Part 2 God created the church before the foundation of the world in heaven. Jesus has revealed the plan of God when he established the church on the earth in his death, resurrection and ascension, uniting his church in heaven and on the earth.
God in his foreknowledge that is before the foundation of the world, put in place the means of reconciling humanity back to himself through Jesus, his blood being the atoning final sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.
Paul in his letter to the Romans writes, “Not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. For sin was in the world before the law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.” Romans 5: 12-14. One man’s sin brought about separation from God. A Type meaning one man Jesus restored our relationship with God. Jesus sometimes referred to as the second Adam.
Moses’ inspired story of the fall of humanity, he tells us that the first human beings had fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden and instructed them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They were tempted by the serpent to eat from that tree, he said to them that they would be like God knowing good and evil. Eve was tempted first to eat from the tree, and she gave some to her husband Adam. As a result they became aware of the presence of evil and their nature fell under the influence of the devil and they became subject to eternal death. Their relationship with God changed from knowing God in a personal way, to knowing about God, for him to be revered, but kept at a distance. Genesis 3.
John recorded the words that he heard when Jesus prayed to his Father, Jesus prayed, Father, glorify thou me, in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.” John 17: 5. Jesus saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven. Luke 10: 18. Ezekiel 28: 11-19.
Jesus was tempted by the devil on the earth and was offered the kingdoms of the world if Jesus acknowledged Satan as god. Matthew writes, “Again, the devil took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Matthew 4: 7-10.
In the plan of God Jesus was sent to restore the relationship between humanity and God. Jesus accomplished this through his death, paying the price for sin, in his life’s blood shed for forgiveness of all that stood against humanities relationship with God.
When Jesus rose from the dead and after his ascension the coming of the Holy Spirit, he established the church.
Paul confirms Jesus’ prayer indicates that the church was in God’s heart and mind before the foundation of the world, before the fall of humanity. God appointed the church to fulfil his purposes and plans, revealed through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians saying that he knew that God had set him apart before he was born. “Set me apart before I was born and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles.” Galatians 1: 15,16. Jeremiah 29: 11,12.
When Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, he encouraged the Gentile Christians that God had planned their inclusion into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus before the foundation of the world. ”Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1: 4.
God had prepared their ministries, the vessels of mercy. ”For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2: 10
Responding to God’s call to ‘follow Jesus’ God is able to reach to reach to the deepest depth of sin in a person’s life. In forgiveness he takes a person to the heights of joy, love and peace. The plans he has made will be challenging and need the support of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to fulfil it. The purpose will emerge as his plan unfolds.