TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Ephesians 1:16-22
Christians owe a great deal to the early church at Ephesus and its influence in the New Testament canon. Luke chronicles its establishment (Acts 19). Paul writes to the Ephesians and to his protégé Timothy (1–2 Timothy). Several of John’s writings are connected to Ephesus (Gospel of John, 1 John, possibly 2–3 John). John also sends a correspondence from Jesus to Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7).
These writings yield a great deal of insight into the church Jesus obtained with His blood (Acts 20:28). While the seven, or so, documents address a variety of subjects they all demonstrate one definitively clear truth: Jesus is the divine and glorified head of the church.
Paul is deliberate in this assertion, for when writing about the blessings that exist “in Christ” (Ephesians 1:16-19), he declares that in Jesus’ ascended status He is seated at the right hand of God “in the heavenly places” (vs. 20). Further, not only is power and authority given to Jesus, but “all things” have been placed under His feet, which includes being “head over all things to the church” (vs. 21-22). Paul argues that there is but one body and it represents Jesus’ “fullness” (4:4) and through this body He gives all races access to God (2:11-18).
Paul speaks of God’s church as His household (1 Timothy 3:5, 15), which demonstrates the authority of God resting in Christ as head of the church (Ephesians 5:2533; 1 Timothy 5:16). One must behave in the church respecting this authority (1 Timothy 3:15).
Addressing different matters, John demonstrates that the church must fully embrace both the divine and human nature of the church as it reflects this duality found in Jesus (John 1:1-3, 14; 6:70-71). The church must maintain its doctrinal purity while living out its ethical demand to love one’s neighbor in deed and truth (2 John 9; 1 John 2:18-27; 3:18; Revelation 2:5). The church must represent Him in this world as the only way to the Father (John 14:7).
Today, I will…pray to center myself on the authority Christ as a member of His church. I will submit myself to head of the church, His teaching. I will be His instrument of divine love in this world. I will embody the human and the divine of the church to this world.