I have been dwelling on these verses for a few days. There's the same kind of totally-insane-say-what! quality as 1.22. What exactly is God's eternal purpose? Whatever it is, the church is God's chosen methodology for making it known. In Christ, God accomplished what he always intended to: he won back his children. He made us holy and blameless in his son. At the cross, God perfectly demonstrates his character and we become those to whom that character is continually and beautifully demonstrated. In a way, that cross is an act of character vindication. At Calvary the world is shown the fullest measure of grace, love, justice. All at the same time. Jesus makes known what the Father is really like whilst gaining for himself an inheritance, a people who will love and praise him forever.
And so, what of the church? Well, God decided before the creation of the world that his people would be part of the grand plan. Now is time. We are those living post the advent of the kingdom. It has been and is being ushered in. We are those who live to show the world that God's redemption plan is wise and that his reign is good. A new spiritual Israel showing our neighbours what it means to live under him. What the church looks like matters. The way we love each other matters. As the church reveals the wisdom of god things start shifting. And not just on earth either. This is heavenly warfare. The rulers and authorities of the spiritual realm are looking to us as they looked to Job. They consider us and what our lives say about God. The church's very existence reveals that God's plan worked. But what do our actions reveal about the kind of God he is?