The Headship of Christ.

Notes of an address by W. H. Westcott.

No. 1.
Christ the Head of Every Man.

Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 11:3.

I suggest the subject of the Headship of Christ for our consideration. Before speaking directly of it, I may say, it has seemed to me, that our ideas of the gospel are very contracted. In our contact with people needing the gospel, we think if we can only get them "over the line," that is all that is our present business. But really the gospel is very comprehensive. The facts that lie at the basis of the gospel are of course simple yet grand; how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; that He was buried, and was raised again the third day according to the Scriptures; then was seen first of all by several on earth, and finally by one who saw Him in heavenly glory. When we come to the explanation of the facts as to the gospel, the epistle to the Romans is the orderly exposition of their meaning. There we have first the explanation of the state in which the gospel finds man; and then of how that state was met, and of the new state that has been brought about by the grace of God. Now I am not going to take that up, but I want to show that in the gospel we get the basis laid in the soul of the believer for all that comes afterwards.

First, turn to the last chapter of Romans, verse 25: "Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel." You are reminded, as those who have received the gospel, that God has power to establish you according to the gospel; so that every part of it should be wrought livingly into your souls, that you might indeed know the deliverance which is spoken of, and which has been wrought for you; and have a practical, powerful, entrance into all the blessing of which it speaks.

Then the Apostle goes on to say: "According to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. But is now made manifest." You see that the gospel, when it lays hold of you, and is wrought into your souls, prepares you for the understanding of "the mystery." That is what lies behind the gospel; that which was in the mind of God in providing the gospel. It is really therefore a basis laid in your soul for the intelligence of all the mystery of which God speaks.

Turn back to the 14th chapter. You will observe that we are working backwards through the epistle, just to notice some of the things, the foundation of which is laid in our souls by this faith in Christ. In Romans 14:17, we read, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost." We have been brought under the sway of God, in contrast to the dominion of sin. You are under God's will, you are under the sway of God in grace, the kingdom of God is set up in your soul. I suppose any Christian understands that. When he is saved and put under the will of God, this that is begun in his soul is but the forecast of something that is going to be established in a world-wide way bye and bye. When the kingdom of God is outwardly and fully manifested, and Christ has come as God's King over the whole earth, there will be three great marks which everybody can recognise. In that coming kingdom, every one knows it will be a righteous rule, all wrongs will be righted, and the reign of that wonderful King will be a righteous reign. Then the second mark of that kingdom will be peace. That we can all understand I think. The nations will not learn war any more, no longer will there be international strife, no longer class war, but the will of God will be dominant; and in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ in that day, it will be absolute Autocracy, linked with absolute justice, a thing that has never been known on earth yet; and the effect of righteousness will be peace. And then joy. The ransomed of Zion will return with songs to Zion, and everlasting joy will be upon their heads, and the sounds of sorrow will be hushed. These are the three great marks of the coming kingdom of God, which will then be universal. But the Holy Ghost dwelling in you sets up the rule of God in your heart, and these three marks are exemplified in the Christian now. The Christian under the rule of Christ is a righteous man, (speaking of him characteristically, and in so far as he is subject to the will of God), he is a peaceful man, and a happy man. "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink," it does not consist in your being a vegetarian, or anything of that nature, but the Holy Ghost brings you under the sway of God in grace, making you righteous and peaceful, (you are not a disturber of the peace), and happy. The gospel lays the foundation in your soul' for the kingdom of God. Yet while the kingdom of God is referred to, the doctrine of it in all its immensity is not developed.

Now look at Romans 12:4: "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body 'in Christ, and every one members one of another." Here we are introduced to One Body." Those who have believed the gospel are one body in Christ, organically joined together. It is not a matter of agreement, it is not that you say, We will join one body; it is not that so many different gatherings are federated together to form one body; it is not that the gatherings of Christians are individual members of the body of Christ, and that the whole body comprises all the gatherings; but it is speaking to every Christian as being a member of the body of Christ. The fact is stated; the basis is laid in your soul, for the understanding of the doctrine when it is unfolded; but it is not unfolded here.

Now let us go a little further back. "The mystery" is referred to in another way in Romans 11:25: "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved." You find that God instructs us even in this primary epistle as to the order of His ways. All Israel will be saved; they will all be brought into national blessing; but what God is doing at the present time is to visit the nations to take out a people for His Name. He does not want us to be ignorant about this, that what God is doing at the present time is a special work. He has postponed the kingdom in its outward manifest form, postponed the blessing of Israel, but this does not mean to say He has forgotten it. Every one that is saved at this present time is brought into a new circle of blessing.

Now turn to Romans 8:28 to 30. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified them He also glorified." In the gospel there is a basis laid in the soul for the fulfilment of the purpose of God. The first time in this gospel epistle that "purpose" is mentioned is in that verse: — "Who are called according to His purpose."

You may be quite a young Christian. You may not understand these things. But grasp this, that when God laid hold of you, He had a purpose in it, and it is that you should be conformed to the image of His Son, that He may be the firstborn among many brethren. It involves Sonship for us; and in order that we may have the enjoyment of Sonship even now, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son, the spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry "Abba Father." We get the forecast of it, the foundation is laid in your soul for the understanding of the purpose of God, a very wonderful thing. You notice it says, having begun the work, He sees it right through, it is as good as done, because that which God has purposed, will infallibly be fulfilled.

