"The Kingly Office of Christ as Providentially Executed for the Redeemed" *
"And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church." - Ephesians 1:22
The foregoing verses are thankful and humble adoration of the grace of God in bringing the Ephesians to believe in Christ. This effect of His power is compared with that other glorious effect, the raising of Christ Himself from the dead; both are from the same efficient cause. It raised Christ from a low estate, even from the dead, to a high, a very high and glorious state, to be the head of both of the world and of the church: the head of the world by way of dominion, the head of the church by way of union and special influence, ruling the world for the good of his people in it. "He gave him to be head over all things to the church." And here let these four things be seriously regarded:
1. The dignity and authority committed to Christ: "He hath put all things under His feet;" which implies full, ample and absolute dominion in Him, and subjection in them over whom He reigns. This power is delegated to Him by the Father; for besides the essential, native power and dominion over all, which He hath as God (Psa 22:28), there is a dispensed authority which is proper in Him as Mediator, which He received as the reward or fruit of His suffering (Phi 2:8-11).
2. The recipient of this authority is Christ, and Christ primarily and only: He is the first receptacle of all authority and power. Whatever authority any creature is clothed with is but ministerial and derivative. Christ is the only Lord (Jude 4), the fountain of all power.
3. The object of this authority is the whole creation; "all things" are put under His feet: He rules from sea to sea, even to the utmost bounds of God's creation. "Thou hast given Him power over all flesh" (Joh 17:2): all creatures, rational and irrational, animate and inanimate, angels, devils, men, winds, seas, all obey Him.
4. And especially notice the end for which He governs and rules in the universal empire; it is for "the church," that is, for the advantage, comfort and salvation of those for whom He died. He purchased the church; and that He might have the highest security that His blood should not be lost, God the Father has put all things into His hands, to order and dispose all as He pleaseth. Hence, all the affairs of the kingdom of providence are ordered and determined by Jesus Christ, for the special advantage and everlasting good of His redeemed people. "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him" (Joh 17:2). Hence it comes to pass that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose" (Rom 8:28).
* By John Flavel (c 1630-1691). This chapter published in booklet form by the Chapel Library of Mt. Zion Bible Church of Pensacola, Florida. Emphases mine (GentleDove's).