The problem with most people’s concept of the “ideal church” is that it is shaped by emotion and intellect rather than by Scripture. We take our own ideas of community, love and God putting them in the mixer to create a final product that is really just a blend of our own sin, reactions, and biases. The truth is, this dream-church (with Billy Graham as the pastor, and a congregation made up of Gandhi and Mother Theresa) is very different than the church that God actually ordained. And the work of the church (what the church is supposed to do) is very different than what we would plan. We forget that church was actually God’s idea (not the apostles, not Constantine, not John Calvin), His plan, His creation, that He upholds, and that He intends to use to declare His glory.
Paul writes the book of Ephesians to a specific church in a specific time but addresses larger theological themes rather than specific Ephesian church issues, suggesting that this letter was meant to be circulated as a treatise on the Christian life. As we read, we recognize that Paul is instructing us on how we are supposed to respond to God’s call of How to be the Church.