Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to the heading up of all things in Christ. To many of us, this may be an altogether new thought. Ephesians 1:10 says, “Unto a dispensation of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him.” Instead of “to head up all things in Christ,” the King James Version says, “He might gather together in one all things in Christ.” This translation is inadequate. In Greek, the word translated “to head up” is a verbal form of the noun “head.” The proper translation of this verse is, “To head up all things in Christ.”
Verses 9 and 10 should not be isolated from the preceding verses, for verses 3 through 14 are actually one long sentence. Because verses 9 and 10 are not independent sentences, we need to refer to verses 7 and 8, which speak of the riches of God’s grace and of the grace which He has caused to abound to us in all wisdom and prudence. If you read these four verses together, you will see that everything in them is related to the abounding grace. The abounding grace does so much for us. For instance, it makes us God’s inheritance, and it makes God our inheritance. In a family the children are the father’s inheritance. A man may be very wealthy, but if he has no children, he is actually poor and may think of himself as having nothing. This indicates that a father’s inheritance is his children. According to the Bible, the more children we have, the richer we are. Nothing can compare with them. As the sons of God, we are God’s inheritance. The abounding grace makes us the sons of God and His inheritance. It will also make God our inheritance. In a family, not only are the children the inheritance of the father, but also the father is the inheritance of the children. Many children would testify that they would rather lose anything else than lose their father. The living father is the best inheritance. We are in the process of becoming God’s inheritance, and He is in the process of becoming our inheritance. This is made possible by God’s abounding grace.
The matter of the mutual inheritance, however, is not the end, for as verses 9 and 10 indicate, the abounding grace will accomplish the heading up of all things in Christ. By the abounding grace certain things are taking place in the universe to bring about the heading up of all things in Christ. We need to see how the abounding grace is working this out.
Before we consider this, we need to say a word about the church people in the Lord’s recovery. Although we are small in number, we are the most important people on earth, more important than government leaders, military leaders, or leaders in industry. Most Christians, however, have not seen the vision that the grace that has accomplished redemption, applied forgiveness, and regenerated us and that now is operating in us to make us God’s inheritance and to make Him ours is also working to head up all things in Christ. Christian preachers and teachers do not speak of this, and Christian books do not mention it. They do not cover the crucial point that the abounding grace is working on the church people so that all things might be headed up in Christ.
We have seen that the heading up of all things is mentioned in verse 10. But this verse does not stand alone; it is the continuation of verses 3 through 9. This indicates that the heading up of all things is the issue of all the items covered in verses 3 through 9: selection, predestination, the praise of the glory of God’s grace, being graced in the Beloved, having redemption and forgiveness, and having God’s grace abound to us in all wisdom and prudence. Verse 9 speaks of the mystery of God’s will according to the good pleasure which He purposed in Himself. Then we have verse 10, which speaks of the heading up of all things in Christ. The infinitive “to head up” in verse 10 is related to all the preceding things in the foregoing verses. This means that God chose us that He may head up all things in Christ. He predestinated us unto sonship that He may head up all things in Christ. He accomplished redemption for us through the blood of Christ in order to head up all things in Christ. God has graced us and caused grace to abound to us in all wisdom and prudence that He may head up all things in Christ. The heading up of all things in Christ is the issue of all these things.
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