I want to talk about recognizing New Testament ministers — genuine stewards. Understanding God’s economy is incredibly profound — it has truly changed my view of the Bible. Knowing what God is doing has set me on a different path to reveal Christ as the center. Christ is everything. God’s intention is not to require us to do something – it’s for Him to work Christ as life into us. This is the “mystery of Christ in you, the hope of glory”. The word for economy is the same word we use when we say “dispensation”. The Greek word is oikonomia which means “household order”. God has an economy through which He’s carrying out His eternal purpose. God’s eternal purpose, as revealed in Ephesians, is to produce the Church.
God’s intention from eternity past,(before He created anything), was to produce the Church, the Body of Christ (Eph 1:23) — the habitation of God (Eph 2:22), the bride of Christ (Eph 5:22), the many Sons of God (Eph 1:5), the inheritance of God (Eph 1:18), the masterpiece of God (Eph 2:10), the city of God and the household of God (Eph 2:19). All of this is revealed in Ephesians. The Church is called the fullness of God (Eph 3:19) and the fullness of Christ (Eph 1:23) – it is God’s expression. The Church, in its final glorious state, is the consummation of everything God intended when He created the universe. He foreknew the Church in Christ.
To Christ, the Church is “bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh,” (Eph 5:29; Gen 2:23) that came out of Him. The Church is the product of God’s salvation, but it’s entirely positive. Even if sin had not entered, the Church was God’s intention. The Church is is why He created the universe…this was what He had in His heart. It was a secret before the world began, revealed after the resurrection of Christ. For this reason it’s called the revelation of the mystery (Eph 3:3-4)
This group of people hid with Christ in God were foreknown from eternity past and were chosen to be holy without blame before God in love and predestinated unto sonship according to His eternal purpose (Eph 1:4-5; Eph 1:11). This is also called the good pleasure of His will which is “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph 1:5). His grace is put on display in the Church!