Now look at Romans 7:1 to 4. There we read: — "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man so long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband, as long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man. Wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him that is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit 'unto God." We may not see the full depth of it, but I think you can see this; it would not be a legal thing for you to leave the law if you were under the law, you are bound to that husband; but having died in that wherein we were held, having come under the benefit and gain of grace, we have become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that we should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead. That is to say, being delivered by the death of Christ from the law, we have a right to love Christ, to be wholly for Christ. "That we should be married to another, even to Him that is raised from the dead." You have, beloved, a right in heavenly courts, to be truly for Christ, loving Him, even as a wife who is a true woman loves her husband. So the foundation is laid in your soul for union with Christ. This is individual in the 7th of Romans, but you see the foundation is laid, not merely a love of gratitude, but a love of attachment to Christ. This foundation prepares you for the unfolding of the mystery when the church as a whole is united.

I come now to Romans 5:15, and to the subject of the Headship of Christ, the foundation for which is laid in the believer's soul, but the doctrine of which is not unfolded in this Epistle. We can see in these chapters of Romans from the 3rd onward, how that God in sovereign grace and through the death of Christ is the source of all blessing; but that it has been so wrought, and so seen in Christ, and the administration of it is so put into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, that all the blessing that we have by believing the gospel is administered through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You will notice how one blessing after another is presented as it has been wrought out in Christ Jesus. Take for example Romans 3. We have a summing up of our guilty estate in Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." We might well despair as far as we ourselves are concerned. But, speaking to believers, the apostle at once says, we are "Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." The Name — the title — "Christ Jesus" is applied to our Lord Jesus Christ where He is now; as though to say, Look at Him. There has been wrought out a redemption the full power of which is seen in Christ Jesus. It is not even directing us to look to Jesus on the cross, because He is not there; and it is not that we are to look at Him buried, He is not in the grave; nor are we limited to the thought of redemption in Him only as risen from the dead. He is up there in glory; and the full expression of the redemption, — the benefits of which He confers upon us, as those that believe the gospel — is seen in Christ Jesus; it is all set out in Him. He was charged with the sins on the cross, but He is not charged with them now, "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God." But through whom, and on what ground? "Through our Lord Jesus Christ." He is the great Administrator of all these favours of God. But not only so, we have a standing in Christ, and we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of promise in Romans 5. God thus draws our attention and fixes our minds on this glorified Person to whom we are indebted.

Now, says the apostle, the foundation having been laid in your soul, and your heart having understood something of what a good God is, I will introduce you to the subject of the Headship of this Person. From Romans 5:12 he goes on to speak of it. He says, "As by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned." So in verse 15, "Through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God and the gift by grace which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." The sin in which we formerly were found, the sins which we had committed, and the death and the condemnation that were the result of these things, are all traced up to the sin of one man — Adam — our head. The head of this race of men, was the one who fell through sin; and so death has passed on all for all have sinned. In the 3rd chapter where you have these three words "All have sinned," it sums up our guilt. But in the 5th chapter the same three words are given us in the 12th verse, to sum up our state. The old state was that we were of a sinful nature under a sinful head, and condemned in that state. But now that we have come into connection with Christ, we are translated from all that was connected with Adam we are free of condemnation, have a new life, and are now in Christ.

The word Headship is not exactly mentioned, but may God grant that each Christian may very definitely see how God now takes account of him as under the headship of Christ, just as he was formerly under the headship of Adam. All connection with Adam has been judicially annulled by Christ's death for the believer, but Christ's death for him followed by His resurrection has involved for him the beginning of a new order of man altogether; as we have seen our redemption is in Christ Jesus. We see that in Him God has found a Man in whom He can rest, on Whom we find the love of God eternally resting; and that the love of God rests upon us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Look at the 17th verse, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one." There are three things in that verse — grace, righteousness, and life. We must understand that it is a very great thing for us, to be connected with Christ and to be under Christ's headship, in God's reckoning. In the way that God takes account of us, we have been transferred from Adam to Christ. In this epistle to the Romans the foundation is laid for the understanding of it in the soul of every one who believes the gospel; he knows he is linked to Christ in risen life. He is in the Head, he is linked with the Head, and he partakes with the Head in all His wonderful position of grace, righteousness and life. At the end of the chapter it tells us in verse 20 "Where sin abounded grace did much more abound, that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Grace, righteousness, and life.

Now pass on to 1 Corinthians 11, where the subject is carried a step further. There is a difference between Romans and Corinthians. The epistle to the Romans is to ground us in the truth of the gospel as the Apostle says, "To establish you according to my gospel." So that very largely it applies to every believer; it is for the individual believer to get established in the gospel. Now come to the epistle to the Corinthians and look at the first chapter. In the second verse the apostle addresses this epistle to the assembly of God, "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth." He is not now addressing individuals, to respond to that gospel by which they have been individually blessed, but he is addressing them as an assembly; to all in the locality where they happened to live. Lest anybody should say, "That applies to the Corinthians, God has not given it to us," read on. The apostle says, "To the assembly which is at Corinth, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." It is as though he would say, It is true that the state of the assembly at Corinth is the immediate cause of my writing this epistle, and it gives me the opportunity of unfolding to them for their help what the assembly of God is in their locality; but also it is an opportunity to instruct everybody in every locality as to the constitution of the assembly; and as to its privileges and functions, the ways of carrying it on. If anybody says: "O that is Paul's teaching, and we are not bound by Paul's opinion," dear friends, it is nothing but ignorance; and that is exactly what Paul says. But if we really want to be intelligent in our relations and responsibilities as Christians, and our privileges, we need to read these epistles to the Corinthians.

