“Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places”     

“Which He wrought in Christ,”
Literally: “which He has worked in Christ”–Which He exerted in relation to the Lord Jesus when He was dead.

                 WROUGHT:  (enêrgêkên)–Literally:  “has worked”–past perfect tense.

The power which was then exerted was as great as that of creation. It was imparting life to a cold and “mangled” frame. It was to open again the arteries and veins, and teach the heart to beat and the lungs to heave. It was to diffuse vital warmth through the rigid muscles, and to communicate to the body the active functions of life. It is impossible to conceive of a more direct exertion of power than in raising up the dead; and there is no more striking illustration of the nature of conversion than such a resurrection.

        IN CHRIST:  (en tôi Christôi)–Literally:  “In the Christ.”  In the case of Christ.  The dead body of Jesus’ was the point on which this working of divine power was displayed.

It is power enough to raise Christ from the dead—a tremendous power.  As our Head. God manifests in the redemption of Christ's members the same divine power which He exercised in Christ their Head. The greatness of power and grace of God manifested when He leads men to believe on Christ, and raises them from spiritual death to spiritual life, should fill them with adoring gratitude, and bind them forever in cheerful and hearty obedience to His will

“when He raised Him from the dead”–
Literally:  “having raised Him from {the} dead”

God's power wrought in Christ in the tomb so that He came forth living.

The raising of Christ is not only an earnest of our bodies being hereafter raised, but has a spiritual power in it involving (by virtue of our living union with Him, as members with the Head) the resurrection, spiritually of the believer's soul now, and, consequently, of his body hereafter (Rom. 6:8-11; 8:11). The Son, too, as God (though not as man), had a share in raising His own human body (John 2:19; 10:17-18). Also the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4; I Pet. 3:18).

        “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11).
        “Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present {us} with you” (II Cor. 4:14).

Can you really grasp this great truth?  The power that raised Christ from the grave and lifted Him to heaven; that put all things under His feet and made Him the Head over all to the Church, is also to us who believe.  How then can we fail with Him as our Head and with such power at our disposal?  The resurrection of the dead will be a stupendous work of God; it requires His might in sovereign action; and when we consider that all mankind are to be raised and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, then the momentum, or velocity, with which the power is to be applied must be inconceivably great.  But such is the nature of God's power in action, that it is perfectly inconceivable to us; and even these astonishingly strong words of the apostle are to be understood as used in condescension to human weakness.

“and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places”
Literally:  “Made {Him} to sit at His right in the heavenlies” The glorious spirits stand about the throne but they do not sit at the right hand of God.  That place is reserved for only Christ.

         The Scriptures represent Christ at God's right hand.   His seat there indicates His glory, and also that the work of redemption has been made complete. We don’t make much of the Ascension of Christ in our churches today. We emphasize the temporal, and really pagan, holidays of Christmas and Easter, but we seem to forget the events after that. The same power that took Christ to the right hand of God is the same power that is available to believers today.  The idea is that great power was displayed by this act, and that a similar exhibition is made when man is renewed and exalted to the high honor of being made an heir of God. On the fact that Jesus was received to the right hand of God. 
         The Father invested Christ with the greatest honor, dignity, and power, as princes set the next in honor and authority to themselves at their right hands.  This is an honor that was never to any of the angels, and of the glory it is exalted to; and shows that Christ’s work on earth was accepted to the Father. and therefore He is set down at His Father's right hand, and is out of the reach of every enemy.  He will never die again, but live forever, to intercede for His people, to assist and protect them, and bring them where He is; and in whom, as their Head and Representative, they are already set down in the same heavenly places.
         Paul now displays to us Christ's exaltation, or that glory and dignity which, after His resurrection and ascension, the Father put upon Him as God-man, or Mediator; far surpassing the glory of all created beings.

        “For {there is} One God and One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”  (I Tim. 2:5).
        “…If any man sin, we have an Advocate (Mediator) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1).

“Far above all principality, and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in the world, but also in that which is to come;”

“Far above all principality, and power and might and dominion”
 Literally:  “over above all rule, and authority, and power and lordship”– It is certain that Paul means that all created power, glory, and influence, are under Christ.  Above all the angelic hierarchy. The same terms are applied to evil spirits in Eph 6:12. Christ is above all angels, good or evil.

