The Victorious King Gives Grace (Ephesians 4:7-10)
Scripture: Ephesians 4:7-10
After dealing with Christian unity in Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul now turns to diversity in the body of Christ. Each member has been given grace by Christ as He determines. God gives gifts.
Paul cites Psalm 68:18 in a slightly modified form to prove that. The modification involves a change from “receiving gifts” to “gave gifts.” Much has been written about this. In this sermon we look at Psalm 68 as it is about God as the triumphant warrior who delivers His people. In the OT context, kings would pay tribute in such a situation, and thus gifts would be received. However, under the NT application Christ defeated the hostile spiritual beings that the Ephesians had feared in their past and then ascended to the highest place. Those powers of darkness had nothing to give. It is God who gives men gifts as will be explained in verse 11 of Ephesians 4. Psalm 68 predicts that Gentiles will come and worship God and that is what has happened.
We also discuss the issue of Christ descending to the lower parts of the earth. Rather than theorizing about details of that, we see that this comforts the Ephesians that Christ’s victory was comprehensive and therefore they need not fear the powers of the underworld such as Hekate. The descent, work of atonement, and ascent of Christ results in Him ruling over all things from the highest place. Therefore His people are safe and can trust Him for everything they need. We show passages that explain the exaltation of Christ.
Sermon slides and handout are available under the Downloads tab.