The Headship of Christ
Ephesians 1:22
And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

I. THE TEXT AFFIRMS THE SUPREME POLITICAL POWER AND AUTHORITY OF IMMANUEL. Just as in Israel there was established a Theocracy, the Almighty claiming to be recognized as the Head of their civil and ecclesiastical polity, and just as all judges and rulers were expected to recognize their power as delegated to them from above; and just as the Divine right and title were not subverted nor destroyed when rulers and people sank into sin and idolatry; so now on earth there is established a larger civil and ecclesiastical government, of which Jesus is the Head, and of which the Theocracy was the symbol; and all rulers and all subjects are required to acknowledge their lawful Lord who sits upon the holy hill of Zion, the stability of whose government and the legitimacy of whose claims upon all are no more affected by the godlessness of the nations and the impiety of their rulers than were the claims of the Shepherd of Israel set aside by the wanderings of His flock, or the usurpations of her hirelings.

II. THE POWER OF CHRIST AS KING OF NATIONS IS SUBORDINATED TO HIS PURPOSES AS KING OF SAINTS. He is Head over all things to the Church, or for the Church — for her peace, her prosperity and perpetuity; so that He is now described as putting His honour on His people, even as the head puts honour on the body. Jesus is the Head of His new creation. But more particularly we remark —

1. He is Head over all things, that He may bring together the materials, and build them up into a Church unto Himself. He is the head cornerstone, living', tried and precious, upon which there must be reared a blemishless, indestructible fabric, composed of living stones selected from the quarry of humanity, polished and prepared by the Spirit of all grace, and cemented together by the binding of undying love.

2. Christ is Head over all things for the beautifying of His Church; that is, He exerciseth His power over all things so as to promote and advance the beauty of His Church. The beauty of a Church is her purity in doctrine and her holiness in practice, her strict unbending conformity to the law and the order of her exalted Head; and the administration of her wise and her gracious Ruler is all ordered and arranged, so that at length she may be presented in the heavens a glorious Church, without spot and blemish or any such thing. In order to this she is tried with the storm and strengthened with the sunshine; the fire and the flood are brought to bear upon her goodly fabric, so as to purge out all that is polluted and profane, and hasten on the perfection of her coming state.

3. Jesus is Head over all things in order that He may perfect His body the Church. Of all those who are given unto Him, of them He can lose none. Time, with its thousand vicissitudes, must roll along whilst there remaineth one, whose name is written above, alive or unacquainted with the grace that is in Christ. Its plans and its purposes shall have existence until the completion of Christ's body the Church; its discoveries in science and improvements in arts; its advances in civilization; its augmentations in commercial zeal; its treaties and its friendships; are all the secondary causes in His hand for finishing His plans, and for making one with Himself all His covenant children.

(J. Macnaughton, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

WEB: He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly,

The Head of the Church
Top of Page
Top of Page