Eph 3:11-13 “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
The manifold wisdom of God being seen by (“A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through…” see Strong’s) the church (vs. 10) is no accident. God’s wisdom does not come through the church; He is the only avenue for the actuality of His wisdom. Seeing God’s wisdom comes through church. The church is the avenue God has chosen to show His multifaceted wisdom.
We do not gain any insight into the manifold wisdom of God by looking at the things of the world. No understanding of His wisdom can come from men who have set themselves up as religious leaders among the Lord’s people. Paul was pointing us to the church, which was in keeping with what God has always intended (His eternal purpose). The church that God has established is His dwelling place in the earth, and it is in the church that He is pleased to show that He is the God of the universe.
God sealed the certainty of the purpose of the church and the gospel in our Lord, Jesus Christ. He purposed, which means to make or do according to Strong’s. This was not just God’s plan; this was God’s making and God’s doing. When we understand that God’s making and God’s doing in the church is sealed in Jesus Christ, we find that our carnal fear of serving God is removed.
We sometimes find ourselves being afraid to serve God because we are concerned about what our friends may think of us. We have held back from publicly declaring our trust in Jesus because we fear it will jeopardize our social standing. We have not declared our trust in Him because we are afraid we might lose our job. There are many reasons why we, as human beings, might be afraid to stand up for Jesus. When we see the manifold wisdom of God by the church, then those fears and doubts give way to boldness; we speak and act with frankness and assurance.
Our boldness is anchored in Jesus Christ. It is only in an unwavering confidence in Him that we find the courage and strength to declare the wisdom of God. Through the faith of Him (recognizes Him as the source) we are enabled to come into His presence without fear. By faith, we understand that He welcomes us into His presence (Song of Solomon, 2:4).
All of this does not mean that we will not encounter difficulty along the way (Joh 16:33). Facing tribulation, however, does not negate God’s wisdom or the power of His purpose. Instead, when our eyes are on Him, it assures us in our service. We should not give up when we are faced with tribulations; neither should we grow weak when we see others have tribulations for our sake.
When someone we love is enduring hardship because they are determined to serve us in the cause of Christ, we should not ask nor expect them to give up and turn back. Instead, we should pray for God to strengthen them. We should be amazed that God would love us so much that He would embolden servants, through the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, to willingly bear tribulations for us. Rather than fear, we should be found praising God for the boldness and confident access of our faith in Jesus.
May we not faint at tribulations, but rejoice in the manifold wisdom of God that He has shown us by the church according to His eternal purpose in Jesus!