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Ephesians– overview of 1:20-23 – What Christ brought about in the world, part 2.

EPHESIANS-1-1905021
length: 65:47 - taught on May, 21 2019
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Class Outline:

Tuesday May 21, 2019

 

 

EPH 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might

 

EPH 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

 

 

EPH 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [all angelic creation], and every name that is named [all humanity], not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

 

EPH 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

 

EPH 1:23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.

 

It must be clear to us that the church does not fulfill Christ, but the other way around.

 

The church does not fulfill Christ, but rather she is filled with Him. The church is the fulness of Him like a masterpiece painting is the fulness skill and beauty of the master painter.

 

EPH 1:20 ff. are doctrines for the church.

 

Vv. 20-23 are placed into the doctrine as it refers to what God brought about in Christ.

 

These were brought about when Christ was raised from the dead. When He was resurrected, He became the head of all things as a Man. All things were put under His feet. The universe became His footstool. Yet, there was one living thing on the earth that would be filled by Him and that was the church. He became the head of the church and filled the church with His own life. The church doesn’t fill Him or fulfill Him as has been concluded in the past, but the church is filled with Him. She is the only thing in the universe that is filled with His life.

 

COL 1:15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.

 

COL 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities —  all things have been created by Him and for Him.

 

COL 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

 

COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.

 

COL 1:19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him,

 

COL 1:20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

 

Scientists and evolutionists have speculated as to when an evolved humanity would appear on earth. He set foot on the earth 2,000 years ago.

 

The resurrection of Christ was absolute proof that a new humanity had come into the world.

 

He is the first-born from the dead.

 

A man was in a resurrection body who was displaying the power, the wisdom, the revelation, and the glory of God. His resurrected life would be given to all men who believed in Him as their Savior. Nothing like it ever happened before, nor will happen again. It is offered to everyone, and graciously given to anyone who will believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.

 

Satan counters this gift to mankind with weak and laughable imitations. Satan tells the world that man is becoming new on his own, that man is evolving into something better. He tells the world that man is becoming smarter and is getting better at governing himself, better at making societies that are good, and securing his future. This idea is the heart of progressivism. Of course, for this to work, everyone has to agree with the program, and anyone who doesn’t will have to eliminated for the greater good. This formula never changes, and yet another generation is upon us, and sitting in elected offices, who are convinced that they are newer and better able to make man new through ideology and legislation, and when necessary, intimidation, imprisonment, and execution of dissenters.

 

“To accept this world as a destination rather than a staging-post, and the experience of living in it as expressing life’s full significance, would seem to me to reduce life to something too banal and trivial to be taken seriously or held in esteem.” [Malcolm Muggeridge]

 

A famous writer and journalist for 50 years, he continues in the opening chapter of his autobiography, “All I can claim to have learnt from the years I have spent in this world is that the only happiness is love, which is attained by giving, not receiving; and that the world itself only becomes the dear and habitable dwelling place it when we who inhabit it know we are migrants, due when the time comes to fly away to other more commodious skies.”

 

It is the people who want to receive who are always bemoaning their terrible lives, and ironically, they are the ones who claim to love their lives and love this world.

 

JOH 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

 

JOH 12:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

 

JOH 12:25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.

 

JOH 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

 

When Christ rose, a man was in a resurrection body who was displaying the power, the wisdom, the revelation, and the glory of God. Yet, not only the individual new man is seen and presented, but the church, the body of Christ, the community of the new humanity present their unity.

 

Christ ascended far above all angelic orders. It is interesting to note that Paul’s list (rule and authority and power and dominion) does not identically match his other lists in COL 1:16 and 1CO 15:24. There was a lot of speculation about angelology in that time due to Gnostic thought, and it is as if Paul is dismissing this as speculation. They are rule, authority, power, dominion, and thrones, all of which are words of general description, which do seem to reveal ranks and titles, but nothing specific is given. Paul likely had to answer a lot of questions about angels, and his list is perhaps an expression of his impatience with speculation about them.

 

“rule, authority, power, and dominion” speaks of all angelic creation.

 

“every name that is named” speaks of all great men.

 

Yet, the main point is that Jesus ascended above them all. There was no glory left behind. He blasted past them all, and now makes us a new creation and brings us with Him, making us higher than angels, close by His side.

 

He did it! He did the work, the dying, the suffering, the resurrecting. We did nothing. Let not arrogance befall you. Know that arrogance will find any platform to take its first step towards jumping you. Muggeridge says, “How indestructible, alas, is that ego! Thinking to have struck it down once and for all, I find its hissing cobra-head lifted again, deathless.”

 

PSA 8:3 When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,

The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;

 

PSA 8:4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?

And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?

 

PSA 8:5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God,

And dost crown him with glory and majesty!

 

PSA 8:6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands;

Thou hast put all things under his feet,

 

PSA 8:7 All sheep and oxen,

And also the beasts of the field,

 

PSA 8:8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

 

This coronation belonged to the human race and we lost it. It falls to the Son of Man to win it back.