         Not only has the Redeemer been freed from the icy grip of death, but God has also set Him at His own right hand, robed in mediatorial sovereignty (I John21:1) raised above all heavenly hierarchies (see 6:12). 
        The expressions, dominion, might and power evidently refers to the myriads of angelic beings who stand in presence of God.  Some of these are angels, some cherubim, some seraphim, and some arch-angels.  God has raised Christ and caused Him to be seated above all of, and in so doing, it is Christ as a Man that is in view.  Paul may even be referring to the fallen angels that he mentions in 6:12

         Greek, “Far (or high) above all (Eph. 4:10) principality (or rule, I Cor. 15:24), and authority, and power (Matt. 28:18), and dominion (or lordship).  Christ is “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). The higher is His honor, the greater is that of His people, who are His members joined to Him, the Head. Some philosophizing teachers of the school of Simon Magus, in Western Asia Minor, had taught their hearers these names of various ranks of angels. Paul shows that the truest wisdom is to know Christ as reigning above them all.

        FAR ABOVE: (huperanô)–Literally:  “over above.”  Used in the N.T. only here and in Heb. 9:5–“and over it (huperanô) the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat…”

The word rendered “far above”– is a compound word, meaning high above, or greatly exalted. Christ is not merely above the ranks of the heavenly beings, as the Head; He was not one of their own rank, placed by office a little above them, but He is infinitely exalted over them, as of different rank and dignity. How could this be if He were a mere man, or if He were an angel?

        POWER…MIGHT…DOMINION:(archês…ekousias…dunameôs…kyriotêtos)-Literally: “rule…authority…power…lordship.” Paul here is referring to evil spirits (who are similarly divided into various ranks.

         “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high {places}(6:12), as well as angels of light, and earthly potentates, are included (compare Rom. 8:38-39–“For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

         The word rendered “principality”(archês)means, properly, “the beginning;” and then the first, the first place, power, dominion, pre-eminence, rulers, magistrates, etc. It may refer here to any rank and power, whether among men or angels, and the sense is, that Christ is exalted above all.
         The general sense in this verse is that the Lord Jesus was exalted to the highest conceivable dignity and honor.  In this beautiful and most important passage Paul seems to be laboring for words to convey the greatness of his conceptions of the glory of Christ, and so he uses the words that denote the highest conceivable dignity and glory. The main idea is, that God has manifested great power in thus exalting the Lord Jesus, and that similar power was exhibited in raising up the sinner from the death of sin to the life and honor of believing. The work of religion throughout was a work of power; a work of exalting and honoring the dead, whether dead in sin or in the grave; and Christians ought to know the extent and glory of the power thus put forth in their salvation.

“Not only in this world, but also in that which is to come”
 Literally:  “not only in this age, but also in the coming {age} The word here translated as “world” is the Greek word (aion), from which we derive our English aeon  or  eon.  This Greek word should have been translated as “age.”  See this identical expression in Matt. 12:32–

        “Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world (aion), neither in the {world} (aion) to come” (Matt. 12:32).
For the present time:
        “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (aion), according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal. 1:4).

        “Charge them that are rich in this world (aion) that they be not high minded…” (I Tim. 6:17).
For the present time (Gal. 1:4; I Tim. 6:17) and the future life (2:7; Luke 20:35). Both combined in Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30.

For the future time:
        “Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world (aion) to come life everlasting” (Luke 18:30).

This phrase would more correctly read, “Not only in this Age (Church Age) but also in that which is to come.”  That “age to come” is the Millennial Age, or the Millennial Kingdom, when all things will be gathered together in Christ, both that which are in heaven, and which are in the earth (see Heb. 2:8).                

“And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church,”

         “And hath put all things under His feet,”
         Literally:  “and He put all {things} in subjection under His feet”–All power was given into His hands when He was raised from the dead (Matt. 28:18). He is the rightful ruler of all.

         All beings and things are subject to Him, whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers.

        “For by Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether {they be} thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by Him, and for Him:
        “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist

     “And He is the Head of the body, the church:  Who is the beginning, the First- born from the dead; that in all {things} He might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:16-18).

         God the Father has given Christ to be Head-in-Chief, and Supreme, over all, including the Church.  The Church has no ruler but Jesus Christ; others may be officers in His Church, but He alone is Head and Supreme.  What the Church needs today is not more ministers and colleges (we have far too many of them now).  What the Church needs is Christ revealed in our hearts as the power of God.  The exceeding greatness of God’s power is realized as we live in touch with the Son of God.  When that takes place, we shall see souls saved, believers added, and believers living in full allegiance to their Head, Christ.  When we walk in communion with God (either individually or collectively, then we shall know that power of God. 
         Paul, having spoken of Christ's sovereignty over all created beings, both in heaven and in earth, in the foregoing verses, now declares that as Christ is an head of dominion and authority to the whole creation in general, so He is an Head of His Church in particular. We who have been regenerated have this power at our disposal in order that we might live victoriously.  This victorious living is not had through one definite experience; rather, it is had through a moment-by-moment trusting in moment-by-moment Savior.  Dr. Harry Ironside, that great Bible expositor of the Twentieth Century, once said, “God does not make us into storage batteries, and He does not give power at the beginning of each month, or week, or even day.  It is a moment-by-moment contact in communion with our God.”