Now the apostle says in 1 Corinthians 11:3, "I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man: and the head of Christ is God." It is a very full verse, it opens the subject of headship in three directions. First, the head of every man is Christ. I am aware that some take that to mean that everybody all over the world is to be under the Headship of Christ, and that is true, but as the apostle is addressing himself not to the world, but to the christian assembly, the immediate application of it is clearly to every man in the Christian assembly. "The head of every man is Christ." Moreover "the head of the woman is the man." That is the second compartment into which this subject of Headship is here divided; and thirdly, "The head of Christ is God. I feel diffident as to saving very much about that, but, the fact is that the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the Eternal Son, and is ever seen in His own unique relation in the Godhead, has become Man, and in taking a place as Man, He looks up in dependence and subjection to God. Even though He is exalted and we behold Him on the throne, what is He there for, if it be not for the carrying out of the purpose and counsel of God? By and by when He takes the Kingdom is it not to bring everything into subjection to the will of God? In the end when the Kingdom has run its course, as far as that form of it is concerned, and the Lord Jesus has brought Israel through every peril, He will deliver up the Kingdom to God and His Father, that God may be all in all. He takes His place as subject, as Man. We feel how proper it is, even though there is such a mystery connected with it in Christ, that man — the true Man as Christ is — should recognise it as it says here, "the Head of Christ is God." He has taken that place as Man that in Manhood He might carry out all the purpose of God.

Then "the head of the woman is the man," of course that is elaborated in the chapter. For it is important to remember that in the Christian assembly God has a certain order that is suitable to Himself, and this is part of the order, that the head of the woman is the man. When assembled as a Christian assembly, we know that the men remove their hats, and the women remain covered. Why? It is because of what is said here, — the head of the woman is the man. Man was made in the image of God, in His likeness, and the office of man in God's creation is that he stands in the image and glory of God, lie is the head of the lower order of the creation; hence it would not do to cover up the glory of God. The man remains uncovered, but the woman was given to the man to be his help-meet. The woman is the glory of the man. So that, when coming into the presence of God, the glory of man is covered. That is the reason; may God give us to see the force of it; that in God's presence the glory of man is covered, but the glory of God is uncovered.

Then we read, "I would have you to know that the head of every man is Christ." What is involved in that? I do not know if it is exactly as we have it in the epistle to the Romans, that all the blessing for man is headed up in Christ. It is true that that underlies all; the fulness of God is in Christ. But is it not that when the assembly comes together, we are to look to Christ for direction, for wisdom, for support? How is the assembly to be carried on, while the Head is invisible, but nevertheless real? If every one understands that he has immediate access to Christ, and Christ has immediate access to him, he would not be asserting his own will, or pushing himself forward, or pushing one down and another up; but every one would be looking to Christ for direction. In the Christian assembly there is not the appointing of a minister, — a man to direct or to control the service. Of course I am not speaking of ministry of the truth in the way of individual service, but of the assembly gathered in one place in recognition of Christ, as the One living, personal, active, controlling Head, directing the gathering. "The Head of every man is Christ." That puts us all in direct dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

May what we have looked at increase our exercise, and help each one, for His name's sake.

No. 2.
Christ Head Over All Things.

Ephesians 1:10-11, 19-23: Ephesians 5:22-32.

In our first address our subject was the Headship of Christ. We commented upon the fact that the gospel is a very comprehensive subject. The facts that form the basis of it are simple, connected with the death and resurrection of Christ; but the explanation of these facts occupies the whole of the Epistle to the Romans, so far as the benefit to the believer is concerned. As the book of Genesis, in the Old Testament, contains the germ of most of the Bible, so does the epistle to the Romans contain the germ of the greater part of Christianity. We noticed several subjects that seem to be hinted at in this epistle to the Romans. The Mystery: the Kingdom of God; the One Body; the Purpose of God; the Priesthood of Christ; Sonship; Union with Christ; and in the 5th chapter the Headship of Christ. The Headship of Christ is only considered in Romans so far as it opens out that He is the Head of a new race of men. Everything was gathered up into His own Person on the cross, — the penalty, the judgment of God due to the first order of man, in respect of our guilt and state. Then He rose from the dead and became the Head of a new race; and to that new race every believer belongs. The word Head is not used in the 5th of Romans but the subject is there — the Headship of Christ. Then we passed on to the 11th chapter of 1st Corinthians, the epistle that deals not so much with our individual blessing, as our collective privileges and responsibilities in connection with the assembly of God. The apostle says in effect, "I am greatly concerned, I would have every one of you know 'that the head of every man is Christ.'"

There are three things that may now occupy us, and can be easily remembered. First, the purpose of God; secondly, the Person Who is the centre of that purpose: and thirdly, the partner associated with that Person.

The first chapter of Ephesians opens out to us a very wonderful presentation of Christianity, because it conducts us beyond this present scene. There are certain things that occur in our time history; we are brought to realise our sins, and the need of a Saviour: we realise that God has provided One in the riches of His grace; we obtain redemption and the forgiveness of our sins, and we are sealed by the Spirit. But, in the first chapter of the Ephesians, we are carried outside of things here, outside of this world, outside of time, right back into eternity. We find that the blessing which we enjoy as individual believers was thought out, and purposed, and planned in Christ before the foundation of the world. It is astonishing that we should have had a place in the thoughts of God from all eternity; according as He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world.

In Ephesians 1:3, the Apostle speaking on behalf of Christians, says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Jesus has been here, rejected, slain, and in His death has wrought the glory of God, and for the accomplishment of His purpose; and He is now made both Lord and Christ at God's right hand. You have His full name and title here, our Lord Jesus Christ. Now God, Whom we realise to be our God and our Father, sets before us what He thinks of Christ, makes us cognizant of His enjoyment of, and delight in our Lord Jesus Christ. He takes this name and title as connected with all that He has to say to us. The apostle in the sense of it says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." and then brings in a view of all His favour. "Blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." It is stupendous. Every believer is in view; you have been blessed in this way, according to the thought that our God and Father has of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is no longer addressing Himself to man as the God of Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob; but, with His eyes upon this glorious Person, He seems to say, "Now I will tell you what I am prepared to do, and what I have purposed."