 

JOB 7:15

What is man that Thou dost magnify him,

And that Thou art concerned about him, [Job]

 

PSA 144:1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,

Who trains my hands for war,

And my fingers for battle;

 

PSA 144:2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,

My stronghold and my deliverer;

My shield and He in whom I take refuge;

Who subdues my people under me.

 

PSA 144:3 O Lord, what is man, that Thou dost take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that Thou dost think of him?

 

PSA 144:4 Man is like a mere breath;

His days are like a passing shadow.

 

Job and the psalmist take a sober look at man, and conclude like many others, God is wasting His time on man. What is man but a passing shadow and a weak breath. But then a man walked out of a grave in a heavenly body and the whole sordid story changed.

 

The resurrection of Christ and His ascendency above all opened the way for any fallen man to obtain His glory through simple faith.

 

HEB 2:5 For He did not subject to angels the world [oikoumene: inhabited earth] to come, concerning which we are speaking.

 

HEB 2:6 But one has testified somewhere [“in a certain place”, which they all know] saying,

"What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him?

 

HEB 2:7 "Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels; Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, And hast appointed him over the works of Thy hands;

 

HEB 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet."

For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

 

Adam was crowned with glory and honor and the world was subjected to him, but he fell, and that is the last phrase of vs. 8. “Now we do not see all things subjected to him.”

 

The fall of Adam is when the earth and the animal kingdom, nature, became red in tooth and claw.

 

HEB 2:9 But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

 

HEB 2:10 For it was fitting for Him [and only for Him], for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

 

The righteous demands of the Law had to be satisfied. A God of love cannot dismiss or overlook a righteousness that He loves, yet at the same time, a God of love cannot abandon His fallen creatures to judgment. It was fitting or becoming that sin had to be either paid for or judged, and only the Son of God was fitting to be the sacrifice that would fulfill the Law for us. The blood of Christ was the price and it was the only fitting payment.

 

The fact that all things are for the Son of God and through Him, means that only in Him would there be a way to deliver us from our loss of God’s glory. And now stated, there was only one way to do it. He had to become a man. 

 

HEB 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

 

Despite what we were, from Adam, the believers are now from one Father, and so we are sanctified, righteous, and justified. The resurrected Jesus is not ashamed to call us His own brethren.

 

HEB 2:12 saying,

"I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise." [PSA 22:22]

 

HEB 2:13 And again,

"I will put My trust in Him." [ISA 8:17]

And again,

"Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me."

 

Now the incarnation will overcome the prince of death.

 

HEB 2:14 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;

 

God does not have flesh and blood, but the Son of God became man to have a common element with humanity, but not with angels. He took hold of humanity, which was not natural to His divine nature. By taking on flesh and blood He could die, and also resurrect, and by doing so, He rendered Satan inoperative or powerless. The same word is used of the Mosaic Law. It wasn’t destroyed, and neither is Satan just yet, but both of them have been rendered inoperative in the life of believers by the death and resurrection of the humanity of Jesus Christ.

 

Being freed from death, as our Lord was in resurrection, there is a great implication for life, which is to be delivered from the fear of death, and so, fear of anything.

 

Death is no longer a punishment. It is actually a joy since it is the means by which we enter heaven and finally meet our Lord face to face.

 

HEB 2:15 and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

 

HEB 2:16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

 

HEB 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

 

HEB 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

 

The background of vv. 14-17 is the OT concept of the kinsman-redeemer. Christ Jesus purchased us, satisfied the righteous requirements of the Father, and gave us His very life.

 

Being His brethren means suffering and temptation, and Jesus promises that He will run to our aid. We can try and document or list the ways in which He will do that, but we will come up short. He will enable us to overcome if we desire to overcome. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” He will do it. And we know that He sympathizes with our weaknesses, because He Himself has been tempted in all things as we are. He is Jesus the Author of our salvation, Jesus the sanctifier, Jesus the Satan-conqueror, and Jesus the sympathizer.

 

Look at Him resurrected and put your faith in the fact that you are just like Him.

 

It was a prophecy for Jesus and His brethren, so in EPH 1:22, the ascendency belongs to the church along with Christ.

 

EPH 1:19b These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might

 

EPH 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

 

EPH 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

 

EPH 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

 

EPH 1:23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.

 

The second clause of verse 22 begins with an emphasis upon the object, “and Him He gave”. Victorious, ascended above all angelic realms, and every name named on the earth, and seated at the right hand of God until all enemies are made His footstool, and the church, full of us nobodies and sinners, is not left behind. As great as He is and is finally revealed to be, Jesus Christ is given to the church. He is given to you.

 

As the spirit belongs to the body, by the like fitness Christ in His surpassing glory is the possession of believing men. The church is the body and claims the Christ as her Head and her Husband.

 

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