Jesus’ Revelation of His Church

We often make the Church into what we want it to be or even need it to be

But seldom look at the Scriptures to see what Jesus really wants for His Church

The way He has designed it to function

The way it works best and what He has designed it to accomplish

The typical views of the church – the way WE have designed it

Designed it in the way it actually works or functions

Or, simply the way we see it regardless of how it really functions

1> Soul winning church – Outreach

2> Experiencing God church – Worship

3> Family reunion church – Fellowship

4> Bible classroom church – Discipleship

5> Social conscience church – Ministry / Service

To put it a slightly different way:

1> Soul winning church – Evangelism

2> Experiencing God church – Exalt

3> Family reunion church – Encourage

4> Bible classroom church – Edify

5> Social conscience church – Equip

Some want the Church to focus on just one of these five functions – others want a ‘full meal deal’ and to see all five strong and healthy within the local Church

However, as you read what Paul, the apostle, wrote about the Church that Jesus is building it stands in stark contrast to what we, believers, have built or would like to build or think that the Church should be built

There is one key or main purpose of the Church – and this is THE key factor in how it is to be built

The way it is to be designed must allow the church to fulfill this one purpose

Jesus’ intention when beginning the Church

Think about it! In your mind, what is the purpose of the Church?

Listen to these words penned by Paul about the Church:

“To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places…” (Ephesians 3:10)

There’s the purpose … to make known the multi-faceted wisdom of God the Creator

Then Paul presents seven aspects of the Church – seven facets of our life together – of God’s people when we come together – that represent seven different aspects of God’s wisdom when functioning biblically

The Church was meant to have one function – reveal God’s manifold (multi-purpose, multi-faceted) wisdom to the principalities and powers of the spiritual world and thus thus change the lives of those who live on Planet Earth

One function or purpose – Seven facets

And, it is dangerous to only see one facet of our life together

We must grow into a complete understanding and practice of all these seven pictures (facets) of the Church or we will miss out on a great deal of what God has for us as a family…

And only part of His manifold wisdom will be seen and experienced by others

An overview:

1> The Assembly – Ephesians 1:22

2> The Body – Ephesians 1:23

3> The Workmanship – Ephesians 2:10

4> The Family – Ephesians 2:18-19 (Household of God)

5> The Temple – Ephesians 2:20-22

6> The Bride – Ephesians 5:25-27

7> The Army – Ephesians 6:13

Remember: Each picture (facet) of God’s Church reflects God’s wisdom (function)

THE ASSEMBLY (Understanding God’s Authority):

Ephesians 1:22 “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church…”

The Message Version “He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.

The Essential Feature:

God’s governmental authority – Jesus is the Head of the Church, the Body

“All authority has been given to me…” (Matthew 28:18)

Through the Church, His representatives on the earth, He rules the nations and brings His purposes to pass

We are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20)

We are His ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18)

What is required of us?

Respect for God’s order in His Kingdom

A self-discipline that shows we have our own life “in order”

The way we live life

Our relationships one to another

Respect for the ministry and gifting that each person has been given

Apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher, shepherd, worker of miracles, gifts of healing, tongues… (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28;  Ephesians 4:11)

So, as His Church, we are to submit to God’s authority and reveal His order to all of creation

Order = His way of doing things

THE BODY (Acknowledging God’s Headship):

Ephesians 1:23 “The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” (The Message Version)

The Essential Feature:

To recognize that we, the Church, are the agent of Christ’s will

Our task is to do the will of the One for whom the Body was prepared – the Head, Jesus

He is the Head and we are the parts (members) of the Body

Jesus depends on us as the members of His Body to carry out His redemptive purposes in the earth

Tell others about Jesus and the Gospel of the Kingdom

He no longer preaches / shares the Gospel – We do!

What is required of us?

We need to recognize and appreciate our differences here in the Body

We must acknowledge that we are interdependent, as part of the Body

We cannot say to one another, “I don’t need you”

We are to be diverse and different – but interdependent

Only when we recognize and act on this truth does the Body become strong and healthy

There are no “Lone Ranger” Christians

So, as His Church, we are to flow with the order that exists because Jesus is the Head of the Church

THE WORKMANSHIP (Showing His creative genius):

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

“He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” (The Message Version)

The Essential Feature:

We, the Church, are to be a revelation to the universe, principalities, and powers of God’s creative genius!

