Hello everyone. Welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are continuing our study in the doctrine of the Trinity. I’ve been pleased to hear a lot of you are appreciating this and seeing it as practically a commentary. If anyone does get to use an argument like this with success against a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon or Arian of another brand, then please contact me here and let me know! I’d love to hear about it! Tonight however, we’re going to continue our study in the book of Ephesians. We’re in chapter 4 still and we’re going to be looking at verses 7-13:
7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he led captives in his train
and gave gifts to men.” 9(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Notice at the start who is apportioning the grace. It is Christ. Right at the beginning of this part we have a high Christology in that grace, the forgiveness that was seen coming from YHWH, is seen to come through Christ.
Paul quotes the Psalm to speak of Christ’s victory over evil and how he came and conquered the forces of darkness and set free the children of God. There is much debate about what all is going on in this passage. My take on it is that he descended into death and then ascended bodily back into Heaven.
Notice how high he ascends however. Christ ascends so much so that he fills the universe! Paul is giving omnipresence to Christ. What does that tell us about Paul’s Christology? Plenty. It lets us know that Paul was including Jesus within the divine identity by giving him attributes only applicable to YHWH.
The purpose of all of this was to equip the saints for service. He has given them the ability to go forth and to do his work. The goal has been to build up his body, the church. What a view of Christ we have here! He is ascended on high filling the universe and we are the ones behind doing his work as his body. We are reminded of how Acts 1 talks of all Jesus began to do and teach among the people when Jesus left in that same chapter. We are the continuation.
What is the goal? We all reach fullness in the Son of God. We are to become like Christ. It is to be understood that we are not to be ontologically like Christ. We are to be like him in moral nature but we will never partake of the divine essence.
But isn’t that enough good news? Because Christ is who he is, we will be who we were meant to be someday.