. . . so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers [arche] and authorities [exousia] in the heavenly places [epouranios].
Read it slowly. “The rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” No earthly governmental leaders here. These are spiritual powers.
And while “heavenly places” sounds a bit angelic, a very different picture becomes clear in Eph 6:12: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers [arche] and authorities [exousia], against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places [epouranios].
And so, to a dark, unseen realm, a kind of figurative letter is written.
The message? God’s wisdom is profound. It’s complex. It’s multifaceted. And it causes the wisdom of humanity, even exceptional, distinguished humanity, to appear as dust.
Who is writing this letter?
You see, God has a plan. First, He sends His Son to die, raises Him from the dead, and seats Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority (1:20-21).
Then He appoints Paul to be a minister of the gospel, giving him the grace and ministry and stewardship of making the mystery of God’s will known to everyone (1:9-10, 3:1-9).
So that the church, now reconciled to God and built on a firm foundation (2:14-21), might declare to spiritual powers unseen that God’s wisdom exceeds all human imagination or comprehension.
Sealed, stamped, and delivered.
[image credit: wikipedia commons]