We have a tendency to think of the events of Christ’s redeeming work as either far off historic events, or else we simply moralize them into an example of sacrificial love to be imitated. However, the plain thrust of the Apostles’ teaching is to bring the historic events near to their hearers and readers, and also to tie those events to profound spiritual implications for us. So, when we come to Christ’s ascension we must keep these two things in focus: the historicity of the event and the spiritual implications for us.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Seated With Him
These are some of the most lovely and superlative words in all of Scripture, and they are intended to lift our minds and our hearts to great heights of adoration, worship, love and faith. These words are blazing hot with Gospel truth, and we need passages like this to bring our tepid hearts to a boil of vibrant love for Christ and courage to face sin.
Have you grown ambivalent about what Christ has saved you to?Have you grown ambivalent about what Christ has saved you to? The Gospel proclaims our ransom from sin and death through the cross and resurrection, but it also brings with it what we are saved to: union with our triumphant Christ in His sovereign rule over all things (Eph 2:6)! We are saved in order to be made more than conquerors (Rom. 8:36-39).
This passage is not an analytic cataloging of Christ’s exalted state. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians–and for us downstream–is that we might know the exceeding greatness of God’s power as it was demonstrated in raising Christ from the dead, setting Him at His right hand above all other powers, placing all things under his feet, and crowning him as the head of the Church and mystically making her His body. Yet, perhaps the most significantly overlooked part of this passage is that it is this same exceeding great power which is aimed “us-ward”. This is the power which is at work in “us who believe”, his elect (v5).
By faith we are united to Christ, in His death we die, in His resurrection we are resurrected; but we are also seated with Him in His position of sovereign Lordship over this earth. Which is why we are to fearlessly march forward to claim lands for our King, with no armor for retreat (Eph. 6:14-20); knowing that God will soon crush Satan under our feet (Rom. 16:19-20).