Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
God’s economy is Christ with the church. May the Lord grant us a clear sky so that we may see the vision of Christ and the church. Although Ephesians is a short book, no other book in the Bible reveals Christ in His all-inclusiveness, both vertically and horizontally, as the book of Ephesians does.
Many students of the Word realize that Colossians reveals Christ as the Head and Ephesians reveals the church as the Body. However, not even the book of Colossians reveals Christ in such a vertical and horizontal way as He is revealed in Ephesians. Ephesians 1:21 says that Christ is “far above all.” Such a word cannot be found in Colossians. Colossians says that Christ must have the preeminence, the first place, in all things, but it does not say that Christ is far above all. Some may regard the third heaven as the highest point in the universe. But in 4:10 Paul says that Christ has “ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things.”
Ephesians 1:23 says that Christ “fills all in all.” Colossians 3:11 says that Christ is all and in all. However, Christ’s filling all in all in Ephesians 1:23 surpasses His being all and in all in Colossians 3:11. Colossians 3:11 refers to the sphere of the new man. Hence, in the new man Christ is all and in all. But Ephesians 1:23 refers to the universe, which includes time and space. Christ is not only all and in all with respect to the new man, but He fills all in all with respect to the universe. Universally, Christ is above all and fills all in all.
In 3:8 Paul refers to the unsearchable riches of Christ. This term is not found in Colossians. The riches of Christ are what Christ is to us, such as light, life, righteousness, and holiness. These riches are unsearchable and past our tracing out.
In 3:18 Paul speaks of the “breadth and length and height and depth.” The breadth, length, height, and depth are the dimensions of Christ. Christ is not only higher than all things—He is the height. He is not only deeper and broader and longer than all things—He is the breadth, the length, and the depth.
This very Christ who is all-inclusive both vertically and horizontally is making His home in our hearts in a very intimate way. Oh, may we see that the all-inclusive Christ is now making His home in our hearts!
Christ is far above all because He has been raised from among the dead (1:20-21). Apart from Christ, no one has been able to overcome death and come out from among the dead. For Christ to be raised up out of death indicates that nothing can hold Him down. When death comes to visit us, we cannot refuse it, for death has the power to hold us. But it did not have the power to hold Christ (Acts 2:24). After visiting the realm of the dead for three days, Christ came forth in resurrection. Although death did everything possible to hold Him, Christ could have said, “Death, is this all you can do to Me? If this is all, then it is time for Me to walk away from you in resurrection.”
Just as nothing can hold Christ down, so nothing negative can hold us down, because we have Christ in us. We who believe in Christ must be the raised-up ones. Christ has been raised from the dead, and nothing can hold Him down. This is the reason that He is now far above all. He has been resurrected to be far above all. This is our Christ.
All Christians know that Christ is the Redeemer and the Savior. Some realize that Christ is the Giver of all gifts and that He Himself is our life. But Christ is even more than this. In Ephesians, a book concerned with God’s economy, we see that Christ is far above all. I can testify that the Christ I enjoy is the One who is far above all.
In a number of respects the Christ we enjoy in the Lord’s recovery is different from the Christ in Christianity. When some hear this, they may accuse us of heresy. But consider the typology in the book of Leviticus. In this book five main offerings are described: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. These offerings typify Christ in various aspects. Even with one kind of offering, such as the burnt offering, there are different types of sacrifices. One could offer as a burnt offering a bullock, a lamb, or a bird. All these are types of Christ. This gives us the ground to say that in our experience the Christ we enjoy may be different from the Christ enjoyed by others. The Christ I experience may be different from the Christ you experience, and the Christ you enjoy may differ from the Christ enjoyed by others.
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