God’s eternal purpose is to head up all things in Christ through the church, and we as the church need to take the lead to be headed up in Christ, so that through the church God will be able to head up all things in Christ. In this universe there was a universal rebellion which resulted in a universal collapse.
Yes, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the angels rejoiced when they saw God’s wonderful creation. But Satan, one of God’s leading archangels, rebelled against God, and a big number of the angels followed him in this rebellion.
Because of Satan’s rebellion, God judged the earth with water; this is the reason that, right after Gen. 1:1 says about God’s creation of the heavens and the earth, in v. 2 it says, And the earth became empty and void, and the Spirit of God was brooding over the waters.
So God came in to restore His creation and do a further work of creation, culminating with His creation of man in His image and likeness, so that man would express God and represent Him with His dominion over the enemy.
But this man created by God was enticed and deceived by God’s enemy, Satan, and he joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Because the man created by God is the head of God’s creation, when man fell, all creation fell; Satan’s element was injected into man, sin came in, and the whole creation is subject to slavery under death and darkness.
God’s wonderful creation has been damaged, ruined, and corrupted by Satan’s rebellion and man’s fall, and now the plants, the animals, and all living creatures groan in slavery of corruption, and they are eagerly waiting the freedom of the sons of God. When we believe into Christ, we receive the divine life in us, and this life is heading us up in Christ.
When we were regenerated, we were not only saved from eternal perdition but we were brought under Christ as the Head. The church is not merely a group of God’s called out ones to be His special people; the church is the heading up of all things in Christ, and in the church we take the lead to be headed up in Christ.
Being headed up in Christ is not an outward process that involves correction, adjustment, order, and obedience; rather, we take the lead to be headed up in Christ by growing in the divine life, because God’s life in us will cause us to be headed up in Christ, so that through the church God may head up all things in Christ.
In the Church Life we Take the Lead to be Headed up in Christ by Growing in Life
Many Christians talk about the church, and this word has become quite meaningless to them, since they have to say so much about it – but they don’t touch its real meaning and importance. The church is a great matter in God’s eyes, and for us to really know the church we need to be headed up in Christ.
The church is nothing else but the heading up of God’s chosen ones under the headship of Christ. The church is not a heap of fallen people who are still in the universal collapse due to Satan’s rebellion and man’s fall; the proper church life is a life of being headed up in Christ.
The first step in heading up of all things is for God to bring His chosen ones – His sons, the members of the church, His Body – out of the collapse and to place them under the headship of Christ.
When we believed into the Lord, we were transferred out of the authority of Satan and of darkness and into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love; through regeneration we began a process of being headed up in Christ.
The church is not a religious association but a Body – the organism of Christ, in which all the members of the Body take the lead to be headed up in Christ. The church that is genuinely the Body of Christ practiced as the local churches is an entity under the headship of Christ.
In the church life we need to take the lead to be headed up in Christ, and for this we need to grow in life (Eph. 4:15).
Christ, the Head of the Body, is universally vast and great; such a great Head needs a Body to correspond to Him, and the way we become the universally great Body to contain and express God’s fullness is by our growth in the divine life.
The Body must match the Head in the growth and development in life, so that the Body may express the Head and do what the Head wants to accomplish. If we see that we need to be headed up in Christ in the church life, we will cry out to the Lord to give us the growth in life every day, so that the Body may grow and all the saints would be headed up in Christ.
We need the proper growth in life in order for Christ, the Head, to bring under Himself as the Head all things through the church. If we are not willing to be headed up in the church life, we will delay the heading up of all things.
If God’s chosen ones are not willing to grow in life into the Head, Christ, so that they would take the lead to be headed up in Christ, God has no way to head up all things in Christ through the church.
We need to realize that the proper heading up is by growing in life; the order in the universe under Christ as the Head is brought about not by outward regulations, limitations, and rules, but by the growth in life of all the believers in Christ.
The more we grow in life, the more headed up we will be. No organisation or human effort can help the heading up of all things; only our growth in life can cause us to take the lead to be headed up in Christ.
What we need to do is to cooperate with the Lord to grow in life every day, and to learn to minister the supply of life to one another so that we may help one another to grow, for the heading up in the church life is altogether dependent upon the growth in life.
