This is Joseph Mattera, welcome to God Today. I want to speak about the wisdom of God revealed through the Church. That is right, what I just said. God’s wisdom is actually supposed to come through the church. Paul the Apostle said in chapter 3 of the book of Ephesians, “that he was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to him by the effective working of his power.” Then he says in verse 9, “that he was called to reveal to all people what is the administration of the mystery which from the beginning of the ages was hidden in God who created all things in Jesus Christ.”
So he is talking about God, the Church, creation, and in that context, he says in verse 10, “So that now,” meaning everything I just read is setting up this, “the manifold wisdom,” the many varying wisdom of God, “might be made known through the Church.” Not just to the Church but through the Church, “to the principalities and powers in Heavenly places according to the eternal purpose, which was complete in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So, God has called the Church not just to go to Heaven, not just to have sins forgiven, not just to pray. But to actually reveal His many varied purposes and wisdom to principalities and powers. Now, what we have to understand is the background to this was that during the days of Christ in the early Church, the Roman Empire was trying to unite the world through Caesar worship. They were trying to keep a Roman Empire that was made up of many different ethnic groups, ⅔ of their empire was slaves, there were male, female, rich, poor, there were military people. There were people from all aspects of life. And they worshipped their own god. There were millions of gods, it was a polytheistic society.
Because of that, they were trying to figure out, “What is the best way we can keep this conglomeration of people together under one empire?” And they figured out, “Wait a minute, what if everybody irrespective of their god or religion worshipped Caesar? So, they instituted Caesar worship starting with Augustus. Even their coins had a picture of Caesar and on the back of the coin it would say, “Son of God”, “King of Kings”, “Lord of Lords” or “Caesar son of God”. And before you were able to do anything in public, whether it was a business transaction, whether it was a festival, there was a mandatory act of lighting incense or making a sacrifice to the image of Caesar. That was how they thought they were going to keep the empire together.
Well, Christians wouldn’t do that, was one main reason why they were persecuted. But here, God is showing that He was able to reveal His wisdom to the powers. Not just talking about spiritual, invisible powers, but He is talking about the earthly powers that receive their power from these demonic entities, namely the Roman Emperor and his civic leaders. The wisdom of God came through the Church because they were able to come together irrespective of being a slave or free, irrespective of being rich or poor, irrespective of male or female. They were able to come together as a body of Christ. And they were able to stay together, love one another, do acts of kindness – not just for one another. But for everyone in their community.
They became benefactors for their whole community. They helped take care of people that weren’t even part of the Church or even a part of their biological family. In this, they became the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and God used the Church to reveal His wisdom that only Jesus Christ is the true Lord. The only King of Kings and the Caesar of all Caesars. In the Church, He was able to show that only through Christ can true unity come.
As a matter of fact, the Church was so powerful that within the first 300 years of its existence, one of their emperors got converted and Christianity infiltrated the whole Roman Empire and eventually began to Christianize all the barbarian hordes. That became those who took over the Roman Empire. So God used the Church to reveal His wisdom. That is to say, there is only one Lord and one Ruler who will rule over the world. And even the universe because it was to the invisible powers that the wisdom of God was revealed. Only Jesus Christ can keep people united.
As a matter of fact, after the Roman Empire fell in the early 4th century, actually the 5th century, after the Roman Empire dissolved, the Church continued on and the bishops in the cities began to administrate every aspect of life because while everyone else fled the cities, Christians were the only ones who stayed. That is why the Church actually began discipling nations, especially the Barbarian tribes that came in. It shows Jesus is the only true Lord, the only one who can bring black, white, rich, poor, people from economic strata of society together, keep them together. Because we are in His Kingdom, the only Kingdom that is going to last forever. This is Joseph Mattera, signing off for God Today.