ALL THE GIFTED PERSONS
BEING FOR THE BUILDING UP OF THE CHURCH
We are too self-centered. We are always concerned about our personal salvation. But we have to realize that our personal salvation is for a corporate church. Ephesians 4 says that when Christ ascended to the height, He led a train of vanquished foes and gave gifts to men (v. 8). He made all the vanquished foes the gifts. The apostle Paul was one of these vanquished foes. When he was Saul of Tarsus, he was a real foe to Christ (Acts 8:1, 3). But Christ vanquished him and made this vanquished foe, Saul of Tarsus, the biggest gift. Christ gave this biggest gift, the apostle Paul, to the church for the building up of the Body of Christ. All the gifts, the gifted persons, such as the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds and teachers, are for the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12).
GOD PUTTING SATAN TO SHAME THROUGH THE CHURCH
Ephesians 3:10 says, "In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church." This means that God puts Satan with all his power of darkness to shame through the church. God would say to Satan, "Satan, look at the church. You gave Me a lot of trouble, but out of all the troubles, I have obtained a church. All the troubles you gave Me become a kind of help to Me. So I am wiser than you. Satan, have you seen My wisdom?" Satan caused so many young people to become hippies. But out of the hippies, God has gained a number of saved saints. God is wiser than Satan. It is through the church that the multifarious wisdom of God is made known. Therefore, here we have to be bold enough to say that even Satan is for the church.
Satan always has been and still is trying his best to damage the church. But all the damage caused by Satan is used by God in His wisdom to build up the church. Satan is a tool used by God for the church. If Satan had never come into existence, everything in the universe would be wonderful. There would not be anything evil. Consequently, there would be no tears, no pain, and no suffering. We have to realize that God, in His marvelous wisdom, allowed all the negative things to happen for this one purpose, that is, to produce a wonderful thing—the church. We will need eternity to understand how much good the darkness, suffering, pain, and tears have done for us. Even the dark and negative things are used by God for the church.
THE GLORY OF GOD BEING FOR THE CHURCH
Ephesians 3:21 says, "To Him be the glory in the church." The glory of God is not only in the church but also for the church.
Thus, we see that God’s purpose is for the church. Christ’s death is for the church. Christ’s resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and glorification are for the church. In other words, all the main things accomplished by Christ are for the church. Furthermore, the gifts are for the church. Then Satan, with all the negative things, is for the church. Finally, God’s glory is for the church.
(The Life for the Preaching of the High Gospel, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)