THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
1:19b-23 - The Study
"The Workings of God's Might In Christ"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


 

TOPIC CHART - "The Workings of God's Might In Christ," 1:19b-23

 

19b These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might

THE FATHER'S MIGHT

20     Which He brought about

THE FATHER BRINGS ABOUT

               in Christ, When

IN CHRIST

        He raised Him from the dead, and

THE FATHER RAISED CHRIST

        He seated Him at

THE FATHER SEATED CHRIST

            His right hand in the heavenly places,

THE FATHER IN HEAVEN

21             far above all

THE FATHER SET CHRIST FAR ABOVE.....

                    rule and

RULE AND RULERS

                    authority and

AUTHORITY AND AUTHORITIES

                    power and

POWER AND POWERS

                    dominion and

DOMINION AND DOMINIONS

                    every name that is named

EVERY NAME CALLED OUT FOR AUTHORITY

        not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And

NOW AND THE FUTURE

22    He

THE FATHER

            put all things in subjection under His feet, and

THE FATHER PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION

            gave Him as head over all things to the church,

THE FATHER GAVE CHRIST AS HEAD OF THE CHURCH

23            which is His body,

BELIEVERS ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST

                the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

THE CHURCH REPRESENTS CHRIST'S FULLNESS

 

 

COMMENTARY - "The Workings of God's Might In Christ," 1:19b-23

 

Ephesians 1:19b-23 - The Workings of God's Might In Christ

 

1:19b-21    The Workings of the Father

 

(1:19b)
                       These are in accordance with the working of the strength of
His might
(1:20)
                           
which He brought about
                                
in Christ,
                               when He
                                    raised Him
from the dead, and
                                    seated Him
at His right hand
                                     
in
the heavenly places,

(1:21)
                                         far
above
                                               all rule
and
                                               authority
and
                                               power
and
                                               dominion,
and
                                               every name
that is named,
                                         not only
in this age, but also
                                     
in the one to come.

 

If you are in-Christ the power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you. The work of the Cross of Christ has resulted in the Power of God being able to efficiently and effectively raise you from both the Spiritual deadness that has separated you from God and to also literally raise you from the deadness of the grave into newness of both body and life.

 

The power of God is demonstrated in the lives of those who have willingly chosen to believe upon His Son, Jesus Christ. The emphasis of this verse is upon the Power of God as He exercised it upon His Son. The resurrection of The Christ, the placing of Him at God's own right hand in Heaven itself. The right hand position indicates Christ's power as God's own son. He now sits upon the throne beside God the Father and God the Father has put Christ in charge. The extent to which God the Father has put His Son in charge includes everyone and everything. The force of the verse is that Christ is over the heavenly powers of this world. Not just the good angels but over Satan and all of his demons and workers. Further, Paul states, Christ is over every Name that could be called out as an authority. That power has been placed into His hands for NOW and THE FUTURE (Now and Forever).

 

It is also important that we do not miss Paul's statement that Christ has been seated on the throne. His work is finished, He has done all that He needed to do, and doing all that, He sat down. It was His work that was done, and when He finished what He was sent to do, He said "It is finished." And He sat down.

 

It should be noted as well that Christ has been given the authority to be the absolute head of everything that pertains to the Body of Christ, the Ekklesia, the body of called-out ones, those who have been set apart to God. We call this group "the Church." Not the local church, not any denomination or religious group, but every member of universal Body of Christ. We all report to Him and Him alone. The Body of Christ is the fullness of God the Father's accomplishments through Jesus Christ. We certainly can add no fullness to God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit, but we represent His fullness, filling all that can be filled as we are The Body of Christ.

 

quote:  "there is nothing (or no one) so elevated or excellent, by whatever name it may be named, that is not subject to the majesty of Christ"  "Not just names - but the entire command and government of the universe."  John Calvin.  (http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comment/calvin/comm_vol41/htm/iv.ii.v.htm (2 of 3) Verse 22 of Ephesians 1:20-23)

 


 

(1:22)
                        
And He put all things
                                 
in subjection
                                 
under His feet,
                        
and gave Him as head
                                 
over all things to the church,

  

Continuing in the same line of thought, God the Father upon Christ's resurrection from the dead proclaimed Jesus Christ as the ultimate ruler of all things pertaining to the Ekklesia (the Church) (thus: The Church of Jesus Christ). This is a specific proclamation made so that there would be no misunderstanding about who would be the Lord of this new body of "set-apart" ones. No man would ever have the "divine" right proclaim himself ruler of the church. This title and responsibility would always and fully belong only to the Son of God who the Father resurrected to life.