He goes on to speak of the nature of believers, in which they will be found when all the purposes of God are completed, when the last trace of flesh in us has been left behind. When God has carried out what He will carry out, we shall then be holy, and without blame before Him in love. "That we should be holy": when the purpose of God is completed, we shall be entirely agreeable to God in that respect, holy because He is holy. There will be no trace of defilement in us then. If we learn what we are to be in that coming day, then we learn correspondingly to regulate our conduct now. "Holy and without blame." not a single blot or flaw under His holy eye, as it says, "before Him." What a scene it will be when every saint all over the universe will be holy and without blame before Him in love. We shall be formed in the divine nature, and placed before His eye, where His love shall rest upon us with delight eternally. That refers to our nature.

Then in Ephesians 1:5 we read, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself." There you find the mind of God that we should be in all the dignity and intelligence and power of Sonship. It refers, not so much to the moral nature in which we are to be formed, as to the relationship in which we stand before His face; — by Jesus Christ. It is in each case for the gratification of His own heart. We are predestinated to Sonship by Jesus Christ to Himself, in that near and holy relationship, to be enjoyed for ever.

Again, in Ephesians 1:6, we read, "To the praise of the glory of His grace wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved." "In the Beloved," what does that mean? If you can understand in any degree how much God loves this wonderful Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom He speaks here so prominently as "the Beloved" you can see what a stupendous revelation it is to us that we are taken into favour in the Beloved. Every Christian is verily beloved of God, the love of God rests upon him, and he can be rightly designated as one of the beloved of God. But while that is true, and true of all saints equally and alike, there is One Who is pre-eminently the Beloved. You who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are said to be accepted in the Beloved. That is the power of it; it is not simply to have that acceptance in the Lord, but in the Beloved. God would stress it, that you might understand how greatly you are loved, and that you are taken into favour in the measure of love that He has for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then, in Ephesians 1:7 he says, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Notice these two first words, "In Whom." God has not simply given you a document saying. "Here is the forgiveness of your sins," but, He says, I have worked out that question in a Person. There He was with your sins upon Him, and upon Him fell all the just judgment in view of My claims in righteousness and holiness; He bore it all, and the sins that He bore were yours. They are all gone, and the very Person who bore them is risen from the dead, enthroned in glory. It is in Him you have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." That is the measure of the redemption that He has wrought out for us: the question is never to be reopened. And so He acts according to the riches of His grace. I know some people have the idea, "Yes my sins are all forgiven up to the time of my conversion; but what about the sins that I may commit after my conversion?" But from this stand-point in Ephesians, God would have you to understand that when He did take up that matter, He did not divide your life into two or three sections, — your past sins, your present sins, and your future sins; but undertook the settlement of that question according to the wealth of His grace, taking it all up at one and the same time, and settling it all in that One Person, so that every believer can say, "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the wealth of His grace." God took into account all our history from start to finish; at that moment knowing all the sins beforehand, and dealing with them according to His own glory.

With these things in view — our future assured, and the sins question settled — we may think, what more could there be? Dear friends, there is after all a great deal more, and this I want to bring before you. Believers, whom God has so wonderfully blessed are taken into confidence by the blessed God. They are drawn into His presence to receive the most intimate communication as to what He is doing. What is God's object? He appears to say, "I want to take you into my confidence, I have constituted you my redeemed ones, and I have given you a nature and a relationship, and an acceptance in which you can be in undisturbed possession in quiet and rest, every anxiety removed. Now, with your heart at rest, I want you to understand that My blessing and your blessing is really part of a larger plan." The larger plan is this, He has made known to us the Mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself. It is hid from other people, but made known to the believer. Let us remember that the will of God is supreme: He counsels, and it must be accomplished. When we read of the will of God in this sense — the will of His counsel — we know that it is going to be accomplished. What is behind it all? "His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself." What then is His good pleasure? Is it not that God is working out a wonderful scheme, headed up in Christ, in which He will be able to find eternal pleasure. When it is all brought into being, and all accomplished, God will be able to rest in His love, in supreme satisfaction, because He has brought about a system for His own pleasure. He purposed it in Himself, He has made it to depend upon His own omnipotence and omniscience: He has made it depend upon His own wisdom and power. He has brought it about, and will bring it about, for reasons of His own. Truly we can say: "Father, Spring and Source of Blessing."

What is this purpose? He is going to bring everything under one control. He has purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might head up all things in Christ. There are a great many discussions that take place amongst the nations, and amongst men, as to what is really the best form of government in a properly constituted state. Some would advise aristocracy, some would speak of autocracy, some of democracy; but what is God's good pleasure? The fact is that all these schemes of men fail, because the state of men in their fallen condition sets them one against another. Supposing you had a community where there was no authority, but all did their own wills, it would be every man against his fellow. It is all very well to talk about dividing things up equally, but anybody would know that very soon one man would want more than he had, and he would feel that he could only get it from his neighbour, and so there would be one set against the other. But God is sovereign: and the most wonderful order of things will be brought about, when there will be absolute autocracy or theocracy, combined with absolute justice and absolute consideration for every creature. The blessed God alone is capable of it, and He will vindicate His will, and He will entrust He has entrusted the fulfilment of it to this wonderful Person, it is purposed to head up all things in Christ. It is God's plan to bring everything under Christ: everything will centre in Christ: He will be the great Head, the great source of authority; He will rule and order and govern according to the will of God.

Now turn to the end of the chapter, and there we read more about the Person. The Apostle prays in verse 17 of the first chapter, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your heart being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead." Attention is drawn to this Person already named in the 10th verse. But He was found in death. Every power that is adverse to God had been put into movement to place Him there: all the power of Satan, all the judgment of sin, all the hatred of man, all the hidden forces of evil, had been brought to bear upon His holy Person. He had gone down into death. You can see the power that was against Christ. But while in grace He submitted to those conflicting powers, and when they had done their worst, and Christ had gone down to the very bottom, when sin had risen to its greatest height, — God raised Him from the dead. We who believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ can also trace in that death the removal of our sins and our sinful state in Adam: but we can see also all the working of the power of evil against Christ and its seeming success in putting Him in death and the grave. But then God in the might of His power raised Him from the dead. There is a power greater than all the power of evil, greater than death, and greater than the grave, seen in God.

