Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christ Reigns in the Church -- Ephesians 1

The second half of the first chapter of Ephesians (1 :1 5-23) continues the vision of worship with which the chapter begins. The focus here is upon Christ, in whom God has chosen to bring all things together in wholeness. As it moves toward a climax, the author revels in the power of the resurrection, by which God raised Christ into the heavenly places, where he would stand far above all rulers and authorities, not only in this age, but in the age to come.

While the incarnation may have brought limitation upon Christ, in the resurrection those bonds have been broken. The doxology moves forward to a powerful scene in which Christ, sitting at the right hand of God, receives the tribute due one who is head over all things. In this new station, Christ is made head over all things
“for the church.” And the church is defined here as being the body of Christ, which is “the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

What is powerfully laid out here is a vision of the church itself, reflecting and even embodying the glory that now belongs to the risen Christ. This vision of the church as the body of Christ, with Christ as its head, will appear again in the Ephesian letter (see Eph. 5:21 ff). This vision of the church, embodying the fullness that is Christ, serves as a call to missional action —returning to the idea that begins the chapter, that the church has been blessed with every spiritual blessing, so that it might in turn be a blessing.

Excerpted from:  Robert D. Cornwall, Ephesians:  A Participatory Study Guide. Energion 2010, p. 17.

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