Eph 1:21—23  Christ Above All Pt. 2

but also in the one to come

God gave a new name to Abram (Gen 17:5) and to Jacob (Gen 32:28), and even determined the number of stars and gave all of them their names (Ps 147:4).  After naming specific authorities (v. 21a) over which Christ has authority, Paul indicates that every name that God cites is under Christ’s authority.  Phil 2:9–11 we read that Jesus has the name above all names: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Paul emphasizes the preeminence of Jesus over all things.  Since Jesus left His high rank in heaven to become a humble, human servant, setting aside His rights and privileges as God to live a life of humble service and obedience, even to the point of dying a horrible death on the cross for sinners, God exalted Him to the highest place of honor. After Christ’s victorious resurrection from the dead, God bestowed honor upon His humble, obedient Son: “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:2). 

“not only in this age but also the one to come.” Jesus will also continue his position at the right hand of God, forever. All figures, prophets, and leaders who come after Jesus are subordinate to Him. Christ reigns now, and will reign forever. See: Rev 22:3-5 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him.

“and he subjected everything under his feet.”

God’s power has been demonstrated first in Christ by raising him from the dead and by seating him at his right hand in the heavenlies, and in subjecting everything under Christ’s feet. When Adam sinned, he ceded over his control of the world to the enemy Satan, and through Jesus, the last Adam, Jesus, is given control and dominion over the world.  Ps 8:6 You have him rule over the works of Your hands;  You have put everything under his feet.  Heb 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of His suffering death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. So, what Adam could not do; live a perfect life, Jesus did in overcoming sin and death at the cross.  The last Adam is given control over what the first Adam had lost.  So all enemies will be overcome, subjected by Jesus under his authority and rule, at the right hand of God.  The metaphorical language “under his feet” has the idea of victory over enemies. 1 Pet 3:22 says that Jesus 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him

and he gave him as head over everything to the church

God gave Jesus as head over everything to the church as the testament of His power to us.  We see this Col 2:10 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over every ruler and authority; and elsewhere.  This is Christ’s relationship to the Church.  1 Cor 12:27-28 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, and various kinds of tongues.  We are each a part of Christ’s body the Church, using our gifts to love, strengthen, grow each other in Christ.  Not only is everything in creation subjected to Jesus, but also Christ is given as head over everything to the church. Col 1:15–20 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: 16 for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 

1:23 “which (indeed) is his body.” The Church is referred to as the Body of Christ.  In Romans 12:4-8, the differing gifts given to Christians as members of Christ’s body to be used to serve is emphasized  4 For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. 6 However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; 7 if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; 8 or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. And that these gifts are for the strengthening or building up of the body in Eph 4:11-13 11 And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.  And Eph 4:15-16 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.  The Church as the body is used to emphasize that we are united with Christ only, serving Him only as Master.  1 Cor 12:13 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit 27 7 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.   We are one together with Christ in Eph 4:3-6 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.   We are loved by Christ, and cherished by Him as the Church that He gave Himself up for.  As we live like Jesus lives, we’ll experience His love, peace, and joy, and gratitude, as we follow His Word, loving one another.  Col 1:14-16 14 In addition to all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ, to which you were indeed called in one body, rule in your hearts; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.   

“the fullness of him who is being filled entirely.”

So, the Church is filled by Christ who is being filled (by God) entirely or in every way.   Christ completes the church, in addition to ruling it, being it’s source, and leading it.   Col 1:19 and 2:9 state that God was pleased that all the fullness dwelt in Christ. That fullness with which Christ is being filled is that which fills the church or “he who fills the Church is himself being filled.” In other words, God’s fullness which is filling Christ is filling the church. The word for filling here is present tense, letting us know  that God’s filling of Christ is not static but constant. In the same way Christ’s filling of the church is alive and fresh. His power is new every morning, and is available to the brim for every challenge and opportunity, for every hardship and triumph of believers, individually and collectively. This power is especially needed in struggles against evil powers known to the Ephesian believers.  Christ fills the church with the fullness of moral excellence and power. And, as Jesus exalted by God as above all things, with all things in subjugation to Him, given for us, to be our Head of us as the Church His body.  We see something very similar in Col 1:15-17 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: 16 for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

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