The Procession of God’s People into God’s Presence
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
9(Now this, “He ascended” — what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a Perfect Man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Paul alludes to the enthronement Psalm 68 as he introduces the idea of Jesus’ triumphant ascent into heaven. This psalm celebrates the Ark of the Covenant being restored to Israel and being put atop Mount Zion by picturing God as a conquering warrior that leads his people from captivity to becoming a great nation (to which all nation flock). With this image in mind, Paul discuss the descent of Jesus to earth and his ascent into the heavens. He is leading His people out from slavery and into the freedom of God’s family of priests and kinds who move ever upward into His glory and who express the reality of His love.
1. Jesus comes to earth to rise us up to heaven. “God became man so that man might become god.” Vs 7-10. Jesus comes to us because we cannot go to him. This descent was a sign of God’s willingness to enter into loving relationship with His people.
2. Jesus gives servants to his ministers (priests and kings). Vs. 11-12
3. Jesus is raising up a body of priestly lovers who flow by Word (Son) and Power (Spirit) of God. Vs. 13 – 16