Christ - Head and Heir of All Things

That title which Isaiah gives to the “Child born”—the “Father of
eternity”—leads us on to consider His relation to that eternal state of
which He is Author. Here we shall find, indeed, in some sort an
opposite line of thought to "that which we have just had before us"
and yet in fullest accord with it. For if, in what we have looked at,
Christ has been seen seeking and working for the Father’s glory, until
He can give up to Him the Kingdom, which He has taken to bring all
things into agreement with His blessed will, it is surely in perfect
accord with this to find that Christ is Himself the Centre of all the
thoughts and purposes—the counsels of the Father. As in communion with
the Son we have had the Father before us, so now in communion with the
Father have we the Son. Our joy it is and wondrous privilege to be
brought into communion both “with the Father and with His Son Jesus

The Son is as the Word the Revealer of God, and, as
the Word made flesh, the Revelation also. Creation, as brought into
being by the Word, proclaims in broken and reflected rays the glory of
its Creator. This is that house of God of which the tabernacle in
Israel was a figure, and which the Son is “over” (Heb. 3:1–6). Even in
this from the beginning He has been already serving, and to what
service does it not pledge Him in result! For, as over it, and the
Revealer, He must maintain the glory of that revelation, amid all the
frailty incident to the creature, and it would not be the creature, if
it were not frail, nor could other than frailty and dependence suit it.

Moreover, the higher the structure is carried,—the more
complex and wondrous it becomes, the frailer it is; the more it climbs
God ward, the greater the depth to which it may fall; the more richly
the ship is laden, the greater is the treasure which is exposed to

The service undertaken here by the Son is a service
of love. Revelation is for the creature, not for God. The glory
revealed in it is not to increase the wealth of the Revealer, but of
him to whom it is revealed. God is not making gain out of His
creatures, nor are they increasing His wealth at their own cost. “If
thou hast sinned, what doest thou against Him? and if thy
transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto Him? if thou be
righteous, what givest thou Him? or what receiveth He at thy hand?”
Nay, love alone can count its riches in assuming such burdens. And God is love;
and His glory is in the outflow of His goodness; and of this Christ is
the only complete expression. What simpler then than that Christ—not
simply the Son of His love, but the Son become Man—is the end for which
all creation exists? Divine love, as it is exhibited, confirmed,
glorified in Him, is the only possible key to the mystery of our being.

Sin has come in, and we think naturally very different thoughts from these. “I knew Thee,
that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and
gathering where thou hast not strawed,” is said in all human languages,
in accents of assured conviction. Even the Cross, the most wonderful
manifestation of divine love that could be made has been darkened and
profaned by such blasphemous accusations. But the answer has been given
by the lips of the patient Sufferer Himself, whose lifting up avails
and shall avail, to draw men unto Him, and so to God. Yea, “He died for
all, that they which live should no more live unto themselves, but unto
Him who died for them, and rose again.”

He has vindicated
then afresh His hereditary title as “Son over the house of God;” and
having finally consecrated it as a temple of praise for ever, He will
abide the Head of it. For this is the, “mystery of God’s will,
according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, for the
administration of the fulness of times, to head up all things in Christ; both which are in heaven and which are on earth; even in Him, in whom we also have obtained an inheritance” (Eph. 1:9–11, Gk.).

must not confound this with millennial Kingship, or with anything which
is to pass away. The “fulness of times” is not simply the last of
probationary ages, but that to which they all pointed and led the way.
Headship is not the same as rule over, after the manner of a king, but
implies a closer, natural, and, so to speak, organic relationship. The
head is the representative and interpreter of that to which he is head,
and which would be defective in a terrible way without it. Such is
Christ’s Headship over creation; and Ephesians here completes the
doctrine of the two epistles which precede and connect with it as
positional epistles—Romans and Galatians. The three are an ascending
series, reaching in Ephesians their highest point and thus the widest
view. For in Romans and Galatians His Headship is confined to man, and
thus He is the second Adam of a new creation. That by itself would shut
out angels; but they are not to be shut out, and the Lord’s title here
would necessarily include these also.

In the third chapter we find accordingly that “every family”—so
it should be translated—“in heaven and earth is named”—or gets its
title—“from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That is, the
relationship of God to Christ as Man affects His relationship with all
His intelligent creatures. It could not surely fail to be so. Christ’s
own place in relation to men must in some way avail for more than men;
and the heading up of creation in Christ must bind it to God in a
manner unspeakably different from its original relationship as creation
merely. The character of man so commonly remarked on as a
microcosm,—his nature thus putting him in relation to every part of the
universe of God—becomes in this way a matter of highest and tenderest
interest, as we realize this to be the nature assumed by the Son of

That He is the Son has here also its significance, as
we see, and how the original and divine relationships shine through the
acquired ones. Wonderfully accordant it all is, with all its surpassing
blessedness. How “all things were created for” Christ, as well as “by”
Him, we can clearly see (Col. 1:16); as well as how, not merely by His
power, but in the link of such relationships, “by Him all things
consist” (ver. 17).

Thus the Son is the “Heir of all things
(Heb. 1:2); and sonship and heirship go together, not merely among the
dying sons of men who, under death because of sin, leave their
possessions to others; but sonship and heirship go together in things
that are eternal, and where again that which is divine shines through
and interprets the creaturely and temporal. The thoughts of God reflect
Himself and spring out of His affections—out of the depth of His
nature. Would only that there were more ability to receive and trace
out what His word, the key of all, has opened so for us! Let us remind
ourselves that it is in this very connection that we are assured that,
“according to the riches of His grace, He has abounded towards us in
all wisdom and thoughtfulness [15] having made known to us the mystery of His will.”

God has thought of us, indeed, as those whom He has called unto the
fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ, and is training to be His co-heirs
in His inheritance. Shall we not respond to His care and seek to grow
more into “the mind of Christ”?

How tenderly are our
thoughts drawn towards these glories of His by the reminder of our own
personal interest in them. As here, where the mystery of His will to
head up all things in Christ being spoken of, we are straightway
reminded, “in whom also we have obtained an inheritance.” At the close
of this chapter again, “He has made Him to be Head over all things to the Church which is His body.” In Colossians we find, in the verses most characteristic of the whole epistle (chap. 2:9, 10): “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; and ye are complete”—filled up—“in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power.”
Such things as these, which assuredly we should most shrink from
putting together, the word of God unites as if to challenge our
attention by such connection, as if to make it impossible to possess
ourselves of what is our own, without exploring the glories of Christ
so linked with it.

15 I cannot find a better word to express here the idea of φρ?νησις, which
the Common Version translates, most unsuitably surely, prudence. Others
give 'intelligence' but being on God's part toward us, this also seems
hardly adequate.