Then in verse 20 we read, "He set Him down at His right hand in the heavenlies" (N. Tn.). It is not only that He rose superior to the powers of evil, and triumphed over death and the grave, but God has proved the might of His power by setting the Man of His purpose, the Person Who is the centre of His plan, at His own right hand in the heavenly places. "At His own right hand" implies that in Christ God has vested all His power. The right hand signifies the strength, and the power, and the authority of God. In setting Him at His own right hand He has constituted Him the great administrator of His own authority, and His own mind, as well as His own blessing. He has set Him thus "in the heavenly places," away from this earth. The true source of power is not here, the executive that will give effect to the purpose of God is not now resident here; the Holy Ghost truly is come from the right hand of God, from Christ there, and is here provisionally; but the power that is going to set the earth right, and put the whole universe in harmony with God, comes from the right hand of God. He set Him at His own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality and power." They are not to be named in the same breath: Christ is supreme, above every other name, above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named. "God hath put all things under His feet," everything is subjected to Christ in the plan of God, and will be effectually put beneath Him according to God's mighty power. It may be said, "How is it that everything is not put under Christ now?" There is a reason for this. The saints, redeemed by Christ and formed into one body, the church, are the only people that have this wonderful secret communicated to them at the moment. God has made known the plan (verse 10), but He has also disclosed to us who are believers, the Person, the One destined to be both Head and Centre of His plan. I love to think that God has so far proceeded with the plan He has already displayed the smash up of the power of evil in the cross, and He has exalted the Person Who overthrew sin and Satan, to His own right hand. You can see the Person to whom God has entrusted this high place of dignity and glory is in position, Head over all things, and all things put underneath His feet. God is not inactive; He has already seated Christ at His own right hand in heavenly places, He had exalted Him, and He has put the church into the knowledge of it. The rest of the world does not yet acknowledge it, but the redeemed ones do who form the assembly. When it says the assembly it means all Christians from the descent of the Holy Ghost to the Rapture. The whole church of God is in the secret of God as to the Person to Whom God has entrusted the fulfilment of the plan. We acknowledge Him in the meantime as Head, but for the moment we Christians are the only ones who really do so. Let us be consistent in our subjection to Him.

Then it says that the church is His body, the complement, "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." In further explanation of this we may turn to the 5th chapter and there we find the unique position in which the church is placed. When the earth was first formed for man's habitation, you get an indication that God had this in His mind. After this world had been started, all free of sin, in its beauty, its productiveness, and its serviceability, man was created and specially formed according to the counsel of God. It was said, "Let us make man after our image and in our likeness." He then put man at the head of all this lower creation. After He had been constituted the head to have dominion, God brought the animals before him. God had endowed him with such qualities that he knew exactly in what language to describe each animal; and whatever he designated each animal, that was its name. He was truly the head of this lower creation. But of all the creation of which he was head, for the moment it was just nothing but a splendid isolation, because there was not any one with whom he could share it, to whom he could communicate his thoughts, or with whom he could enjoy the privileges that the Creator had placed upon him. He was alone in it; head, but alone. Then in His goodness God crowned the position for him. He said, "It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a helpmeet." and He did. He gave Eve to be the partner with him in this place and scene of glory. It is so plain that we ought easily to grasp it; and yet it can only be by the Spirit of God.

Come now to the anti-type, and we find that God raised Christ from the dead, and set Him over all, Christ personally; but is Christ to be alone? That is where the counsel of God comes in regard to the church. For the church, composed as it is of all believers in this present dispensation, is to be with Him in His place of dignity and glory, — even as Eve was given to Adam — to be His partner in His greatness.

In the 5th chapter of Ephesians, we find that the model, the example, is set before us of marriage; in Ephesians 5:22, we read, "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord." It is often commented upon that it does not say, "Wives obey your husbands" as though they were children or servants. In Ephesians 6 you have "Children obey your parents" that is a question of authority, and rightly so; and then in the 5th chapter, "Servants be obedient to your masters" comes in again; but with the wives — "Submit yourselves unto your own husbands." In this chapter the husband is looked at as being the representative of the fulness and authority of God for his wife; all that Christ is to the church the husband should be to the wife. We are obliged to think of these things in a somewhat abstract way, for what husband is there amongst us but must feel how far he comes short of it. But the wife is to submit herself to her own husband as unto the Lord, finding in the husband the one who directs and leads. It is not a question of obeying exactly, but the husband regards the wife as given to him of God to be his helpmeet in the partnership; and that loving her as Christ loves the Assembly he may be the supplier of all that the wife needs; giving guidance, direction and help, in every matter; the wife meanwhile submitting herself unto her husband as unto the Lord.

Then in Ephesians 5:23, we read, "For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the Head of the church." Let us humbly seek to take it in. Christ is the Head, and we gladly bow before Him owning His supremacy and glory; we can say, "How rightly crowned is Jesus, Who once atonement made." Is it not wonderful that you and I, and all the redeemed of this dispensation, are to be with Christ, and to be to Christ what the wife is to the husband?

