The purpose of God for the Church was all planned by God. It was not a side thought, after thought, addition, addendum, or supplement of God to His plan for man. It was not just another item He wanted busy people to add to their to do list. It was not a man’s idea which can be easy to forsake and not support. God planned the Church, with Christ as its Head and individual Believers as members of its Body. God is an eternal being (exists outside of time) and the purpose of the Church had its origin in eternity (past):
1. BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
John 17:5,24; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 1:9,11; 2:10; 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2,3. (The hope of eternal life was promised before the world began.)
2. FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Titus 1:2,3; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 17:8 (Our names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before Creation. Eternal life makes us a member of the Church, the Body of Christ, and the plan to send Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb to die as our substitute was from the foundation of the world).
God planned the Church in eternity past before the Creation or the Fall of man. It was planned in eternity but manifested in time. Because of God’s foreknowledge, He could will and purpose to bring forth the Church to His glory before Jew or Gentile ever existed (Genesis 10 and 11 origin of Gentiles; Genesis 12 origin of Jews). The Church, with Jesus as its Head and individual believers as its Body is the eternal purpose and central intent of God’s will.
Every Believer HAS to totally accept the fact of the eternal purpose of the Church. Any other concept robs the Believer both individually and corporately of proper motivation, honor, priority, and view of the Church in God’s eternal plan.