Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 1

Paul describes Christ as the ‘head’

Ephesians 1:22-23

Paul has just described Christ’s rule over all things. At the start of verse 22, he adds a word-picture of that rule from Psalm 8:6 (see also Hebrews 2:8-9). Like the ground under Christ’s feet, they humbly accept his authority over them. Then, Paul describes Christ as the ‘head’ over all things. As in Isaiah 7:8-9, the ‘head’ here means the ruler. In the original language, Greek, Paul describes this as God’s gift to his people, the church. Christ is God’s gift to them; God has made Christ the ruler of all things so that Christ will complete God’s work in their lives (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-14).

Paul develops the word-picture with a description of the church as the body of Christ. By ‘the church’ here, he means all true Christians. Their relationship to Christ is essential, even as our body depends for its life on its connection to the head. He directs their lives, even as our head directs the body where to go.

It is God’s nature not to leave things empty (Genesis 1:2), but to fill them with good things (Genesis 1:3-31). He has filled all things with whatever things they contain (John 1:3). So of course God fills his church, the people whom he loves so much, with good things (1:7-8). God fills them with his grace, in other words, his great kindness (2:4-7). He fills them by his gifts that will bring them into a perfect relationship with him (4:11-14). He fills them with his Holy Spirit (1:13-14).

Paul will develop further this description of Christians as the body of Christ later in the book (5:23-32).

Next part: Dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.