Have you ever wondered what God is doing with His Church in the midst of this turbulent world? If so, then this series on Ephesians is for you, because in it we learn that the image of God in humanity that was shattered in the garden of Eden by sin and the powers of darkness, was restored at the cross, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has created a new humanity called the Church. The Church is the body of Christ, and is meant to bear the image of Christ to the world. That is why two years ago, Mike Goheen said,
“You are not just a voluntary community of people who believe in Jesus. You are the new humanity!“
What Ephesians 1 is tells us is that the Church is not a club of people who believe the same things. The Church is a supernatural community of people who were chosen by God before the foundation of the world to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and through His resurrection have been transformed by the Holy Spirit to bear the image of Jesus to the world.
The Great Commission that Jesus gave in Matthew 28:18, is simply a renewed version of the Creation Mandate. In Genesis 1, God gave the commission to all of humanity to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it,”—in other words: ’fill the earth with God’s image.’ And in Matthew 28, Jesus gave the commission to the new humanity to “make disciples of all nations.” That is, ‘fill the earth with disciples who bear the image of Jesus.’—Because He is the image of the invisible God.
Why did Jesus give this commission? Because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. He has triumphed over the forces of evil, and He is using us to triumph with Him. If you are a believer, you are part of the body of Christ—His Church—and God has purposed His Church to participate in His triumph over the powers of darkness. How do we do that? What does that look like today? Those are the answers we will find over the course of the next 11 weeks in our journey through Ephesians.