In Ephesians 5:25, we read, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." It is not the individual saint that is in view, but the church; that He might sanctify and cleanse it. "That He might present it to Himself a church glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; that it might be in every sense suitable and compatible with Himself. A true wife will always seek to enter intelligently into the responsibilities in the midst of which her husband is placed; she will not regard herself apart from him, walking in a spirit of independence, but will freely enter into her husband's concerns; not to disown his leadership, but to be sympathetic and intelligently able to enter into all the circles of his interests. What a wonderful thing it is that we Christians should be made meet companions even for Christ. What a wonderful thought that we are to be such in the midst of all the stupendous glory that He will enjoy, able to enter into His interests, and be sympathetically and intelligently companionable to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not exactly like an earthly prince who may place his affection on a partner very much below him in station, and then have to feel how difficult it is for her to share his dignities and glories, because she is unable to look at things from the prince's point of view. God has given us the same life and nature as our risen Lord, and brought us into the same relationship as He; we are really His kinsfolk, His brethren, and can enter into the whole range of His interests. The Christian even down here is acquiring competency in view of that coming union with Him. Whatever we can learn of Christ's interests today let us give ourselves very heartily to them, so as to be more and more qualified to take our place intelligently in that wonderful day, when we shall be with Christ and like Him, and associated with Him; sharing His administration in all that vast scene of glory.

There are then these three things. There is first of all the Purpose or Plan of God, in chapter 1. Secondly, we have the Person Who is the centre and Head of all that Purpose. And in the 5th chapter we have the church looked at as the Partner in that wonderful position.

No. 3.
The Administration of the Head.
Ephesians 4:7-16.

In our previous addresses we considered the Headship of Christ; in the first we noticed that every person who believes the gospel, has, in receiving the facts of the gospel, received also what prepares him for the understanding of every other truth. As you advance in divine things you will never be able to leave out, or to leave behind, the basic facts of the gospel. In trusting yourself to Christ in the simplest way as Saviour, there is the gift of God, the grace of God bestowed upon you, the pardon of your sins, the gift of the Spirit, and eternal life: thus the simplest believer has in his soul the germ of all that God has to say to him.

In our second address, looking at the same subject, we noticed the purpose of God in the 10th verse of the first chapter of Ephesians, — that He is going to head up all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and on earth. Everything is to be redeemed, everything to be brought into the good of the gospel. We are told first that God has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of the times, Christ is to be the Head, Centre, and Administrator of all the will of God in Heaven and in earth. It is mightily comprehensive: and as our hearts take in God's plan, we find that we have a peculiar and unique place in connection with that plan.

Secondly, we looked at the Person of Whom we read in the end of the chapter. God raised Him from the dead, leaving behind all that belongs to sinful man and the first man's sinful history, all of Satan's power, and the world. He is beyond everything. Not only has God raised Him from the dead, but He has set Him at His own right hand in heavenly places. He is not on the earth, but He is exalted as the risen Man far above all principality and power. Whatever we may know of these mighty beings, mightier than ourselves — far above them all is Jesus at God's right hand in the heavenly places. He has put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church. Every believing heart, every young Christian as well as every mature Christian, can look up and say, "I see that this worthy Saviour whom I have confessed as my Lord, is the One whom God entrusts to carry out this stupendous plan, He is 'Head over all things.'" And when it says "Head over all things to the Church," it is not the same as Head of the Church. The church down here on earth, composed of every Christian, is connected with a Person whom God has set as Head over the creation, Head over men, Head over kingdoms, Head over every-thing. The church recognises that Christ is Head over all things; it is a sweeping inclusion of everything in heaven, and in earth. We know the One Who is the divinely designated Head. The church in the meantime is His body, as it states at the end of the first chapter.

Then thirdly, we saw in the 5th chapter the Partner that is given to Christ in connection with that wonderful place. The Church of God called out at the present time, is quite different from the saints of the Old Testament and from those of the world to come. We live in a parenthesis in the ways of God. While Christ is set there, hidden from the world at the right hand of God, God is gathering out for Him a living, heavenly, company. Their calling is not the same thing as the calling of Old Testament believers, it is quite distinct. They are a company spoken of as His body, or the assembly, the church which is to be given to Him. But more than that, it is a company so united to Christ, so equipped, so indwelt by the Holy Ghost that as a whole it will be an adequate object for the love of Christ, to be the real sharer of His throne. His throne; I do not say the Father's throne. It is ours to be the companion of Christ through unending years, a unique place. You get illustrations in the Old Testament. You find, for instance, after Joseph's refusal by his brethren when he was carried down into Egypt, he obtained an Egyptian bride to share his honours. But let us understand that at the present time God is gathering out a heavenly company and to that company every saved soul, every Christian, belongs in this present dispensation.

Now may we study a little the particular relations of the Lord Jesus Christ to the assembly. In the language of Scripture, although we know that all things are put under Christ, we can truly say, we see not yet all things put under Him. We do not yet see kingdoms and men, and this lower creation, brought into order as they will be by and by, under His Headship. But we see Jesus: we are introduced to the Person who will bring everything to pass. By faith "we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." So we know the Person who is going to put all under God, and to rule all for His glory. Here on earth is the sphere in which His glory and His authority are not at present recognised; but it is a great thing for us Christians to see to it that we yield ourselves to His administration and come under His control so that we become even now pleasurable to God. In that way it was intended that the world to come, although still actually future, should be appreciated and enjoyed and illustrated in the church of God even now. In the first chapter of Ephesians we have two things — "purpose, and power." We have the purpose of God indicated to us, and we have the power indicated by which God is going to bring all this about. Look at the 9th and 10th verses of the first chapter. There we read of "His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, for the administration of the fulness of times, to head up all things in the Christ" (N.Tn.). Then, in connection with the apostle's prayer, verse 19, he prays that we may know "what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead." As God wrought with mighty power to raise Christ out from amongst the dead by whom He was surrounded, and to introduce Him into that scene of glory at His right hand, so is the power that is in operation towards us. God would have us to learn that He has taken us up and has drawn us out from among the dead by whom we are surrounded, and has linked us up with that glorious Person in the heavenlies. The second chapter unfolds it further, but this is the power that is in operation toward us. It has picked us up, and will not drop us until it has us with Christ and like Him. The apostle prays that God would open the eyes of our hearts to see the glory with which we are connected, and the power that is operating for its completion; so that we might come more and more under the present administration of Christ.

