Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.
I. WHO THE PERSONS HERE SPOKEN OF ARE: "The Church." The Greek word ἐκκλησία simply means "the called out." This is a title often given to the disciples of Christ. They "are called to be saints." They are "called unto His kingdom and glory." God "hath saved them, and called them with a holy calling." The persons, then, who constitute the Church are those who have been "called out."
II. We are now in a position to consider with profit WHAT THE CONNECTION IS WHICH SUBSISTS BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH. "The Church is His body"; the fulness of Him who filleth all in all." "The Church is His body"; then He is its Head: the Church is "His fulness," and "He filleth all in all." Let us consider these weighty words.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church. Like the head in our natural body, He is the channel of all their perceptions, the source of all their desires, the guide of all their actions. Through Him they see and hear and think, by Him they live and move and have their being. As our text says, "He filleth all in all" — every member with all its life.
2. The reality and intimacy of this union will be more fully realized if we observe, not only what the Lord Jesus Christ is to His disciples, but also what they are to Him. Paul tells us not only that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, but also that "the Church is His body" — not only that Christ "filleth all in all," but also that "the Church is His fulness."
III. Let us now consider THE INWARD BLESSINGS AND THE OUTWARD DUTIES THAT ARE IMPLIED IN THIS CONNECTION.
1. The inward spiritual blessings which are implied in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church which is His body. These blessings, as we have seen, flow only to those who really are His disciples. Are we true members of the body of Christ? Then let us realize that we have suffered and died with Him on Calvary. Again, are we true members of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ? Then we are delivered, not only from the punishment due to past, sins, but also from the power of present sinfulness. Again, are we true members of the body of Christ? then let us remember that we are related, not only to Him, but. also to one another as members of the same body. Again, are we true members of the body of Christ? then we need not fear anything that man can do unto us. We cannot suffer but Jesus suffers with us. He is "afflicted in all our afflictions." He would lose in our loss. He rejoices in our joy. Once more, are we true members of the body of Christ? then our comfort reaches not only to the grave, but beyond it.
2. Of the duties which they owe to Him as the Head of government. Obedience — implicit obedience — is the duty of each member of His body individually — obedience in all things. I pass on to speak of the duty of the members of His body in their collective capacity — when associated together as churches. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head, not merely of each member of His body separately, but of "the, whole body." He has commanded His disciples to recognize each other, and to, associate themselves together for common work and for common worship. He has. given rules for the government of His Church. All these and such like commandments are addressed to the Church in its collective capacity.
Parallel VersesKJV: Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.