Ephesians 1:20-23 – Paul’s praise for God’s power

June 12, 2020 at 7:53 AM Leave a comment

Paul concludes this chapter with a prayer for the Ephesian believers. I am going to break the prayer down into three parts: v.15-16: thanksgiving prayer, v.17-19: intercessory prayer and v.20-23: praise for God’s power.

v.20-23,“This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honour at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or any else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” After describing the completeness of God’s power in v.19a Paul points out three instances where God’s mighty power was working: raised Christ from the dead; seated Christ in the place of honour at God’s right hand and appointing him head over the church.

v.20a,“Raised Christ from the dead is a clear working of God’s power. Only God can bring someone back from the dead. Christ’s resurrection assures us that God will raise our bodies from the dead in the future (Rom 6:8-11). His resurrection is an inauguration of the final resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-24). The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to all believers for spiritual strength to live the Christian life. It is transmitted through the head (Christ) to the body (the church, believers).

v.20b-21,“Seated [Christ] in the place of honour at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” is also a clear working of God’s power. This phrase refers to Ps 110:1 “The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honour at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” Here in v.20 it shows that God exercised his power in raising Christ and then seating him in a place of honour at God the Father’s right hand in the heavenly realms. The right hand signifies a position of equality. Christ is equal with God, he is God. In v.21 Paul writes “he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or any else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.” Christ’s ultimate authority will be “far above any…” Paul names all of the possible authorities “any ruler or authority or power or leader…” He even ads a generic phrase “or anything else” to clarify whatever power exists, both in heaven or on the earth, it will be under the authority of Christ.With this list Paul wanted the believers to know Christ has no equals and no rivals. He is supreme over all beings (good and evil, both in the present and future)! And he will be exalted above and rule over all of them. This is an exalted position with all authority. As a result of Christ’s death and resurrection (victory and authority), his power has reduced all evil forces. They no longer can exert any power over the believer who has identified with Christ.

v.22-23,“God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. The third instance where God’s mighty power was working is in the church, which Christ is the head of. In v.21 Paul states that Christ was placed in the position of honour and authority at the right hand of God. Here in v.22 Paul makes it clear that God placed “all things under the authority of Christ.” And God gave Christ, who has all authority over everything, to the church. This implies that Christ has authority over the church as well. The “church” is speaking of the whole assembly of believers everywhere. By giving Christ to the church God demonstrates his care for the church. First he gave Christ to the church to sacrifice him for their sins. Now he gives Christ to the church for their spiritual well-being. In v.23 Paul states that the “church is his body” of course speaking of Christ, “his” body is the church. By adding Christ (the head) to the church it is “made full and complete.” Paul says the the body (the church) is being filled and made complete with Christ, who in turn is being filled wholly, entirely, in every way by God. As Christ’s body, the church, manifests Christ to the world, but it can only do so as he fills it with himself. Christ who fills the church also “fills all things everywhere with himself” which includes filling the whole universe because he is the fullness of God.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? God’s power is something we as believers (the church) have access to because of Christ. This is the same power that raised Christ from the dead, put him in a place of honour and all authority at God’s right hand put all things under his authority including the church and the universe. That’s power! And we get to be filled and be made complete by this power through Jesus Christ.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  Not to take God’s power for granted. Because of this power I have salvation through faith in Christ’s sacrifice. And I have a great privilege of being part of the body of Christ (the church) again because of God’s power. I am so thankful for both. Praise God!

Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Ephesians 1:17-19 – Paul’s intercessory prayer Ephesians 2:1-3 – Life without Christ

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