Ephesians 4:7-16; Christ fills all things.
length: 66:24 - taught on Jul, 6 2021
Tuesday July 6, 2021
The sacrifice of Christ for us, the showing forth of God’s glory through Him and His word, the indwelling Spirit who opens our eyes to the truth, the giving of gifts of grace to us and the exhortation for us to live by God’s will are all pointing to a quality of life that only God has and the form of that life that He wills for man. That is eternal life in a man, the life, way, and truth that Christ lived and revealed. Again, it is a quality of life that is divine. It has nothing to do with length of life or material possessions in life, or any other physical characteristic, and the world system is obsessed with these.
A.W. Tozer in his chapter about the transcendence of God uses this example to teach that the physical is not near as important as the quality of life.
“A little child strays from a party of sight-seers and becomes lost on a mountain, and immediately the whole mental perspective of the members of the party is changed. Rapt admiration for the grandeur of nature gives way to acute distress for the lost child. The group spreads out over the mountainside anxiously calling the child’s name and searching eagerly into ever secluded spot where the little one might chance to be hidden. What brought about the sudden change? The tree-clad mountain is still there towering into the clouds in breath-taking beauty, but no one notices it now. All attention is focused upon the search for the curly-haired little girl not yet two years old and weighing less than thirty pounds. Though so new and so small, she is more precious to parents and friends that all the huge bulk of the vast and ancient mountain they had been admiring a few minutes before. And in their judgment the whole civilized world concurs, for the little girl can love and laugh and speak and pray, and the mountain cannot. It is the child’s quality of being that gives her worth.” [Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, p. 122]
God’s transcendent life means that it is beyond our understanding. Yet God uses physical descriptions of Himself. For instance, in Isaiah, “Thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity.” It gives the distinct impression of altitude, but that is because we live in the world of matter, space, and time and we think in those terms. God is helping us to grasp His immensity of life, so far beyond our own, yet in faith knowing that He has given us that same life, but in the manner fit for a human.
Therefore it says,
"When He ascended on high,
He led captive a host of captives,
And He gave gifts to men."
9 (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
His victory, ascended to the right hand of power, should give us all the confidence we need, and then some, to witness of the truth.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Paul’s comments in vv. 9-10 show us that from its heights to its depths, the Lord Jesus has compassed the universe. He has left nothing unvisited by His presence. He alone fills all things.
“He might fill all things,” - He fills all with their appropriate fulness (blessing or judgment) to bring the universe to its destined goal - the divine ideal.
While He was still speaking, behold, a multitude came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" 49 And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" 50 And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this." And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? 53 "While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours."
He has ascended to all rule and authority. As a Man during His ministry, He subjected Himself to the power of others. When He ascended He was authority over all things.
All of us have to experience a descent. But we are not descending from heaven, but from the pride of self. God must push us (or allow us to be pushed) low to a certain extent, which extent is unique for each of us, so that we lose all attachment to the old self and live in the sole consciousness of the new self. The old self is ruled by passion, lust, greedy desire, the opinion of others, and personal pride. It will do just about anything to maintain control, to sit on the sovereign throne over our lives. This is why it is so important, that when you are living according to the new self and difficulty, failure, and painful events occur that you don’t listen to the old self who tells you that life was better with him/her.