Bride and Body

Ephesians 1:20-23

 

20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.22 And He put all things in subjection 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.

 

This is some heavy stuff.  As Paul capitulates his thought of Christ as God in all His glory, we see that God’s magnificence was meant to be displayed in Christ.  From what I have read thus far in the bible, that was certainly accomplished.  These verses, I believe, discuss two very important facts: 1) Christ is in charge of everything and 2) believers compose what is referred to as “the body of Christ”.

 

If you flip forward to the book of Revelation, we see the same facts about Christ as the right hand of God with authority over all.  I think that the actual event AND the concept of Christ being risen from the dead to be lifted up to the highest position of all is amazing in that the same happens to us.  Many times during His ministry on earth, Christ mentioned about thefirst will be last and the last will be first in different ways.  This was mirrored through His resurrection and appointment as the High Priest.  We too are resurrected in likened fashion when we die to our old selves and are resurrected by God’s grace into His Holy Family.

 

Interestingly enough, my study bible annotates that rule and authority and power and dominion were commonly known as orders of angels.  This gives credence to the fact that Christ is not just being appointed to be head priest over man, but of all creation.

 

Secondly, we see in verses 22 and 23 that Christ is the head of the body, known as the church.  This isn’t meant as a specific building or even a certain organization.  Rather, “the church” is referred to the body of people who believe in Christ as the Savior.  I find it interesting that “the church” is also referred to as the bride of Christ in other parts of the bible.  How is this so?  How are these two things related?

 

I believe that this concept is central around Christ’s ultimate message: love.  You see, He talked about loving others as we love ourselves.  Similarly, we also read that this is how Christ loves the church and also how men are to love their wives.  Conclusion: it’s all one in the same.  We aren’t the body of Christ or the bride of Christ because of who we are, but rather because of who He is and how He loves us.

 

Verse 23 says it so plainly, it is easy to read over: the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  The body of Christ is made up of those who believe.  We studied before that we only believe because of Him in the first place.  So then, He loves us into communion with Him.  This is the reason for His death and resurrection.

 

It’s easy for us to think we had a part in it.  We are human and to an extent, we all want control over something, even if it is our salvation.  However, we must recognize that it all comes from Him.  As we establish that in our thinking, we can finally let go of those things which keep us attached to this world.  I love the saying, so I will say it again, “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

 

Are you of the body?


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