TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 1:22-23
“And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church” EPH 1:22
When Paul speaks of the church, he uses the Greek word ‘ekklēsia’ and he will go on to use this word nine times in total throughout the book of Ephesians. Ekklēsia was a common, secular, Greek term referring to a gathering or an assembly of people. Interestingly, it was used in the Old Testament (Deut. 31:30) for the community of Israel, God’s chosen people.
Paul uses this term to identify the Christian body. He says, that Christ is the head over the ‘ekklēsia’ and this is perhaps one of Paul’s most creative and profound contributions to theology. The head sustains, guides, inspires enables and strengthens the body! Like a physical body, the church has an organic connection with its head and simply cannot function in any shape or form without it. There can be no life in the body if it is not attached to the head.
The image of the body serves to highlight the unity of the church with Christ and with one another. Each member is involved with all the others and equally important as they go about doing Christ’s work on earth. Attempts to work, serve or journey apart from the ‘ekklēsia’ simply doesn’t make sense. As believers, we are not to run alone but are to be rooted in His body, the church.
The great bible commentator, Matthew Henry, stated that God appointing Christ as head over everything is a majestic gift to the church. The church is tied intrinsically to one who is endued with limitless power and authority. As such, we can take great comfort today in the knowledge that Jesus Christ has so identified Himself with His church that it is said to be His very body, much as Adam described Eve as, “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23) and as God declared man and wife to be “one flesh” (Eph 5:28-31).
• Read Ephesians 1:22 - 23
• Pray today for prodigals, those who fell away from His ‘ekklēsia’, to come back to the body of Christ. Pray for them to be planted and rooted in a local church.
• Ask the Lord to give you a name or names of those who once were in Christ and connect with them today where possible. Encourage, love and inspire as the Lord leads you.