Seven statuses of the church in Ephesians
The book of Ephesians shows us at least seven distinct statuses or designations of the church. The entire book is needed to understand these points in context, but I will cite only a few key verses that highlight them most strongly:
- Church: Eph 1:22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,”Church” translates the Greek ekklesia, meaning called out. This word refers to the assembly of those whom God has called out of the world to accomplish His own purpose, as detailed in Ephesians 1.
- Body: Eph 1:22-23 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.Christ is Head whom God has established over all His creation. The church is the Body of this head, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Just as our physical bodies are the full expression of the personality, will and actions of our physical heads, the Body of Christ, when functioning properly, is the full expression of the personality, the will, the desire, and the actions of Christ the Head.
- Citizens of God’s kingdom: Eph 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,We are citizens of God’s kingdom, with the rights, protections and responsibilities there pertaining. We have the rights and enjoyment and blessings of the kingdom of God, and the obligation to be faithful to our King.
- Family members of God: Eph 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,We are God’s own children, born of His life and sharing His divine nature. We are the members of His family, brothers and sisters to each other, equal without distinction.
- Building of God: Eph 2:21-22 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.We are God’s house, His building, His real temple, His dwelling place in S/spirit. We are being built up together as one, not divided and scattered, to become God’s home where He can rest for His satisfaction.
- Wife of Christ: Eph 5:31-32 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.As Eph 5:21-33 expound, we are the bride of Christ, His wife. Just as Eve was created out of Adam in his sleep, from his flesh and bone, we are created out of the death of Christ with His indestructible resurrection life (bone) in His resurrected human nature (flesh). We are His love, His counterpart, His match, His completion. Without us, He is only an incomplete half. Only in perfect intimate union with us can God say, “My new creation is very good.”
- Warrior: Eph 6:10-11 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.We fight the spiritual warfare against God’s enemy, not by weapons of flesh and not individually, but corporately as one Body fighting through prayers in the S/spirit.