Verses 20-21 are repeated in verses 22-23 in summary form. But the terminology is changed slightly. It is not just that Christ is far above all things, marvellous as that is, but that all things have been put under his feet. This is an even stronger image. It evokes ideas of treading on serpents or scorpions or cockroaches or other pests and crushing them to death. And he is not only head of the Church but he is cosmic head over all things. His will and his Word are of supreme authority.
And now comes the really exciting part. Verse 22 says that God ‘gave’ Jesus. Gave to whom? There is only one possible answer: the Church. There are two astounding truths here.
Under his feet. If all things are under his feet, and we, the Church, are his body, then they are under our feet too. Jesus himself said this (Luke 10:17-20). We have authority to stomp on the enemy of our souls and thoroughly neutralise him.
This applies in particular to sin. The one thing Satan wants us to do more than anything else is to sin. For when we sin, we deny the efficacy of the Cross and the power of the resurrection. We count the blood of Jesus a valueless thing and deny the power of redemption (Heb 10:29). We reject our calling to be holy.
No matter how irresistible sin may seem at times, we can deal with it. Even when it appears, as it often does, more like a beautiful butterfly than a deadly wasp, we may still tread it underfoot. For all things are under his feet and under ours as well.
The church… is the fullness of him who fills all in all: what an amazing description of the Church. It is the complete representation of Christ on earth. The word ‘fullness’ was used by the Gnostic heresy to describe a pantheon of all known gods. The Bible says here that Jesus is himself the ‘fullness’. There is no room for any other god. And the Church is the manifestation of that fullness (1 Cor 12:27; 1 Tim 3:15-16).
As we look back over history, we have to ask ourselves how that can possibly be true? How often has the Church given the very opposite impression? But as we take it at face value, believe it, and begin to live it through faith in our supreme Lord, it begins to happen. First, we need to see it by faith in the realm of the Spirit, and as we have the Spirit of revelation, it begins to work out visibly in our communities and districts and towns and cities. Let’s do it by faith! Let’s see the invisible and do the impossible in Jesus’ name!
1. Name three areas or practices in your local church life that could be different if the congregation really understood that we are the fullness of Christ on earth.
2. What can you do to see this begin to happen?