Summary: Having shared the abundance of blessing associated with their relationship with Christ, Paul revealed the awesome power of Christ, and the significance it has for the believer. Christ is Lord of all.
Christ: Lord of All
Ephesians 1: 20-23
As you examine the first chapter of Ephesians, you quickly discover the vast treasure of eternal truth conveyed by the apostle. Clearly, there is more within these verses than mortal minds can comprehend, but it is one of the most encouraging and hope-filled passages in all of Scripture. Following a brief introduction, Paul immediately dealt with the abundant spiritual blessings that accompany a relationship with Christ. He then offered a prayer for their wisdom and knowledge in the Lord, hoping to lead them into a better understanding of the blessings they had received in Christ.
As I studied this chapter, I thought of a musical piece that continually builds in intensity and excitement, until it reaches a crescendo, the much-anticipated climax. We have all heard the expression – “saving the best for last.” That is exactly what Paul did through the superintendence of the Spirit. This first chapter of Ephesians starts strong, continuing to build, until it reaches the ultimate climax. Paul had literally saved the best for last. Having discussed their blessing, and a prayer for increased understanding, Paul finally presents the topic he had been building for all along – the Person and Position of Christ the Lord.
Through this beautiful passage, we are reminded of the preeminence and provision of Christ for those who are undeserving. As we discuss the qualities of Christ revealed in the text, I want to consider – Christ: Lord of All.
I. The Demonstration of Preeminence (20) – Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Paul spoke of the great demonstration of power and preeminence revealed in Christ. Notice:
A. The Discretion – As you examine this statement, you have to consider the previous verses. Paul speaks of the power in Christ, and the extension of that power to us. We must also consider the source of this power. This was afforded Christ through God the Father. God chose to show forth His power in the person of His Son. As Christ walked and lived here upon the earth, He did so according to the mighty power given Him of the Father. In Christ, humanity experienced the power and provision of the Father.
B. The Display (20b) – Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead. God’s power was mightily displayed as He raised Christ from the dead. Three days prior, Christ had given up the ghost, dying on the cross of Calvary. For those who watched, it appeared the life and claims of this man had come to an end. No doubt, those who opposed Jesus rejoiced at His death. However, death would not be the end of the story. On that third and glorious day, Christ came forth triumphant from the grave, being raised by the power of God.
It is impossible to over-emphasize this eternal truth. Had Christ not risen from the grave, He would have been no different than others who came before Him. His promise of eternal life would have been in vain because He would have been unable to provide life beyond the grave. This is the cornerstone of our faith – the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Because He lives, we have the assurance of resurrection life in Him. Because He rose again, and now lives, we are assured eternal life in Christ! 1 Peter 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
C. The Distinction (20c) – Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Following the resurrection, Christ ascended back to the Father, where He is now seated in heavenly places. This place of distinction was reserved for Christ and no one else is worthy to be seated there. From this place of prominence, seated beside the Father in heaven, He makes intercession for us! We have comfort knowing our Lord and Savior is there pleading our case before the Father, mediating on our behalf. Rom.8:34 – Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
II. The Dominion of Power (21) – 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. Paul goes on to reveal the mighty power possessed by the one who is seated at the Father’s right hand. The realm of His power is limitless. Consider: