Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Under His Feet — and Ours

He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23)
Paul was speaking about the working of God’s mighty power “which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21). This is the same power He has at work for us and in us (Ephesians 1:19 and 3:20). And it is the power by which He put all things under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every principality, power, might and dominion, and everything that can be named in this age and the coming one has all been placed under His feet. That is, all things are under His authority and dominion.

Not only that, but God has given Him to be the head over all the Church. Pay close attention to what this means—it’s a real corker. The Church — every believer in the Lord Jesus — is the body of Christ. Christ is the head. All things have been placed under His feet. Where is Christ’s body in relation to His head? It is beneath. Where is His body in relation to His feet? It is above. His body is between His head and His feet. What a silly picture it would be otherwise — I mean, imagine His head sitting on top of His feet and His feet sitting on top of His body.

Now, remember that God has placed all things under Jesus’ feet and do the math: All things are under the feet—the authority of Jesus Christ — and we, the Church, are the body of Christ. That means that everything that is under His feet must be under our feet as well.

Process that for a moment, then consider this: Christ’s body, the Church, is the fullness of Him who fills all in all. He is the one who fills everything with His glory and power. We are full of Him, but we are not merely filled with Him along with everything else He fills. More than that, we are that fullness of Him which fills everything with His glory and power.

It is what God created us for in the beginning when He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion” (Genesis 1:26). That fullness and dominion was lost to us when Adam sinned and separated from God, but it is restored to us in Jesus Christ. Now we are full of Him, but also the fullness of Him with which He fills everything else.

Notice carefully that this is not future tense. It is an accomplished work. God has already placed all things under the feet of Jesus. He has already given Him as head over His body, the Church. We are right now the fullness of Christ in everything.

When we try to understand this by our senses, our emotions and our circumstances, it simply does not add up. How can it be true when the world is still such a mess? Yet, God has spoken it so it must be true, because it is the Word of God, which created the world in the beginning (Hebrews 12:3) and sustains it today (Hebrews 1:3). No doubt, the world is out of joint with the Word, and that is because of sin. That’s a fact — but it’s not the truth. Paul tells us the truth in Colossians 1:19-20.
For it pleased the Father that in Him [Christ] all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
That’s the reality, and all the facts of the world must eventually come into line with the truth of the Word and the blood of the Cross. The substance, the underlying reality of it, is already in place. We are merely waiting for the outworking of it in creation. More importantly, creation is waiting for the outworking of it in us. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). It will happen as we embrace the truth of who we are in Jesus Christ and who He is in us.

This requires a revelation, a divine enlightenment, a realization from God. That is how Paul began the long and weighty sentence that forms Ephesians 1:15-23.
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know …” (Ephesians 1:15-18)
Paul knew it would not be enough for him simply to write down the words. He understood that it requires wisdom and revelation, enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, to help us see and understand this world-changing truth.

My prayer for you, me and all the Church is that God give us Holy Spirit wisdom and revelation to see and understand that all things have truly been placed under the feet of Jesus, and under ours as well, as His body.