         “Gave Him to be Head of all things to the Church”
         Literally:  “Him He gave as Head over all things to the Church.”–The Greek order is emphatic here.

Christ Who is Head over all things who is also the Head of the Church (and she the body), and all things are hers (I Cor. 3:21-23). He is OVER (“far above”) all things; in contrast to the words, “TO the Church,” namely, for her advantage. The former are subject; the latter is joined with Him in His dominion over them. “Head” implies not only His dominion, but our union; therefore, while we look upon Him at the right hand of God, we see ourselves in heaven (Rev. 3:21). For the Head and body are not severed by anything intervening, else the body would cease to be the body, and the Head cease to be the Head. The Church is the Body of Christ through which He manifests Himself to the world in this age. 

“Which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.

         “Which is His body” —
         Literally:  “which in fact is His body”–As He is Head over all things.  

This comparison of the church with a person or body, of which the Lord Jesus is the head, is not uncommon in the N.T. His mystical and spiritual, not literal, body. Not, however, merely figurative, or metaphorical. He is really, though spiritually, the Church's Head.  He is head to the Church; and this Church is considered as the body of which He is especially the Head; and from Him, as the Head, the Church receives light, life, and intelligence. His life is her life. She shares His crucifixion and His consequent glory. He possesses everything, His fellowship with the Father, His fullness of the Spirit, and His glorified manhood, not merely for Himself, but for her, who has a membership of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (Eph. 5:30).

        BODY:  (soma)–The word soma, which passes readily from its literal meaning (physical body) into the figurative sense of a society, a number of men constituting a social or ethical union (cf. 4:4), is frequently applied in the N.T. Epistles to the Church as the mystical body of Christ, the fellowship of believers regarded as an organic, spiritual unity in a living relation to Christ, subject to Him, animated by Him, and having His power operating in it.

The relation between Christ and the Church, therefore, is not an external relation, or one simply of Superior and inferior, Sovereign and subject, but one of life and incorporation. The Church is not merely an institution ruled by Him as President, a Kingdom in which He is the Supreme Authority, or a vast company of men in moral sympathy with Him, but a Society which is in vital connection with Him, having the source of its life in Him, sustained and directed by His power, the instrument also by which He works 

“the fullness of him”
Literally:  “the fullness of the {One}”– The Greek word here rendered fullness (plêrôma), means, properly, “that with which anything is filled; the filling up; the contents.”

All things are summed up in Christ who is the fullness (plêrôma) of God (Col. 1:19)–“For it pleased {the Father} that in Him should all fullness dwell.”  In particular Christ fills the Universal Church as His Body. That in which He especially manifests His power, goodness, and truth; for though He fills all the world with His presence, yet He fills all the members of His mystical body with wisdom, goodness, truth, and holiness, in a special manner.  The Church is a manifestation of the fullness (plêrôma) of Christ, the Body filled by His life.

        “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that yet might be filled with all the fullness (plêrôma) of God”  (3:19).
        “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the statue of the fullness (plêrôma) of Christ” (4:13).

         The Church is dwelt in and filled by Christ. She is the receptacle, not of His inherent, but of His communicated abundance of gifts and graces. As His is the “fullness” (plêrôma) inherently, so she is His “fullness” (plêrôma) by His impartation of it to her, in virtue of her union to Him (Col. 2:10)–“And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power.”
         The Church is the continued revelation of His divine life in human form; the fullest representative of His abundant grace. It is not the angelic hierarchy, as false teachers taught but Christ Himself is the “fullness of the Godhead,” and the Church represents Him. 

        “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness (plêrôma) of the Godhead bodily”
        “And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power”
        Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Col. 2:9-10,18),

How, in any other sense, the Church can be said to be the fullness of Him Who fills all in all, is difficult to say. However, as Jesus Christ is represented to be the Head, and the Church, the body under that Head, the individuals being so many members in that body; and as it requires a body and members to make a head complete; so it requires a Church, or general assembly of believers, to make up the body of Christ.  When, therefore, the Jews and Gentiles are brought into this Church, the body may be said to be complete; and thus Christ has his visible fullness upon earth, and the Church may be said to be the fullness of him, etc.    

“that filleth all in all”
Literally:  “fills for Himself all things in all”–Who fills all things with all things. For Christ is the Creator of all things, and He fills them with whatever powers and privileges they possess.

All things are summed up in Christ (Eph. 1:10), who is the “fullness” (plêrôma) of God (Col. 1:19), and in particular does Christ fill the church universal as his body. Hence we see in Ephesians the Dignity of the Body of Christ which is ultimately to be filled with “fullness” (plêrôma) of God (Eph. 3:19) when it grows up into the “fullness” (plêrôma) of Christ (4:13,16).


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