What does Ephesians 1:22 mean?
ESV: And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
NIV: And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
NASB: And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and made Him head over all things to the church,
CSB: And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church,
NLT: God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.
KJV: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Verse Commentary:
At the will of God the Father, Jesus rules over everything. Both the Father and the Son reign together over all created things, according to Paul's words in this verse. This includes the church, the bride of Christ, a theme Paul will develop in detail in chapter 5. Paul elsewhere called the church "the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). The church belongs to Jesus. The church serves as the foundation of God's truth to the world.

Many Christians believe they can grow spiritually apart from the church. This passage and others speak against this idea. Interaction with the church—the human, living group of fellow believers—is essential to a believer's spiritual health. Though imperfect, it is the family of believers working together who serve as God's bride in this world. This requires cooperation and unity. The church is intended to seek God's goals for our lives both collectively and individually. Those who seek to grow spiritually without church involvement miss out on an important aspect of faith. Being part of a church is part of God's design, and is foundational to spiritual maturity.
Verse Context:
Ephesians 1:15–23 celebrates the value of our salvation in Christ. Paul's prayers for the believers of Ephesus not only include praise for their success, but an appeal for their growth. This passage heavily involves the supremacy of Christ. As believers, we are not only followers of Jesus, but also recipients of His blessings and power. Paul seeks to remind the Ephesian church that a complete understanding of Christ leads to a greater love and a stronger faith.
Chapter Summary:
The first chapter of Ephesians contains two main passages. The first describes the blessings Christians have been given as a result of our salvation through Christ. Paul explains these through praises directed to God the Father. The second section both commends the Ephesians for their reputation, and prays that Christ would bring them into an even fuller and more aware faith.
Chapter Context:
The first three chapters of Ephesians are doctrinal, while the last three are practical. Chapter 1 establishes Paul's view on the value of our salvation in Christ, and the blessings we obtain from it. He does this in the form of praise, directed at God, and describing in detail what it means to have an inheritance in heaven. Later chapters will build on these ideas as Paul connects who we are in Christ to how we should live as Christians.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
Accessed 12/6/2023 9:49:17 PM
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