 

Christ, by nature of who He is, was already the creator and sustainer of all that is but God the Father has declared that there would be no misunderstanding about who was head of the body of Christ.

 

This brings up the issue of the long contentious argument "Is Christ your Lord, Is Christ your Savior, Can he be one and not the other?" Without trying to stir-up this old "hobby horse," there is certainly this one sense that Christ is "The Savior of the World" (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14) and absolute Lord over all things of the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 1:20-23). There can be no debate amongst those who hold a high view of the Scriptures that these two statements are absolutely true. The long argued "Savior / Lord" issue is about personal relationship and works - not about the absolute truth of Christ's position as set-up by God the Father.

 

Certainly those who have never been called of God and and followed Him by Faith into belief that He is the Christ have any right to expect entitlement to anything that comes as a relationship benefit in the Body of Christ. Yet there are apparently many who have never heard the call of God nor responded in faith who share pew space amongst us in our local churches. And there are those who, even though called and in-Christ by faith, never allow themselves to submit to His full authority in their lives. In fact, most of us are only somewhere in the transition between carnal and spiritual.

 

So in every local body there are two kinds of people - the saved, and the unsaved. Our responsibilities to both groups is the same ... for the saved amongst us we must wholeheartedly endeavor to strive in unity for growth and spiritual maturity for His sake. For the unsaved amongst us we must wholeheartedly endeavor to strive for their salvation. They are the closest to us, they are among us in our local churches, they are the immediate evangelistic ministry. What keeps them from coming to Christ? Probably calloused hearts. They have come and been poorly fed or poorly treated during their church lives and see no need for further communion with Christ. What a tragedy. Reach out to them, touch them, show them Jesus in your relationships with them, win them.

 


 

(1:23)

                                        which is His body,
                                           the fullness
of Him who fills all in all.


It is those who have been called, those who have responded to God's call with belief by Faith, who officially make up the "Body of Christ." This group is often referred to as "The Church Invisible," "The Universal Church," "The catholic Church (not in the Roman sense)." It is made up of all those who were in Christ in the past and are now dead, those who are now alive in Christ, and all those who are yet to believe and become in Christ.

 

It is this body of believers in Christ who bring a fullness to the plan and purposes of God. We certainly can't add to God and make Him more. He is all in all. But there is the fullness of the completion of His plan of salvation and the making of a people who are wholly His - because they desire it. How wonderful it is to be loved, and loved by someone who just loves you, not because of anything you bring to the table. Think of how God feels when you love Him just because you choose to love Him and love Him through the means and by the path that He has prescribed through His son Jesus. That is His fullness.

 

VISUALIZED TEXT - "The Workings of God's Might In Christ," 1:19b-23

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1 (conjunctions & prepositions, words not in original text in italics) (alternate text in purple)

(1:19b)
                       These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
(1:20)
                           
which He brought about
                                
in Christ,
                               when He
                                    raised Him
from the dead, and
                                    seated Him
at His right hand
                                     
in the heavenly places,
(1:21)
                                        
far
above
                                               all rule
and
                                               authority
and
                                               power
and
                                               dominion,
and
                                               every name
that is named,
                                         not only
in this age, but also
                                     
in the one to come.
(1:22)
                        
And He put all things
                                 
in subjection
                                 
under His feet,
                        
and gave Him as head
                                 
over all things to the church,
(1:23)
                                       
which is His body,
                                           the fullness
of Him who fills all in all.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "The Workings of God's Might In Christ," 1:19b-23

 

(1:19b)
"These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might"
1.    The last sentence of this verse implies what concerning God's power?
        God's power is aimed at making known the riches of His grace of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and specifically, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and seating Him at the right hand of God.
2.    What is the implication for you as a believer as to the intentions of God and His power?
        The implication is that God expends His power on the behalf of the believer.
3.    Is God's might working?

        God's power and might is working on behalf of His glory through the saints - The Body of Christ.

 


 

(1:20)
"which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,"
1.    What did God bring about in Christ ... ?

