The most profound revelation of Apostle Paul is the mystery of Christ. It defined his calling. Being granted the knowledge was an emotional thing for him. God personally gave him the revelation. “God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me… though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God had kept secret.” Ephesians 3:3, 8, 9.
A mystery in the Bible is not something unknowable. It’s something hidden, but now revealed. The Greek word is mysterion. What exactly is this mystery of Christ? What was God’s secret plan? “This is God’s plan: Both Gentiles (non Jews) and Jews who believe the Gospel, both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 3:6. The mystery of Christ is the amalgamation of Jews and non Jews in Christ. No more sequestration, same privileges. This is a major strategic move. And revolutionary. The consequences are far reaching. Without the paradigm shift the gospel would have been confined to the Middle East. It wouldn’t be global.
The mystery of Christ was an enunciation of God’s global vision and political agenda. This is how the Message Bible renders Paul’s explanation of the mystery: “The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to EVERYONE, across the board.” Ephesians 3:6.
The implications of the mystery are vast. Politically, a new nation was born – a spiritual Israel. Unlike natural Israel, this is a commonwealth of peoples. This federated amalgam of peoples is what is known as the Body of Christ, aka the Church. In other words, Jesus became a political expression. He is no longer an individual. He is a nation. Constitutionally, Jesus is a federated entity of peoples from different nationalities. He’s a global amalgam.
In this nation called Jesus, women’s rights are guaranteed. There’s equal rights: “There is neither male nor female.” In the Jesus nation, there is a freedom charter: “There is neither slave nor free.” All men are equal before God. Galatians 3:28. Therefore liberty, equality, egalitarianism are charters of the Kingdom of God. We must entrench them on earth. What we ordinarily call Christianity therefore is not a religion. It’s a political expression – a Nation. That is why Christians are referred to as citizens: “You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people.” Ephesians 2:19.
You see, when God raised Jesus from the dead, he assumed a new political status. Hear Paul: “God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule.” Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG.
Now, here’s how it gets interesting (and this revelation is staggering!): “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and made him head over all things FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHURCH. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts.” Ephesians 1:22, 23. In other words, the Church is Government as well as an organ of government – Christ’s government. The executive power of Jesus is exercised through the Church and it functions as Christ’s Ministry of Information.
And it gets even more interesting. Paul said God told him to make clear to everyone how the mystery came about. Here’s why? “The purpose is that through the Church, the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities – principalities and powers in the heavenly sphere.” “God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3:10 NLT. “(God) wanted the rulers and authorities in the heavenly world to come to know his great wisdom. The church would make it known to them.” Ephesians 3:9-10 NIRV. In other words, angelic authorities – principalities and powers can’t gain insight into God’s wisdom without coming to church!
This radically alters our understanding of what goes on in church and who’s in attendance. Unseen potentates come to church to LEARN about God’s agenda. Religiosity can’t handle this truth. Angels discuss sermons: Ephesians 3:10 MSG: “Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
The revelation of the mystery of Christ totally shatters our conception of church. The church is not about singing by and by songs to go to heaven. It’s an organ of government – Christ’s! Neither is the primary function of the church moral instruction. You don’t need to be a Christian to be moral! God forbid that anyone imagine Jesus died so we can have moral instruction. God forbid! That’s what Boy Scouts do!
The Church is a depository of wisdom. From her should emanate plans and blueprints for national transformation. Paul wrote: “The Church is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the Church.” Ephesians 1:23 MSG. In other words, the Church is not some societal appendage for social rites, its role confined to naming ceremonies etc. That’s not God’s conception! We turned it so.
The Church ought to be the centre for policy and national development. When nations are looking for direction – political, social or economic, the Church should have answers.
The church ought to be a place of leadership and vision. It is God’s central intelligence agency, a knowledge hub. It’s where wisdom is disseminated.
The Church must set national agenda, and articulate not just masterplans but the Masterplan. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth…! That’s what Jesus taught. That should be our focus. If we seek first the kingdom, all what we pray for will be auto additives. Jesus promised that.
As long as we think the conceptual role of the church is to herd people into heaven, the Church can’t fulfill its destiny. Until the Church wakes up to this understanding, the ideology of the Christ cannot percolate nations.
It is time we rethink the institution called Church.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org