To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
When Paul was appointed as a minister to the Gentiles, he was appointed directly by God, having been given apostleship by Christ Himself. Paul through his life had been uniquely trained and prepared by God for this ministry. And more than most he understood the dangers of legalism and the futility of religion by men. And having been born a Roman citizen, Paul had rights and privileges to travel and communicate with Gentiles not available to most Jewish people. In addition, when Jesus appointed Paul He did so with power. Paul was given power for ministry through the Holy Spirit, power to heal, to teach, to prophesy and perform miracles. And it was through this power, through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Paul, that God verified Paul’s authority to minister. In other words, God verified his apostleship in order to help others believe and be saved. Paul also needed this power from God in order to endure the hardships he would face in ministry. Paul because of his ministry was shipwrecked, beaten, stoned and flogged. Eventually he was martyred for the Gospel of Christ by the Emperor Nero, who tortured then beheaded Paul. God created the church for the spread of the Gospel and the edification of the saints for service in the kingdom of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit working in people like Paul and the other apostles, God created the church as a public testimony to His grace.
God created the church as a place where people could display mercy, compassion, and grace to others. A place where the Gospel would be preached, the word of God taught and communities helped through service to those in need. A place where tribes, tongues and nations alike, become one in the body of Christ Jesus our Lord. Where we together become the bride of Christ, betrothed to our Lord and Savior. In addition, the church is a witness making known the Gospel of Christ to all living creatures, both men and principalities, human and angelic. A witness to humanity for the salvation of souls and a witness to principalities as to the power of God to save a world lost in sin. It is through the church that the mystery of the Gospel is made known to principalities. Principalities is a word which means angels, both fallen and heavenly. Through the church the angels both good and bad, witness on a daily basis, the mystery and miracle of the Gospel of Christ to save the souls of men. In addition, God’s holy angels participate in the church, watching over and ministering to God’s people while the fallen angels have an undeniable witness as to the grace of God. And through the Holy Spirit working in those saved by grace, both humanity and principalities gain a better understanding of the eternal purpose of the church, which is to praise God, give glory to God the Father and to preach the Gospel of Jesus to those who are lost. And to do so through the power of the blood of Christ, which is at work in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.