The Church’s Profound Purpose
Bible Text: Ephesians 3:10-12 | Speaker: Parkey Cobern | Series: Standalone Sermons | The Spirit has been teaching us from the passages in Ephesians regarding the armor of God recently. One of the reasons that God has highlighted the teaching about the armor during this season centers around our call to fruitfulness. At the beginning of this year, we looked at some prophetic insights regarding where we are on God’s calendar. We are in a season of dual purpose:
Fruitfulness for the church – the people of God.
Judgment upon the disobedient.
Satan, our enemy will not give up ground without a fight. Our fruitfulness is a result of our submission and obedience to God but our inheritance comes through victory which means that a battle precedes victory and the possession of inheritance. This season is also a season of judgment upon the disobedient. Yes, that means that many who are disobeying God will experience some form of discipline or judgment. But, between the church and its inheritance stands the most disobedient force of all.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:12
The book of Ephesians clearly tells us that God uses the church to make known His will to the powers in the heavenlies. How does this happen? Through our prayer. Some like to call this type of prayer spiritual warfare because it comes against opposing forces to God’s will and uses the finished work of Jesus and His Name to enforce God’s will. God could have easily done this work Himself but He has chosen to use us in this battle plan. The enforcement of His will and the taking of spiritual ground occurs through the church! Let’s look at Psalm 149:
Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of His faithful people. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory. Let His faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them—this is the glory of all His faithful people. Praise the Lord.
This passage details what Ephesians tells us about the purpose of the church. The honor of God us upon His people – the honor of being used in the battle – the honor of bringing about victory! The church uses two amazing weapons in their warfare:
Praise is the language of faith. Praise acknowledges God as victor. Praise focuses on the outcome of the situation. Praises activates the solution to the problem. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 tells the story of a battle between the children of Israel and several of the “ites”. After prayer, Jehoshaphat, the king of Israel implemented a strange battle strategy. Don’t fight without praise! It activates the forces of heaven and sends the enemy fleeing.
Jehoshaphat appointed me to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for His live endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 20:21-22
2. Sharp two-edged sword
We know from Ephesians and other scriptures that this is the Word of God: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV) What does Ephesians 6 tell us the sword we carry is? The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. When we praise the Lord and speak the Word of God, we activate the forces of heaven to release resources for victory and we speak judgment and enforce judgment against the enemies of God!
Through the use of these two weapons, we as the church of Jesus Christ make known the will of God to the forces of darkness and we activate the resources of heaven to come and bring the judgment upon the enemies of God in the situation and to release the victory. This is our profound purpose!
Ephesians 3:10-12 (AMP)
2 Chronicles 20:21-22
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
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