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The Exalted Christ – Eph. 1:20-23


The Exalted Christ

Text: Ephesians 1:20B-23

The power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, also empowered his ascension into heaven, and seated Him at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. And that’s what we come to in this second section of this passage. READ H/C  Lord’s Day 19, Q50 Why is it added, and sits at the right hand of God? The answer we must give is: A. Christ ascended into heaven to manifest himself there as Head of his church, through whom the Father governs all things.  Let’s see:-eid

1 The PLACE where Christ is seated.   V20  

This is important, for because a human man, a man with a resurrected physical body is in heaven, we can go there too, and our bodies will be physically resurrected, just like his.  1 John 3:2  And because he is our HEAD, – the head of his body, the church, in that sense we have double assurance for eternity, we are already partially in glory – in him.  So, Paul reaffirms all of this for us here in Ephesians 1. Jesus is 

  • At God’s RIGHT HAND. 
    • It is the place of greatest honour!  The psalmist in Psalm 110:1 had prophesied this many years before. Do you see that there is an eschatological element to Psalm 110:1, – there is a time factor. Jesus is seated at God’s right hand, until his enemies are made his footstool. Sometimes when we look at this world around us we wonder how Christ can be victorious. Yet everything on this earth is put under the feet of Christ, we just don’t see it yet – and that’s why there is this reference to the future, when Christ’s glory and victory will be revealed, not just to us but to all of creation. READ Philippians 2:9-10 So there is a ‘now’ and a ‘not yet’ in the passage.
    • And it is the place of completedness. Christ’s work on the cross, his atoning work is finished. He said so on the cross, and now that the work is complete he has sat down!  Hebrews 10:11-14 
  • In HEAVENLY PLACES.  Everything in both heaven and earth are subject to our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, the place where the risen exalted Christ is seated is at the right hand of the Father in heaven. But Paul goes on…

2 The POSITION that Christ Holds. 21  

Paul is really laying on the superlatives now, isn’t he!  He is saying that Jesus is far better, far more superior than anything in this whole wide world!  It’s a similar theme to the book of Hebrews, where the preacher sets out to demonstrate the superiority of Christ, – he is better than the angels, better than Moses, better than the Jewish priesthood… quite simply, our wonderful saviour is so amazing, that no superlative can do him justice.  READ Colossians 1:15-18  Paul stresses Christ’s preeminence here when he says that Jesus is above:-

  • Every principality. A principality is just a kingdom, ruled by a royal house, – a king or a potentate.
  • Every power. This world is primarily ruled by shadowy faceless people who pull strings behind the scenes, –  globalists, international bankers, technocrats, billionaires, big pharmaceutical companies, weapons manufacturers… and so on.  
  • Every might. Think of the great armies of this world. The mighty US Army, the Russians, marching relentlessly through Ukraine, – unstoppable – the rogue states like North Korea, nuclear weapons in the hands of a despotic dictator.  And spiritual darkness, and satanic activities too. Ephesians 6:12  
  • Every dominion and name. Every reputation, – the titles that people give to others and themselves, all the great honours of this world, kings and queens, presidents and potentates. 

Think of all these great powers, and everything in this world that exalts itself – are nothing, are worms of the dirt, compared with the glory, and might and power and authority of our risen, ascended Saviour. Remember that!  READ Psalm 2:1-4  They are nobodies, – for Jesus is Lord! And that is not just now, but for all eternity, for Paul adds, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  

Here’s Psalm 110:1-4

1 The LORD said to my Lord: 
“Sit here at my right hand,
 Until I make your foes a stool
on which your feet may stand.”

2 The LORD will make your reign 
extend from Zion’s hill;
With royal power you’ll rule among 
those who oppose your will.

3 When you display your power, 
your people flock to you;
At dawn, arrayed in holiness, 
your youth will come like dew.

4 Unchangeably the LORD
with solemn purpose swore:
“Just like Melchizedek you are 
a priest for evermore.”

Sing Psalms

3 The Purpose of His Exaltation. Ephesians 1: 22  

Now we get to the application of this, and Paul is still expounding upon Psalm 110, but he adds the reason why Jesus is exalted, why he has put his enemies under his feet. This is all for YOU! It is for his church, those whom he has redeemed out of bondage and adopted into his family, and made his own through his sacrificial death. Christ is seated in glory, so that we can also be seated in glory!  All this amazing power and might that is his by right and by merit, is devoted to the preservation and blessing of his church.  READ the great commission: Matthew 28:18-20 . For the believer that is the ultimate security, because the one who rescued us is far greater than anyone in this world, or even in the spiritual realms, there is nothing and nobody who can separate us from him.  READ: Romans 8:38-39   And, of course, because of all of that, he is worthy of all our praise!

So, what have we learned? That the same power that raised Christ from the dead, also has seated him in heavenly places, where he is exalted as the mighty king, more powerful in his reign than any other force or power in this earth, and that one day he will demonstrate that power at his coming, The effect of this, is that for those who are on the Lord’s side, we are invincible! 


© Bob McEvoy 2022

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