Im Leben und Sterben: Einheit mit Christus!
Eine zweiteilige Serie von John Piper aus dem Jahre 1981 hat auch heute noch die gleiche Bedeutung.
Diese ist hier zu finden:
Ein paar Zitate:
…that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
That mission, or purpose, is stated in verse 10: „that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.“ The cosmic mission of the church is to display before the hosts of heaven the manifold wisdom of God. „You are the light of the world.“ But not merely that. You are the light of the cosmos, with the spectacular mission of revealing the wisdom of God to supernatural beings. Therein lies a tremendous incentive for being the church Christ created us to be. To understand our mission to the heavenly places we need to answer three questions: 1) Who are these principalities and powers? 2) What is the divine wisdom the church is to make known to them? 3) How are we to make it known?
(1) […] Therefore, the principalities and powers (of Ephesians 3:10) are supernatural hosts in league with Satan and have a cosmic influence on the course of this age, its people, inventions, and institutions. These are the beings to whom the church is to demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God.
(2) […] I think the best way to answer this question is to see what has in fact been made known to the church. We cannot display to others what has not been shown to us. There are three stages of revelation in Ephesians 3:1–10. First, Paul receives revelation from God (vv. 1–7). Second, the church receives revelation from Paul (vv. 8, 9). Third, the church makes this known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (v. 10). […]
In 1 Corinthians 2:7 Paul says, „We speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God foreordained before the ages for our glory.“ God’s wisdom is the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11) by which he ordained from all eternity to glorify the church through the unthinkable death of his Son. In 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24 Paul says, „We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.“ Christ crucified for the unification and glorification of Jews and Gentiles in the church is the mystery of God and the wisdom of God.
(3) […] We show the wisdom of God by showing in the church that it is working. The death of Christ was not in vain: it has reconciled us to God, it has broken down the wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile and other races, it has produced one new body, and it has given us the hope of his immeasurable kindness forever. We show the wisdom of God to the cosmic powers by living this way, by being the church Christ died to create.
I would define a local church like this: a local church is a group of baptized believers who meet regularly to worship God through Jesus Christ, to be exhorted from the Word of God, and to celebrate the Lord’s Supper under the guidance of duly appointed leaders. According to this definition there are at least seven qualifications if a group wants to be a church in the NT sense.
„What makes a maximum local church?“ What should we be doing with all our heart so that the world and the cosmos will see the glorious wisdom and power of God on display in our church?
The most common NT answer to the question, „What makes a maximum local church?“ is good deeds: doing good things for other people. Keep in mind that the question now is not, What is the ultimate goal of the church? That was last week: the ultimate goal of the church is to live in such a way that God’s wisdom (and all the other aspects of his glory) will be displayed to the world and to the hosts of heaven. The church’s job is to live so that people can see that God is real. The question now is: What does that life look like? And the answer again and again in the NT is that it looks like good deeds.