I'll get the obvious quote out of the way first. William Lane Craig states that the purpose of people is to

"To glorify God and enjoy him forever."

Now that's the purpose for us.

In the book of Ephesians, given the spiritual awareness of the people of Ephesus, the writer Paul delves into matters of the Spiritual Realm. In Eph 3:10 Paul writes:

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

Can we expand on this to suggest that God had a purpose for creation, for the benefit of those outside creation? Could it be that Paul is saying that our creation is a 'model example' for the spiritual realm, showing that his authority is better, and an example of what happens when his authority is rebelled against?

My question is: Does Eph 3v10 hint at Gods supernatural purpose for creation, humanity and our history?

[Context: This is a question that came up in Bible-study last week]


If you read the account of [2 Chronicles 20:1-30] you will see how God wishes government would work.

His intent was that now This shows us how soon he wants us to see what he means by faith. For the faith has been placed on the death of Jesus, an important detail for sure, yet only one part to the three parts to faith. Part two of faith is believing that God will fulfill the law.

2 Chronicles 20:20 NKJV So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper."

Through the church Here shows us part three of faith. Believing the message Jesus said about letting God fulfill the Law.

Matthew 5:17 NKJV

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:38-39 NKJV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

John 8:7 NKJV

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

1 Corinthians 5:1-5 NKJV

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:20 NKJV

of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Acts 23:3 NKJV

Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”

The manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms Does hint at the purpose for creation, humanity and our history. For the purpose is for all to be of the faith.

Acts 26:18 NKJV

to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Philippians 2:10-11 NKJV

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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  • 1
    Are you hinting at yes? – hawkeye Apr 26 '14 at 10:47
  • Yes, to restate. "The manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms <%["Does hint"]%> at the purpose for creation, humanity and our history. For the purpose is for all to be of the faith." – Decrypted Apr 26 '14 at 14:57
  • And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3 NKJV) This also states purpose. So rulers and authorities are also considered part of <%["All"]%>. – Decrypted Apr 26 '14 at 15:06

As with much of the Bible. What we have to do is to take it in relationship to other parts of the Bible. In the following excerpt from Darby's commentary on the full Bible, we can learn more about what St. Paul was talking about.

Most assuredly God did have a reason for creation. In trying to discern what God's reasoning was for the creation and we have to take the entire Bible, and use it to discern exactly what the whole Bible is trying to tell us.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul is defending his ministry to the Gentile nations.

Paul was imprisoned in Rome waiting to be tried before Caesar, and the letter to the Ephesians (a Gentile Church) was intended to bolster their faith and assert their right to share in the Kingdom of God.

Ephesians 3:10 through12 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation.

Ephesians 3:10

The design of God in giving Paul grace to proclaim to the Gentiles the mystery of
 salvation heretofore  hidden.

now first: opposed to “hidden from the beginning of the world” 

Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;).

unto the principalities and (Greek adds “the”) powers unto the various orders of good angels primarily, as these dwell “in the heavenly places” in the highest sense; “known” to their adoring joy.

1st Timothy 3:16; And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1st Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Secondarily, God’s wisdom in redemption is made known to evil angels, who dwell 
“in heavenly places” in a   lower sense, namely, the air 


Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past all of you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:


Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

“known” to their dismay

1Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

might be known — Translate, “may be known.”

by the church — “by means of,” or “through the Church,” which is the “theater” 
for the display of God’s manifold wisdom:

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

1st Coriinthians 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

“a spectacle (Greek, ‘theater’) to angels.” 

Hence, angels are but our “fellow servants”

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

manifold wisdom — though essentially one, as Christ is one, yet varying the economy
in respect to places, times, and persons

Isaiah 55:8 and 9For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,


1st Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

“stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 

Man cannot understand aright its single acts till he can survey them as a connected whole

1st Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

The call of the Church is no haphazard remedy, or afterthought, but part of the eternal 
scheme, which, amidst manifold varieties of dispensation, is one in its end.

So in answer to your question Ephesians 3:10 is only a small window into the purposes of God in his creation. There are mysteries hidden in the Universe, which we are just now beginning to discover. We do not as yet know if God created other life on other Planets or not, and what impact that has on our destinies. Until we know all of God's mysteries we will never really know God or his purposes.

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  • So you're saying maybe, but we really don't know. – hawkeye Apr 26 '14 at 6:18

Yes. My reasoning is based upon scripture.

Ephesians 3;9

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

I Timothy 3;16

And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, raised up into glory.

I believe the mystery is the incarnation of the Son of God.

Ephesians 3;10

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Psalms 104;24

O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Jeremiah 10;12

He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

I believe manifold wisdom is creation of the earth/world.

Ephesians 3;11

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

II Timothy 1;9,10

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

The eternal purpose is redemption of humanity.

I believe creation of the earth and man have purpose. God and man's battle with Satan, sin, and the victory of Jesus Christ may serve as an example to the angels, and the powers, and principalities.

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  • I agree with your definitions, I think that's what Ephesians is all about. I'm just trying to get the logic in your last sentence. Is your answer "yes probably but we can't be sure?" – hawkeye Apr 26 '14 at 6:20

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