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“He also Descended First”

Ephesians 4:9-10


Before the Lord Jesus Christ could ascend up into heaven, he first had to descend from heaven to accomplish the will of God, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to make an end of transgression, to obtain eternal redemption for his elect, to save his people from their sins. That is what the Spirit of God tells us in Ephesians 4:9-10.


David’s Prophecy

David wrote about the fact that before the Messiah could ascend on high, he must first undergo deep humiliation, for his ascension is a proof of his humiliation and of his accomplishments as our God-man Mediator. Here is another of the many proofs of our Lord’s deity. He who is God the Son was the Son of Man long before he became a man, long before his humiliation (John 3:13).

      The Son of God, the Lord of Glory, descended into the lower parts of the earth in the incarnation. — “My substance was not hidden from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth” (Psalm 139:15). He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, and was buried in the earth. Our Lord Jesus humbled himself first, then he was exalted. First he descended, then he ascended. The same must be true of us. — “He that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.


All Things Fulfilled

The ascension of Christ as our Mediator, Substitute, Representative, and Savior is the fulfilling of all things. When our Lord Jesus, by the merit of his blood, entered into heaven and took possession of all things as our Forerunner, he filled all the types and shadows of the Old Testament, and all the prophecies of Holy Scripture.

      Our ascended Sovereign fills all his offices (Prophet, Priest, King) for us. He fills his church with his power. He fills his people with his presence. He fills the world with his goodness. He fills heaven with his glory, having obtained eternal redemption for us. And he fills us with his grace.


The Benefits

I want you to see that the ascension of Christ is indescribably beneficial to God’s elect. In verse 7 we are told that every believer receives the fulness of grace from the ascended Christ. Everything that our souls need is freely given to us by “the measure of the gift of Christ.” He gives us pardon, righteousness, and peace. He gives us joy and sanctification. He gives us his Spirit. He gives us himself. All this and indescribably more he gives to us freely by the measure of his own infinite capacity as our Savior. — “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10). All grace, all salvation, all that God requires of man, all that God gives to man, all that Christ himself is, and all that he possesses as the God-man our Savior is ours in him!







Don Fortner








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