Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Ephesians 1:20-23

20 He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens— 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

The Original Intent

1) Why is it important to identify the proper pronouns in these verses? (verses 20-23)

How we read and study Scripture is key to us understanding God’s identity. We may not be able to personally translate the original Hebrew or Greek into our language, but we can read with a context perspective.

Reading too quickly through the pronouns of this passage will most certainly impact our understanding of God. Let’s dig deeper by inserting the “who” of the pronouns: The Triune God exercised this power in Christ the Son by raising Christ the Son from the dead and seating Christ the Son at God the Father’s right hand in the heavens — far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:17, Colossians 1:13, Acts 2:32-36, Colossians 2:9-10)

And God the Father subjected everything under Christ the Son’s feet and appointed Christ the Son as head over everything for the church, which is Christ the Son’s body, the fullness of Christ the Son who fills all things in every way
.” (Ephesians 3:10-11, Colossians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, Psalm 110:1, Ephesians 4:10)

NOW we can press on to understand the apostle Paul’s right meaning to the church at Ephesus. He was teaching them about the rule and power of God which exists in and through Christ Jesus, the Son. It is HE who is Lord overall. It is HE who died and has been resurrected to richly bless with eternal life all who trust in Him. (Romans 10:9-12)

With our finite minds, we will never fully grasp the work of our triune God (The Doctrine of the Trinity), but we cannot deny that our creator God has reconciled us to Himself through the Son, Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

The Everyday Application

1) Why is it important to identify the proper pronouns in these verses? (verses 20-23)

The first recorded lie is found in Genesis 3:4-5. Satan tried to convince Adam and Eve that God was not really for them. He did so by misrepresenting God’s motives regarding the boundaries He had set. These same schemes of Satan are alive and well today.

This reality is why it’s so important to know that the Creator God, the God of Genesis, is the same God who came into the world to rescue humans from a death we subjected ourselves to by believing Satan’s lie. (Romans 5:12-17) The truth is: God is for us. He proved it through the death and resurrection of the Son. (Romans 8:28-34) Jesus was raised to demonstrate the power God has over everything, which includes all visible and invisible dominions, even all the powers of Satan and Hell itself. (Colossians 1:13-18)

Oh sweet Friend, we are being kept for eternal glory by the God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us forever. Because Jesus is all powerful, the reigning Lord of all things, we have a living hope. (1 Peter 1:3-9) This lasting peace and hope come from knowing that the God of the universe came to us through Jesus the Son. Paul had prayed for the believers to know this hope, and I pray it for you, Sister. (Ephesians 1:18-19)

There is nothing powerful enough to change our eternal destiny because it has been secured by the everlasting Lord of all lords and King of all kings. (Revelation 17:14) If you know it, speak this verse out loud right now, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

The Original Intent

2) How is the power of Christ’s resurrection demonstrated in the believer’s present victory over the enemy of our souls, Satan? (verse 21)

By the power of God, Jesus was raised from the dead. (verse 20, John 2:19-22) By defeating Death, Jesus proved He has power over every authority that exists, even Death. In overcoming the grave, Jesus also provided a way of victory over sin for those who trust in Him and what He’s done.

This is a “now and not yet” kind of triumph as we read “not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (verse 21) Even now, believers in Christ are able to fight and defeat sin because of Jesus’ elimination of sin’s consequences, namely, Death. (Romans 8:6-11) The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:12-22 that the resurrection of Christ is proof that our sin doesn’t have to kill us!

The apostle John encountered the resurrected and living Christ in a vision. The Lord showed John the full magnitude of the resurrection and gave him a victorious message to the persecuted believers, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Referring to Christ Jesus the Son, Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16, “He created everything and has power over everything”. Everything! There is nothing above Jesus nor will anything ever be superior to His authority. He is alive and He reigns over all things, and this truth speaks to how we are able to fight against the enemy of our souls today! (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 1 Peter 5:6-11, 1 John 4:4)

The Everyday Application

2) How is the power of Christ’s resurrection demonstrated in the believer’s present victory over the enemy of our souls, Satan? (verse 21)

It can be frightening, and almost overwhelming, when we face the enemy of our souls. As the old hymn says about him,
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate.
On earth is not his equal
.”
(A Mighty Fortress by Martin Luther)

Satan is influential, but he is not all-powerful. Friend, knowing this is everything! Though we do have an enemy who hates us, we have the All-Powerful Christ who loves us. Satan kills; Jesus fills! (John 10:9-10)

Christ is fighting from His throne in Heaven for us to have victory, and His power is the kind of power that raises the dead. Those who have put their faith in Jesus have been hidden in Him and have access to His power. (Colossians 3:1-3) What an amazing victory is ours because of Jesus’ current rule and reign!

