Bible Study The Book Of Ephesians Verse By Verse

Lesson 10 Chapter One Verses 22 - 13

V. 22 "And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church."

Last weeks accommodation of time forced us to consider this verse in an abbreviated way, this evening we will, being Divinely enabled to consider the text in a more detailed fashion.

In our last study, commenting on this text, I said, "in the resurrection and exaltation of Christ, all things were placed under His dominion." The text reads "And hath put all things under His feet…" This means that all things are subordinate to Christ, and eternally subject to Him.

He is the "KING OF KINGS, AND THE LORD OF LORDS," He is a universal dominion, ruled by absolute sovereignty, and unending Power. We need to incessantly realize that Jesus of Nazareth is PRESENTLY enthroned, that His will is irresistible, and that what His soul desireth, even that He doeth. Christ's resurrection and exaltation was in fulfillment of promise, i.e., "Because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy 0ne to see corruption". (Acts 2:27), "The government shall be upon His shoulder…" (Isa. 9:6). The promise of the Father to Son, that He would be resurrected and exalted are now history, and the elect have the same promises given them by the Father, their resurrection will be like Christ's (Rom. 6:5), and their exaltation will be higher than that of any earthly kingship, but never above the feet of Christ.

In that the Father has kept His promises to His only begotten Son, will He not also be faithful and keep His promises to those redeemed by the Son? Yea, Christ's resurrection and exaltation is pledge of our, own resurrection and exaltation, and in view of this Peter says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (I Pet. 5:6).

Vs.2 2 "And gave Him to be the Head, over all things to the church."

The import magnitude of this statement is infinite. It finds its parallel in importance in the words of the apostle Paul when he said, "there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). There is one Mediator between God and man, and there is one Head of the church, and both offices are held one and same man, Jesus Christ.

Roman Catholicism teaches that there are two Heads of the church, and hundreds of mediators between God and men. They teach that the Pope is head of the church, and the authority claimed by him as Head of the church makes Christ's office as 'Head of the church obsolete.

I will read a few statements from a Roman Catholic Manual of Religion which unmistakably shows the exalted position of the Pope as Head of the church. Bearing in mind, this is Rome's doctrine, and not the doctrine of the Bible.

"The Pope has supreme and complete power and, jurisdiction to decide questions of faith and morals and to arrange the discipline of the universal church.

The Pope is the supreme judge; to him belongs the last appeal in all cases.

What exclusive privileges does the Bishop of Rome enjoy, to signify his supremacy as Head of the church?

The Bishop of Rome's jurisdiction extends over all Christendom. He is first both in authority and honor." (?My Catholic Faith, 1961 Edition, Pages 124 & 125). End quote.

The Anglican Church teaches that the King of England is the Head of the church.

The Greek Orthodox Church teaches that the Bishop of Constanople is the Head of the church.

But the Scripture over and over affirms that Jesus Christ is THE one and only Head of the church, and that the Holy Spirit is His only Vicegerent in the earth. The term "church" in the verse under consideration (Eph. 1:22) is used in the Institutional or abstract sense, and has reference to Jesus being Head over all of His churches, which in an institutional sense make up the Bride of Christ.

In the KJV, the word "church" or "churches" occurs 112 times, and of this number between 95 and 100 of the references are Used in the local sense. The Greek word translated "church" is "Ekklesia" and without variation meant a called out assembly. So it is, the Roman Catholic concept of the church (universal visible), and the Protestant concept of the church (universal invisible), are alien to the Scriptures, for they are never called out, and it is impossible for them to assemble.

Paul refers to the church in the institutional sense eight times in the Ephesian epistle (1:22; 3:10; 3:21; 5:23, - 25, 29, and 32) One of these references (5:27) speaks of the church prospective, or triumphant.

The term for the "church" in the original Greek N.T. is "Ekklesica," and an honest etymological study will reveal that the term is derived from two Greek words: "ek," which means "out," or "out of," and "Kaleo," which means to "call." Thus it is, in the ideal sense the church is made up of a called out, and assembled people. Proper organization is presupposed in the term, Ekklesia."

We will have much more to say on the subject of the church as we progress in our studies of this Epistle.

Vs.23 "Which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all."

Two very deep and significant statements are made about the church in this verse (23). First, we note, Paul says, the church "is His (Christ) body." To be consistent with our foregoing comments on Vs. 22, as referring to the church abstractly or institutionally, we say the reference here is also to the same nature of the church.

However, I believe in the light of the second profound statement in this verse, "...the fullness of Him that filleth all in all," that Paul speaks of the church in the institutional, prospective, and perfect sense; that is, the church triumphant.

The church "is His Body," and the term "body" bespeaks organism and organization. Christ being the "Head" of this body speaks of the vital union between Christ and His church, i.e., His Bride. Without said union ("lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age,") the church would fail of its mission, and Christ would, to say the least, be Incomplete. But we know this union is invincible and eternal.

As each individual member makes up the local body (I Cor. 12), so does each individual local church make up the church institutionally, or more correctly stated, the church triumphant.

The faithful saint does not lose his identity in glory (1 Cor. 13:12), neither shall the faithful local church lose her identity.
Each believer which remains faithful will receive a reward according to the measure of service rendered to the cause of Christ (Rom. 14:12), then too, each church will be rewarded according to their faithfulness, "…Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give the a crown life" "Rev. 2:10), spoken to the Local church at Smyrna. See also Rev. 3:11. Together, all the local churches, militant and faithful,will make up that living organism, that is, the church in glory.

While the church is guaranteed success (Matt. 16:18) on the earth in this age it does not attain infallibility in this age. In the present, the church has weak members, and is prone to error, but its mission is sure of success, and when the age is climaxed by appearance of the Head of the church in the air, then will the church be filled by Him, Who "filleth all in all."

At that time (in glory) there will be no weak members in the church, neither will the church know trial nor error, but every member and every church will be pervaded by the presence of Christ.

Christ is now glorified in the church, but His glory is somewhat bedimmed due to the imperfection of its members, but we need to remember that the church does not cease to exist at the end of this age, nor does it cease to bring glory to God throughout all ages, world without end. The difference is in the ages to come the blessed church will bring perfect praise to her beloved Head and Groom. "Even so., come Lord Jesus."