The potential of the local Church to change the world is unlimited. That’s not some dramatic hype, it’s the implications of Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:
“so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph 3:10)
The Church is God’s chosen means of declaring the Gospel to the ends of the universe, heavenly beings included. There’s so much we can do. There’s so much we can become. Where do we start?
At EBC we start with the clear commissions he gave his disciples as they were about the launch the Church*. These four commission statements have become values underpinning all we do. Hopefully you know them by now:
- We are Sent
- With the Gospel
- To the Ends of the Earth through Edenvale
- In the power of the Holy Spirit
That’s our translation of the commission statements, and we hope that through them we can become what they aim to create:
- A Missional Church
- A Gospel–Centered Church
- A Diverse Church
- A Spiritual Church
Our latest sermon series has been an attempt to remind us of these things, but also to inspire us to believe that we can become this kind of Church!
That’s not naive optimism, it’s based on a real-life model, the Church at Antioch** They got it right, and they changed the world. The best part of this model is that the Church was made up of ordinary people, like you and me. Ordinary people living their ordinary lives with Gospel intentionality.
In a very real sense, all this is possible because of the Gospel. It’s sufficient for our own salvation, encouragement, motivation and effect.
It’s based on this optimism that we can pray with Paul the following prayer for our Church:
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph 3:20-21)
* John 20:19-23, Luke 24:45-49, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8
** See Acts 11:19-30, 13:1-3