Lord Jesus, grow in us; grow in Your Body, so that Your Body would be brought to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ! Grow in us for the building up and growth of the Body, so that we all may be headed up in You. Lord, bring all the local churches on in the growth in life, and cause all the saints to cooperate with You for Your life to increase in them! Lord Jesus, we cry out to You: cause us all to grow in life in the church life so that we may take the lead to be headed up in Christ, so that through the church You may head up all things in Christ!
Eventually, the Body with Christ as the Head will be the Universal Head over All Things
The first step in heading up of all things in Christ is for God to bring us – His chosen people, His believers, the members of the Body of Christ, the sons of God – out of the universal heap of collapse, and to place us under the headship of Christ (see Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col. 1:18; 2:10, 19).
We may think that the first step God takes in heading up all things is to cleanse us of our sins, forgive us, and deliver us from eternal perdition; but in God’s eyes, the first step He takes is to bring us out of the universal collapse.
All of God’s problems – and all our problems – are in the universal collapse; here there are sins, the flesh, the world, politics, education, commerce, and religion – it’s all in this heap, and we need to be brought out of these.
The Lord must deliver His Body out of this collapse, not just from individual things. When we in the church take the lead to be headed up in christ, then God will have a way to head up all other things (Eph. 1:22-23, 10).
Christ as the Head cannot head up all things by Himself; He needs a Body that matches Him, a Body that is properly headed up in Him, so that God would head up all things in Christ through the church.
The church must take the lead – among all of God’s creation – to be headed up in Christ. The church is the vessel that is used by God to solve all His problems and to fulfill His purpose, which is to manifest Himself through man by mingling Himself with man (Eph. 3:9-11). Wow!
The church is God’s vessel to contain God, be mingled with God, and manifest God to express God and deal with God’s problems.
The more we grow in life and allow the Lord to mingle Himself with us, the more we as the church take the lead to be headed up in Christ, and God has a way to be expressed corporately and deal with His enemy through the Body.
God’s intention is to have a corporate man as a vessel to contain Him, so that He may dwell in them and that He may be manifested through them by mingling Himself with them.
Eventually, as the church takes the lead to be headed up in Christ, the Body of Christ together with Christ as the Head will be the universal Head over all things (Eph. 1:22-23). This is amazing, yet we need to be sober when we consider this.
The Bible clearly says that, when Christ was raised from the dead, we were raised with Him; when He was enlivened, exalted, and seated in the heavens on the throne, we were also there together with Him, for we are the Body of Christ, the Body of the glorious Head (Eph. 2:1-8).
However, we cannot say that we are the Head – only Christ is the Head, and because we’re the Body of the Head, we share in His headship.
A very good example of this is in our prayer meeting, when we pray one with the Lord to bind Satan and release his captives, when we pray prayers to limit his damage to man and to God’s move.
If we have the realization and reality that we are the Body of Christ, one with Christ, we will share in His authority, and we will bind Satan as the Body of Christ. Only God and Christ can bind, but we as the Body of Christ are one with Him, and we can do this also.
If we know God’s heart and are one with Him as members of His Body, we will pray not merely as individual Christians asking Him to do this or that, but we will take the position in the Body, share in His headship, and deal with God’s enemy in prayer.
This is a deep matter that cannot be taken lightly, but we can experience it when we’re right with the Body and with the Head.
Lord Jesus, thank You for delivering us out of the heap of collapse and bringing us into the church life, where we take the lead to be headed up in Christ. May Your Body – who is expressed in all the local churches on earth – be properly headed up under You as the Head, so that the Body with Christ as the Head will be the universal Head over all things. Lord, we want to be one with You and with the Body, standing in the Body, being right with the Head and with the members of the Body, to exercise Your authority and bring in Your dominion on this earth!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by James Lee for this week, and portions from, God’s Purpose for the Church, pp. 22-23 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Genuine Church Life (2017 Thanksgiving Conference), week 2, The Church Life — a Life of Being Headed Up in Christ.
- Hymns on this topic:
- # Under Christ, by His full headship, / All in union will subsist; / In the light the Church expresses / All in oneness will exist. / Owning Christ as Head and Center, / All will be in harmony; / Thru the shining of His Body / All will share His liberty. (Hymns #981)
- # In fulness of the seasons / God’s Christ will head up all. / Then all will own His reigning / And worship, great and small. / Such reign in life and glory / The Church e’en now foretastes / And to His rule submitting / Unto His kingdom hastes. (Hymns #941)
- # Fight the battle in the Body! / By the virtue of the Head; / Standing firmly with the Body, / Into vict’ry you’ll be led. (Hymns #885)