Sister, we don’t need to wait until death to win the battle over sin. Jesus’ triumph over death is our provision for victory in the present. No, it’s not easy to always rely on the power of God when we are tempted, but Scripture tells us “everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

That’s the key, isn’t it? It’s faith! We really can trust Him with our lives, the One who is alive and always interceding for our victory at the right hand of the Father. (Hebrews 7:26-8:2)

The Original Intent

3) How does the resurrection of Jesus and His present position reveal the greatness of God’s power toward those who believe, “the church”? (verses 22-23)

In His power, God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him (the Son) to His (the Father) right hand in heaven. (verses 19-20) Jesus Christ’s present rule from His Father’s throne gives Him reign over everything, significantly “over everything for the church”. (verse 22)

Through His death and resurrection, Jesus bought us, the church. In Acts, Paul told the elders at the Ephesian church, “… the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which HE purchased with HIS own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

When Jesus was on the earth He had a physical body in which He died, was raised, and ascended into Heaven. Now, the Church, as His Body on earth, continues the ministry of Jesus as we showcase God’s power to the world with our physical bodies surrendered to Him as “living sacrifices”. (Romans 12:1-2) The church is the physical form of His presence on earth. When Christ was in His earthly body, He felt the blows of His enemies. Even now from His throne, He feels the blows of His enemies through the suffering of the saints. (Colossians 1:24)

In Matthew 25:35-45, Jesus gives examples of His close connection with His people. When Peter confessed Jesus’ deity in Matthew 16:16-20, Jesus declared to Peter that he was speaking the truth about the power given to all believers in the kingdom of God. The church has “the fullness of the One [God] who fills all things in every way.”

The church of God has been given authority by God to act on His behalf! (Matthew 18:18) We are commissioned to be His agents, bringing His kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:10) Believers have been given the keys of the kingdom to open the door for all to come to Jesus! (Acts 1:6-8, Acts 2:14-47)

The Everyday Application

3) How does the resurrection of Jesus and His present position reveal the greatness of God’s power toward those who believe, “the church”? (verses 22-23)

In the ancient days of war and conquest, a king might place his foot upon the neck of his defeated foe to display his power and victory. Paul applies this imagery to Christ and the Church. It’s a beautiful and glorious sequence: God raised Christ to sit beside Him, and the saints of God are raised through our trust in Christ’s work to sit with Him. (Ephesians 2:6)

This position with Christ is the glory and power in the Church. God intends to fill the universe with the glory of His Son by making the church the platform from which the one-and-only gospel is proclaimed. (Acts 4:12, Galatians 1:11-12) The church has been given the responsibility and privilege of being filled for the purpose of embodying Jesus Christ. He could just speak directly to people to tell them the gospel, but God has laid the responsibility of mission on His people.

God fills the universe with His glory by employing His saints to show the world His intended purpose for all people. The Church proclaims Christ’s offer of total forgiveness with gratefulness and worship how God came for Her, suffered and died for Her, rose for Her, and will forever reign with Her. Though God has no real need for humans to fulfill His purpose of reconciliation, for He alone has all power, He chooses for the church to be His instrument for expressing His truth and grace.

He has empowered His people with resurrection power that we would carry out His charge to let all people know they can live with Him forever in magnificent delight and glory. In glorious victory, the Lord of All declares to the Church He will hand over His victory to them forever, “The God peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20)

Friend, I hope you have found a place to consistently see the power of God revealed in a local gathering of His people, and are witnessing the miraculous defeat of the enemy of our souls!

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