s wisdom is multifaceted and unable to be comprehended by human intellect alone. We need the revelation knowledge of the Holy Spirit to grasp God’s infinite wisdom (Psalms 147:5, Romans 11:33, and Ephesians 3:8).

God’s plan of redemption was not an afterthought of man’s sin. Scripture reveals that Jesus was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Acts 15:18 says, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Before the world began, God promised eternal life to those who would believe (Titus 1:2). Here, in this verse, (verse 11) he made it clear that the plan of redemption was God’s eternal purpose.

1
  • Glory to God for your answer! That’s makes exegetical sense, even with the other verses you provided. Thank you.
    – Cork88
    Oct 5, 2021 at 6:18
2

We exist in the horizontal space-time dimensions. We ask ourselves: What is the purpose of our existence?

Angels exist in the vertical spiritual dimensions. They also question the purpose of their existence.

Both can find answers for their existence in Eph 3:10,11:

His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What is the purpose of existence?

Angels and humans exist in order to sort out whether one is going to side with Jesus and his church, i.e., the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 4:

9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.

Angels and humans, are you on the apostles' side?

1 Timothy 3:

16 By common confession, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was proclaimed among the nations, was believed in throughout the world, was taken up in glory.

Angels and humans, are you on Jesus' side?

If one answers affirmative, one goes on to the new creation. If one answers negative, one goes to the lake of fire.

What is Ephesians 3:10-11 about?

It's about the purpose of existence for angels and humans. God has revealed his trump card in Jesus and his church to angels and humans. Whose side are you on?

1

What is Ephesians 3:10-11 about?

Ephesians 3:10-11 NASB

10 so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the [a]eternal purpose which He [b]carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,

What is this "multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known" (Eph. 3:10a) The answer is given to us by Paul in verses Ephesians 3:5-9; That the Gentiles are now fellow heirs and fellow partakers of the promise " partakers of the heavenly calling" (Hebrews 3:1) Peter said that such announcements angels long to look (1 Peter 1:10) These partakers (commonly known as saints are reborn from above)are purchased from among humankind as firstfruits to God and to the lamb. Rev 14:3-4 NASB.

Ephesians 3:5-9 NASB

5 Which in other generations was not made known to [a]mankind, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets [b]in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all [c]saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to [d]enlighten all people as to what the plan of the mystery is which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

1

This passage portrays the wisdom of God's revelation.

   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
  neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 
        9       For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
  so are my ways higher than your ways 
  and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

        10       “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven 
  and do not return there but water the earth, 
              making it bring forth and sprout, 
  giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 
        11       so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; 
  it shall not return to me empty, 
              but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, 
  and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 
               (Is 55:8–11, ESV)

Note also the verse.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7, ESV)

An example of this contrast with earthly wisdom is 1 Cor. 15, where Paul argues for the Resurrection, which Greek philosophy considered foolishness. Greek philosophy taught that the spirit was released from the body at death and no need for a body or resurrection after death. Paul gave a preliminary assessment in chapter 1.

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor. 1:20–25, ESV)

Note the context:

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 show the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 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. 7 Of this gospel I was made ba minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:1-19, ESV)

Thus, God's wisdom in Eph. 3:10-11 is the new revelation of the church, not based on human wisdom. The Old Testament has the Messiah and the Gentiles turning to God. But, their expectation was that the Gentiles would follow the Torah the same was as Jews. The mystery was the church, the bride of Christ, made up of Gentiles as well as Jews, and the gospel of Christ that goes with it. Maybe that's too far in the past for us to realize how amazing that was too Paul. God's purpose in everything in all creation is to express who he is (Psalm 19), that's to glorify himself (John 2:11; 11:4,40; 12:23-30).

0

What is Ephesians 3:10-11 about?

Let's break the scripture down to better understand what the apostle Paul was talking about.

His purpose was that now, through the church,

The apostle Peter recognized that it was through the apostles and disciples of the first century that the promises written in the Old Testament would be fulfilled:

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who foretold the grace to come to you searched and investigated carefully, . . . 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, when they foretold the things now announced by those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. (1 Peter 1:10, 12) BSB

the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

These "rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" can refer to angels (1 Peter 1:12) and to demons (Ephesians 6:12). But of these two, which would benefit from this "wisdom"? Certainly not the demons which follow the Devil's selfish ways. No, Paul was referring to the angels that were serving Jehovah God faithfully and wanted to see how the promises and prophecies would be fulfilled as is mentioned in 1 Peter 1:12.

according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This was established as far back as the Garden of Eden with Jehovah God's prophecy about the "seed" (Genesis 3:15; see also Hebrews 2:14-17 and 1 John 3:8)

To summarize, Paul was speaking to the Ephesians about how they were a part of the administration, or stewardship, of the promises and prophecies of old that were now being fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

0

What is Ephesians 3:10-11 about? ephesians

what is the intent of God’s wisdom being known by the church to the principalities & powers in the heavenly places?

To answer your question we have to look at what proceeds before this… In other words in light of what has been spoken before written Ephesians 1-3

We all well familiar with Israel role in the coming ages. The rule on earth will be from Jerusalem and the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the earth.

It's not well known about the secret administration revealed in Ephesians. This too will take place in the coming ages.

Having made known to us the mystery of His will according to His pleasure, which He purposed in Him for the administration of the fullness of the times, to bring together all things in Christ—the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth—Ephesians 1:9-10<

Paul was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

God is now Revealing something that has been hidden in the past ages.

and to enlighten all what is the administration of the mystery having been hidden from the ages in God, the One having created all things, Eph. 3:9<

This New administration in Christ Jesus will be administered from the heavenly realm were Christ is seated. It will be the body of Christ that has a standing among the celestials to be used of God to display His grace and make known His wisdom to the sovereignty's and authorities among the celestials.

So that now through the church the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, According to the purpose of the ages, which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, Eph. 3:10<

The rulers and authorities are those in the heavenly realms now.

We sometimes forget that reconciliation needs to take place in the heavenly realm as well as upon earth.

So we know that in heaven there's estrangement going on between God and some of heavenly creatures. They to need to be reconciled to God.

For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross. Colossians 1: 19-20<

God's intent Is to eventually bring together in Christ all things in heaven and on the earth.

Having made known to us the mystery of His will according to His pleasure, which He purposed in Him for the administration of the fullness of the times, to bring together all things in Christ—the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth—Ephesians 1:9-10<

The rulers and authorities he is referring to are the ones in the heavenly realms.

I wonder if Jesus was thinking this when he spoke these words to his disciples.

If I spoke to you of the earthly things, and you do not believe, how, if I will speak to you of the heavenly things, will you believe? John 3:12<

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.