Then in the 2nd chapter we learn two things which will greatly aid us in the understanding of this. One is "grace" — the mighty grace of God; "God Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ." Viewed from the stand-point of His purpose this is what His grace has affected, — that when He raised up Christ from the dead we are looked at as being quickened together with Him, and He has raised us up together with Him. You see the mighty power of God operating towards us from His standpoint; the object of it all being to set forth the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Grace has picked us up from such awful depths, and by such mighty power, and in such a wealth of mercy, in order to fulfil the purpose of love, — "For the great love wherewith He loved us." He has associated us in His own mind with Christ Who is in "the heavenly places." If we are then to be associated with Christ, it is surely only right that we should learn all we can about Christ and that we should seek to come under His administration and grow in the purpose of His will, while we are down here.

It goes on to say, in verse 10, "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Now if you would set your face in that direction and humbly desire to understand the grace of God, and to be in the good of it, you would realise what is necessary, that is the Spirit, The Spirit is given; it is part of the gospel. The remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost; these are constituent parts of the gospel. When you believe, after you have forgiveness of your sins, the gift of the Spirit is also yours. But this Spirit is given to take us up and to lead us in the exercise of our hearts up to the very source of all. Look at verse 18 of chapter two, "For through Him (that is Christ) we both (that is the former Jew or the former Gentile now saved and brought into this one association and blessing), have access by one Spirit unto the Father." When it says, "The Father," I apprehend that it is not exactly our Father, nor a question of our individual relationship to Him as sons, but the Father. That is to say, the One Who has given birth to all this system of glory. I think you get in the 17th verse of the first chapter the explanation of it, "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory." Who is it that has conceived the thought? Who is it that is the Author, the Source of all the blessing, if it be not the Father? The Holy Ghost not only gives us the knowledge of the blessing, but it is as though He says, "I am competent to lead you up to the knowledge of the Father from Whom the blessing has come." And you find that at the present time we are, in the 22nd verse said to be builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. The second chapter, I suggest, brings these two things before us, Grace and Power; the Spirit is given to lead us into the present enjoyment of it.

Now in the 3rd chapter we come to two other things, revelation and prayer. You may ask: "How is it that we have come to know these things?" "Well?" says the apostle, "I will tell you how I have this knowledge of the mystery of Christ." He says in the 2nd and 3rd verses of the 3rd chapter, "Ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given to you-ward, how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery." It was not given in the Old Testament scriptures. But when Christ had died, and risen again, and gone to glory, and the Holy Ghost had been given, He laid hold in a special way of Saul of Tarsus. It is in this connection that the Lord Jesus Christ made known this mystery to that wonderful apostle of Christ. In the very moment of his conversion there seems to be some hint of it, because when Saul of Tarsus was persecuting Christians he did not know that they were united to Christ as members of His body; but the Lord Jesus at the moment of arresting him, (intervening in his wild career, and laying hold of him for glory and blessing) said, "Saul, Saul why persecutest thou Me?" To complete the truth you have this vessel of divine communications instructed in the mystery, as he goes on to say, "In other ages it was not made known to the sons of men as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs." There is the bringing into being of this new formation of which there was no hint in the Old Testament; the bringing in of converted Gentiles as well as converted Jews to form one body in Christ. As he goes on to speak of it in the third chapter he becomes so impressed by the magnitude of it, that, after unfolding the truth of the mystery he seems to say, "Not even I, the apostle, can make it good to your souls." In the 7th verse he says, "I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God Who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God."

Here he introduces us to a second administration. In the first chapter we read, "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ:" ("dispensation" or "administration" as the word may more correctly read). That, of course, is future: when all the different lines of God's working with men will converge, and Christ will take up every one of them. In the administration of the fulness of times He will head up all things in Christ; but, says the apostle, "There is another administration, and that is now." He says in verse 9, "To make all men see what is the administration (the same word) of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, … that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known in the assembly the manifold wisdom of God." There are the two administrations. There is one future, when Christ will bring everything into order, when He will subdue all enmity and hostility, putting down all enemies beneath. His feet, and when the kingdom will be established in power. But there is the present administration, and that administration goes on in the assembly. You may ask, "What do you mean by the assembly?" Do not get any wrong idea into your minds; do not think that it means any denomination; do not think that it means any select company of Christians gathered in this hall or any other hall. The assembly includes within its circumference all Christians, and, from the standpoint of the Epistle to the Ephesians, all Christians from the day when the Holy Spirit first came, to the day when the Holy Spirit will leave with the church, and we shall be caught up into the air to meet the Bridegroom of our hearts.

No. 4.
The Administration of the Head

The truth in the Epistle to the Ephesians is different from that in the Epistle to the Corinthians which looks more at the local constitution of the assembly in each town where God has wrought in grace. The local assembly covers the whole number of Christians in each city, who although they belong to that locality geographically are under the One Lordship of Christ, and are unified administratively by one set of instructions the new order intended to obtain all over the world. They act locally in view of what is to the honour of Christ everywhere, in the whole church of God; but they are the local expression of it. That is the teaching of Corinthians.

Here in Ephesians it is the church as a whole, and so it says, "Christ loved the church." It does not just mean a little number of Christians in any one town, but in all its fulness the whole church of God, from the day that the assembly was first formed on the day of Pentecost to the day when He calls the church home and presents it to Himself in glory. The assembly, the whole community of Christians on earth, is the circle in which the blessed administration of Christ as the Head is to be discovered now. We learn to be subject to Him, to derive from Him, to recognise Him as the source of direction, and as the resource of His people. It is this present administration that we would now consider.

