Ephesians 1:3-21. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… that you may know… what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe… that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Our union with Christ is the source of every one of our spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. These blessings are all rooted in who Christ is and what God has made him to be for us. He is the resurrected One. The glorified One. The Ruler of all things. The Head of the church. And the Fullness of God.
In a letter that is all about the church this is its first mention. And what a glorious first mention it is. The church is the apex of humanity’s union with Christ. We manifest Christ as his body. Together with Christ we share a common life. His life is ours. Our life is his.
The language here in 1:22 is stunning. Christ has been made the head over all things for the church. That is, for the benefit of the church. Christ was raised for the church. He was glorified for the church. He fought the great cosmic war for the church. He is crowned and seated as Lord for the church. He will return for the church. None of this was for himself alone. He already had a throne and a crown and glory before his incarnation. The plan of redemption is for us. To restore us. Humanity. The church. To restore us back to where we were meant to be to the praise of his glorious grace.
The blessing for us here is two-fold:
The blessing of Christ our Head.
Christ rules all things. Not some things. Not even most things. ALL things. Including those nasty rulers, authorities, powers, and dominions we talked about yesterday. Christ’s rule over all things exists for the benefit of us the church.
Pause and ponder that.
This is a huge statement that I would dare say none of us think enough about (if ever). We share everything that is Christ’s. His death and resurrection. His suffering. But also his victory. His reign. His authority. His dominion.
Nothing can defeat us. We are invincible as he is invincible. Even death is just a doorway to the fullness of his life.
What do you think is defeating you today? Where are you feeling fear of failure, guilt, shame, or the unknown. Do you know that Jesus is reigning for you? He rules as your servant-king. Everything is coming under his authority and every enemy under his feet. Is this the Christ you worship and serve?
The invincible army of the dead, not unlike the church, except we’re alive of course.
The blessing of the Church his Body.
The cosmic head of the universe is manifested in your local church. You know the one you get frustrated with, skip going to way too often, and generally take for granted. Your ordinary church with all of its problems and drama is ruled by the King of all creation. Your church, no matter how big or small, urban or rural, rich or poor, contemporary or traditional, is empowered by Christ, sustained by Christ, purified by Christ, enriched by Christ, led by Christ, beautified by Christ, glorified by Christ, and saved by Christ.
Remember, the body is never severed from the head. Christ dwells in the church. He gives it its life. The church is a living organism filled with Christ’s divine eternal zoe life. The church is how we experience the phenomenal blessings of Christ.
But what about all the failures and problems in my church?
Yes. But what if those failures and problems are exactly HOW we experience the gospel of Jesus Christ our head? What of those things that seek to divide us are the things that would drive us to the grace of the cross and unify us under its banner of love and mercy?
What if every time you change churches or skip church for frivolous reasons you’re denying the headship of Christ?
“To live is Christ” is most likely far greater than you and I ever imagined. It is the headship of Christ FOR our benefit. Our salvation. Our redemption. Our restoration. Our rejuvenation. Our exaltation. And all of this through the Church. The Body of him who is our Head. What a glorious gift the church is. What grace of God to join us to Christ as one spirit for the glory of God.