We are His creative masterpiece

The lead verse: “To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places…” (Ephesians 3:10)

The Church is set as a picture of the manifold (many-sided) wisdom of God

It represents God’s creative genius at its highest point when functioning correctly

British Church plant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Muslim nation

Went from 25 to 500 in attendance in 6 months

What is required os us?

For each one of us this requires that we be yielded to the Holy Spirit

We are to be pliable and not “fixed” in our ways

The Church is to be an organic, living, fluid organism and not a fixed institution

We must be constantly changing in response to His Kingdom momentum and His guidance

And, as our own giftings and callings morph we must respond and change accordingly

So, as His Church, we are called to show the universe, all created spiritual powers, and every individual God’s creative genius

THE FAMILY (Demonstrating His Fatherhood):

Ephesians 2:18-19 “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household (family) of God”

The Essential Feature:

God the Father is the life-source of all of us, and that we are together, not in an institution or an organization, but in a family

We are members of the same family (with all true believers) and are to be showing the world the nature of God the Father

What is required of us?

As individuals, it requires obedience to the commands of our Father

Jesus learned obedience through suffering and is the “pattern” for all Christians

Corporately as a family we are commanded to love one another

59 “one another” verses in the New Testament – all to be obeyed

All “commands” and not suggestions

This loving one another is not always easy …

There is a saying: “You can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your  family”

So, we need to learn to “accept one another” just as we are becauseJesus accepts us just as we are

Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, just as Christi accepted us to the glory of God”     (NASB)

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (ESV)

“So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!”  (The Message Version)

So, as His Church, we are called to demonstrate the Father’s Love, acceptance, and forgiveness to each other and the whole world

THE TEMPLE (Displaying His presence)

Ephesians 2:19b-22 “members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

The Essential Features:

We are God’s dwelling place – His temple (individually and corporately as a body)

2 Corinthians 6:16 “We are the temple of the living God”

Each of us is a “living stone” in a living temple

Wherever we are the presence of God is there

No longer do people need to go to Jerusalem or the temple / tabernacle

What is required of us?

As living stones, we are to be shaped and fitted – submitting to the discipline of God

We must allow God, directly and through others, to chisel and hammer us into shape individually – constant change and growth

And, we must be willing to take our places in the Temple where we belong

Do not be who you are not!

With one stone on either side, two stones beneath us, and in most cases, two stones above us as well

We need to be relationally connected to / engaged with others

So, as His Church, we are His dwelling place individually and corporately

THE BRIDE (Expressing God’s Love):

Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.”

(The Message Version)

The Essential Feature:

As Jesus, out of love, gave Himself without reservation, to the Church – – Now He asks the Church to give herself to Him, without reservation

The Church is the Bride of Christ to whom He is going to be united eternally at the marriage supper of the Lamb

So, Jesus is what all of this (the Church) is all about and we are in a period of preparation to be that Bride “without spot or wrinkle” (Ephesians 5:27 ESV)

What is required of us?

Each of us individually must be sure our wedding garment is ready to put on

Revelation 19:8 tells us that this is “the righteous acts of the saints”

All of us as a family (corporately) should exhort one another to continue to move forward in this process of righteousness – sanctification

Best done by example

Also done by encouraging one another to “love and good works”

So, as His Church, we are in a state of preparation to be His companion for all of eternity


Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

The Essential Feature:

We, the Church, are to be a demonstration of God’s invincible power manifest in circumstances and situations in the world today

We are in a relentless warfare against the domain of darkness ruled by Satan

We are equipped with spiritual weapons

His Word – to cast down strongholds in the main battlefield – the mind

His supernatural gifts of the Spirit – to win the lost as we witness

What is required of us?

On a personal level – military discipline is required

We need to “rule ourselves” in our conduct and relationships

We need to yield control to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)

On a corporate level – we must be loyal to one another

Totally committed to one another

Ready to defend our fellow soldiers, regardless of the danger or the cost

So, as His Church, we join with Him in living in such a way so as to influence and impact the community in which we live as well as the wider world that we are a part of … releasing His power


As we look at these seven descriptions of the Church we may feel a bit overwhelmed

Like we might be falling short on one or two or three of these aspects of the Church

But, remember the key to all of this:

While we look into the mirror of God’s Word He will reveal our real condition

And, as we read His Word, the Holy Spirit transforms us into who God wants us to be

As we fall more and more in love with Jesus, He will transform us into a true reflection of His true Church

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”