Look then at the fourth chapter. I should first say that in connection with the revelation of the mystery we have again the apostle turning to prayer. He tells us how this mystery was revealed to him that he might make it known; but as to the making good of it in our souls he cannot do that. Hence he says, "I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." I feel how very frequently we deprive ourselves of the force of some of these scriptures. It is not the love of Jesus dwelling in the saint saved by grace. Of course we would love to see the blessed Lord Jesus precious to every believing heart. But that is not the meaning of it. It is that Christ, the One Who is the Head, Whom God has designated, and appointed, and anointed, as the Head of all this great system of blessing, may dwell in the hearts of those who compose the assembly, by faith, that they "May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." And that we all might come so completely under the guidance of the Spirit, and under the control of Christ, that we may understand in our collective, assembly life what a blessed thing it is to be under the administration of Christ. Let us remember if we do turn to prayer, that chapter three, verse 20, says, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the assembly by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages," — the present included. Let us remember that God by His Holy Spirit is working in us; and in proportion as the Spirit of God works in us (it is according to the power that worketh in us), even so will this desirable end be accomplished, that there will be glory to God in the assembly. People are very apt to quote this verse, as to His being able to do more than we ask or think. But as to the actual setting of it, it is that God's intention with respect to us might be carried out; that the Christ might dwell in our hearts, so that there might be carried on this present administration in the assembly.

Now look at the way in which we are influenced by this administration. After speaking in the 4th chapter of seven things that are common to us all, in verses 4, 5, and 6, he says, in verse 7, "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." In connection with the One Body, and the One Spirit, it is not that God passes all into a mould and fashions every one alike. It is not that God produces absolute uniformity, although the unity is perfect. Looking at things from the standpoint of Ephesians, this oneness embraces all Christians; but each one of us has his own place in the body. It is quite a unique place, the little function of my life is not precisely like the little function of your life; each is connected with its own position in the body. There is unity, all under the direction of the One Head, but there is not uniformity. All must be formed in the life of the Head, all equipped from the Head, all directed from the Head. In a body that is properly operating everything is subject to the head. We enjoy this now; it says, "Now unto every one of you is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." Christ Who descended has gone up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. From the very lowest to the very highest point Christ is Head, and everything is to be brought under the administration and control of Christ. In the future that administration will be manifested so that everybody will see it; but at the present time it is to be seen only in the assembly.

Now as to the assembly; look at the wonderful resource, and the perfect administration of the One Who is the Head. "He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints." There should be a semi-colon after the words "for the perfecting of the saints." A different word is used in the next clause; instead of "for" it should read "with a view to the work of the ministry, with a view to the edifying of the body of Christ." Unfortunately words that are different in the Greek are not always made different in our authorised version. The object that God had in committing all this administration to Christ is at the present time for the perfecting of the saints. If you understand that you will see that Christianity is not come into the world for the making of the earth better; the whole service of Christ at the present time, and the whole administration of Christ at the present time, is for the perfecting of the saints, not for the betterment of the world. The way that He carries it on is by constant ministry from Himself. Of course there is the ministry of the apostles and prophets in the New Testament scriptures. But there is the constant ministry from the Head in glory, so that we may be reminded of the truths they were inspired to give us, and that their influence may be made distinctly real in all our lives. The evangelist is just as much for the perfecting of the saints as the apostle. The evangelist who thinks that he is only to save souls is mistaken. The apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the pastor, and the teacher, are all for the perfecting of the saints. But how? Well, if there were no evangelists there would be no saints to perfect. The evangelist is used to bring light to the soul, to turn men to the Saviour, and they trust Him and receive the Holy Ghost. But what after that? The evangelist has to bring them into the circle where they can be cared for, "for the perfecting of the saints:" that they may be brought into the circle of Christ's administration and receive of all His fulness and come under His Headship all the way through. "Till we all come," this goes right on to the end; it is with a view to the work of the ministry, with a view to the edifying of the body of Christ, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Coming to the 14th verse we read, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." It is not a question of running after this man or that man, this elder or that elder. The object of all ministry is to bring people into contact with the Head, and instead of being children tossed to and fro, that they may grow up unto Him. The work of the ministry in every form is for this purpose; to put people into living attachment to the One Who is the Head. When that is the case, you will see that not only Christ is the One Who is going to bring everything into accordance with the will of God bye and bye, but that everything in your life and among the saints is to come now under the administration of Christ. Hence it says in the 13th verse, speaking of holding the truth in love, you grow up unto Him in all things, which is the Head.

If you read the rest of the Epistle you find some of the "all things" that come under the direction of Christ as Head. If we speak of our lives, our ordinary day by day lives, these are to come under the control of the Head of the new race. Putting off the old man and being renewed in the spirit of our minds, we "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (verse 24). Then he says, give up such things as lying and deceit and lust; all these things are done with, we have put off the old man. Then as to our whole business life, coming into contact with the world, let each man speak truth one to another. There are no such things as "white lies," "business lies," in the new man. When you come down to the detail, it speaks of the relation of wives to husbands, of children with their parents, or servants with their masters. Each ought to take his character as a Christian from the One Who is the Head; each one is to live in subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ as His Head. You find many a Christian going on with all sorts of religious or worldly entanglements. But if he looks up to Christ Who is the Head in all things, it has the effect necessarily of severing him from all that which is of an independent or worldly formation; whether it is in the way of moral reformation, or in the way of religious associations and organisations. If you are entangled in anything that is not after Christ, you are not in a position to carry out this scripture. I would earnestly pray, and ask that we may all be concerned about coming more distinctly under the direction and administration of Christ as Head, and that we may discover in Him every resource. You may depend upon it, such is His care for His people that He will supply every need, in spite of all the weakness and sorrow of the present times. He will supply us with grace so that we may be able to grow up unto Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ; "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."