Ephesians 1:21-23

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dr. Walter, May 10, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. - Eph. 1:21-23

    The typical u-church explanation of the metaphors "head" and "body" relationship between Christ and the Church is that these metaphors convey "spiritual union."

    However, I believe that is a distortion and abuse of these metaphors. I do not deny the doctrine of spiritual union but I do deny that these metaphors are intended to convey that truth. I contend that the metaphors "head" and "body" are desinged by the Holy Spirit to convey the relationship of "authority" and "submission" between Christ and the church and nothing more.

    For example, note that the contextual subject introduced in Ephesians 1:21 is that Christ is "above" every conceivable description of AUTHORITY in both heaven and earth now and forever - "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:"

    Furthermore, this absolute position of authority is further conveyed by the next phrase: "And hath put all things under his feet"

    It is this contextual concept of absolute authority that prefaces the next phrase: "gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body"

    The metaphor "head" in a context of authority is the correct metaphor for "authority" and in relationship to the metaphor "head" the metaphor "body" is the correct metaphor for "submission" to that authority.

    The absolute contextual proof that this is the only intent for these metaphors is the fact that Christ is equally the "head" over the church as he is over "all things" described in verse 21 and summarized in the words "all things" in verse 22.

    If the metaphor "head" in relationship to the metaphor 'body' was to convey spiritual union then it would also convey spiritual union with "all things" as he is as much the "head" over the church as he is "all things." Spiritual union with "all things" is the doctrine of pantheism.

    Furthermore, in every context where the metaphors "head" and "body" are used in regard to the relationship between Christ and the church it is always a context of sanctification not salvation and it always refers to POSITIONS not to spiritual union.

    For example in 1 Cor. 11:3 the metaphor "head" over all "men" is in the context of sanctification and refers to POSITION OF AUTHORITY rather than any kind of spiritual union or salvation relationship.

    For example in Epheisans 5:22-27 the subject is SUBMISSION and POSITIONS of authority in regard to progressive sanctification not salvational relationship.

    For example, in I Cor. 12:13-27 the subject is POSITIONS in the body and mutual SUBMISSION one to another in the use of spiritual gifts or progressive sanctification not salvational relationships.

    Finally, metaphors convey by representation what can only be found in the literal subjects. In the literal head and body relationship if the head is severed from the body the head dies equally as does the body as they are mutually dependent upon each other for life. Therefore, spiritual union cannot possibly be the idea conveyed by this metaphorical application.

    The U-church intepretation of such metaphors as spiritual union would teach panthesism in Ephesians 1:21-23 and demand that Christ is dependent for spiritual life on union with the church as the church is upon union with Christ.

    These are simple terms to teach that Christ is the final authority over the church and the church is in a submissive position as the "body" is to the head.
     
    #1 Dr. Walter, May 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2010

Share This Page

Loading...