The devil’s goal vs the Lord’s Purpose
How will the Lord's Purpose trump that of the devil and be fulfilled? Click To Tweet
“[Satan’s] principle goal is to stop the Church from revealing Christ to the world and to prevent souls from getting saved.” (Dr. Carl H.Stevens, “Members in Particular”, 1984). The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world “to seek and to save that which is lost.” (Luke 19:10) The devil, on the other hand, is here on earth seeking to keep the lost from getting saved. How will the Lord’s Eternal Purpose trump that of the devil and be fulfilled? Through the Church …
” … the manifold Wisdom of God made known by the Church … “
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The Apostle Paul knew that God had given him Grace to not only preach the Gospel to the Gentiles but also “to make all see [i.e., to manifest to all] what is the fellowship of the mystery [of Christ] … ; to the intent that now the manifold Wisdom of God might be made known [manifested] by the Church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus the Lord.” (Ephesians 3:8-11) This was – and is – God’s way of foiling the devil’s intentions to keep the unsearchable riches of Christ from being known. It is through the Church manifesting Christ that He spoils the enemy’s plan to attain his goal. “Herein was the Son of God made manifest that He might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). And how is that we, the Church, do manifest Christ?
Manifesting Love among yourselves
Such a manifestation requires death... Click To Tweet
The Love of God never fails, and Jesus made clear to His disciples the purpose of His new commandment to them, that they should love one another just as He had loved them; “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing (manifesting) Love among yourselves].” (John 13:34,35, emphasis mine) We simply can read I Corinthians 13 and realize that HIS Love is radically different from the human love exchanged among people who don’t “know and believe the Love that God cherishes for us” (I John 4:16). And how will people – even Christians who have not yet grasped it – know this Love unless it is manifested through His disciples, those of His children who are rooted and grounded in ti through learning and walking in His Word. But such a manifestation requires death …
Death to ourselves, Life manifested to others
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In II Corinthians 4:10-12 Paul again emphasizes the importance of death as a particular condition for the Lord Jesus Christ being manifested: “always carrying about in the body the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body … . For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the Life also of Jesus might be made manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.” (emphasis mine) As vital to our lives the cleansing of the Blood of Christ and purging of our consciences are (I John 1:7; Hebrews 9:14), and as deeply as we appreciate the complete forgiving and blotting out of ALL of our sins by His precious Blood, our death to the old sin nature – to self – is ultimately what will reveal the Son of God to those around us, both visible and invisible, and destroy the works and goal of the devil.
Love manifested by the giving up and laying down of a life
We know the Love of God because Jesus Christ manifested It by laying down His life for us. Click To Tweet
We as believers know the Love of God because the Lord Jesus Christ manifested It by laying down His life for us (I John 3:16). The Father manifested this Eternal Love to the whole world by giving up His dearly Beloved and only begotten Son to pay for all the sins of all people from the beginning to the end of time. This was so that all would have the option of possessing Eternal Life instead of perishing (John 3:16). The Apostle Peter declares to all who will choose to believe and trust personally in the One Who so loved us and gave up His life for us that we as believers, as the Church, “are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, a special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and [manifest] the virtues and perfecting of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light.” (II Peter 2:9, NKJV and Amplified)
” … if you keep on manifesting Love among yourselves.”
His Love in and through us will never fail! Click To Tweet
When we as Christians know and truly believe the Love that Christ has for us; when we by faith are available to receive Grace to embrace our co-crucifixion, co-burial, co-resurrection, and co-ascension with the Lord Jesus Christ, then we, like Paul, will be constrained to walk and live in that Love and not live any longer to and for ourselves but to and for Him Who died that all may live (II Cor.5:14,15). Thus will the Divine Purpose be ultimately fulfilled as the fulness of the Lord is manifested, revealing His Grace, Love and Mercy in and through the Body of Christ – the Church (Eph.1:23) In light of this Truth, how vital it is therefore that we “endeavor to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” in all of our churches, in the Church (Eph.4:3), His Love in and through us will never fail!
“To Him be Glory in the Church [and through the Church] by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph.3:21)