        The Hope of His calling, The Riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
2.    Revisit what it means to be "in Christ," and what it means here.
        Remembering from earlier in chapter 1, the "sphere" of being "in-Christ." This "sphere" of responsibility include all that Christ has done, is doing, and will do on behalf of the individual members of "The Body of Christ." These three particular responsibilities (#2) are especially pointed out as being "in-Christ" by virtue of His resurrection and ascension.
3.    When did this take place?

        At the Resurrection of Christ.
4.    How did this take place?
        At the time of the Resurrection, God brought about in Christ, a new hope of His calling, a revelation of the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and a demonstration of the greatness of His power toward us who believe.
5.    Who raised Jesus from the dead?
        God the Father is given the credit for raising Jesus from the dead in this passage.
6.    Why did God raise Jesus from the dead?
        As the just and righteous response to the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross bringing forgiveness for the sins of the world - God demonstrated His pleasure with His Son's obedience through the Resurrection.
7.    How did Jesus die?
        His death occurred on the Cross through crucifixion.
8.    Who killed Jesus?
        A perversion of twisted Jewish law found Jesus guilty of blaspheme, the Roman legal system - although they found Him not guilty of any crime worthy of death - was responsible for declaring Him to be crucified, however, no one killed Jesus the Christ. It was Jesus Himself who yielded up His own spirit. No man, men, or human institution can kill God.
9.    What was Jesus' reward?
        The declaration of putting all things in subjection to His power.
10.  Where did God place Jesus?
        God the Father placed Jesus the Christ at His right hand - the place of power.
11.  What is the implication that Jesus is "seated" and not "standing?"
        His work is finalized, done, and complete. He no longer has any need to stand and labor, now He is in the position of sitting - as He said, "It is finished."
12.  What is the implication of God's right hand?
        Being at the right hand of a King is the position of power - "The right hand man." 
13.  Where did this take place?
        In the Heavenlies.
14.  When did this take place?
        Following the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.

 


 

(1:21)
"far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come."
1.    What relationship does this "seating" have on heavenly and worldly powers?

        This position of power is "above" ALL other authorities and powers.
2.    What are the differences among rule, authority, power, and dominion?
        These terms work up the ladder of power from the lowest to the hightest.
3.    What names could be named to fit these authorities?
        Kings, presidents, senators, representatives, police, sheriffs, guards, masters, religious leaders, angles, demons, satanic hosts, Satan himself, etc.
4.    When is this power applied?
        The age of Israel, and the age of the church (Israel was the age when the statement was made, the age of the Church was "the one to come."

 


 

(1:22)
"And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,"
1.    Who put all things under whose feet?
        God the Father put all things under the feet of Jesus Christ.
2.    What does "subjection" mean?
        The Greek word here is hupotasso, under-submission, to be subdued, to be placed under subjection (to be come a subject of another).
3.    How much power does it take to do this?
        In order to place all things under submission would take all power.
4.    Who has this kind of authority?
        Only God.
5.    Who gave Him as head over all things to the church?

        God the Father gave Jesus Christ as head.
6.    What does "head" or "headship." mean?
        Headship implies the "control center" of all power, much as the head of the physical body contains the brain that controls the rest of the body.
7.  What does the preposition "over" mean here?
        The place of authority - to be over someone else is to be in a place of authority concerning them.
8.  How many things is He over?
        ALL things.
9.  How many is all?

        ALL.
10.  Is He head over you?
        As head over ALL - YES.
11.  What does that mean to the church?
        That Jesus Christ is responsible and accountable for the rule and ministry of the church (ekklesia).
12.  Which church?
        The Ekklesia, the Body of Christ, The Church Universal, all those who have, are, or will be believers in The Lord Jesus Christ.
13.  If you are a believer, who is the authority over your life?
        It should be Jesus Christ ALONE, no other being or organization (spiritual or otherwise) is given the right to be head over you.

 


 

(1:23)
"which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
1.    What is "His body?"
        The New Testament defines His body as those who have willingly believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior alone.
2.    List the implications of being "His body."
        The "body" implies there are body parts and a head. The head controls the body, the body parts follow the leadership of the head.
3.    Who is the "fullness of Him?"
        The Body of Christ bring fullness to God the Father.
4.    How many or how much is "all?"
        ALL.
7.    How many or how much is "all in all" then?
        All raised to the allth power, All X all, a way of saying ALL that includes everything, everyone, everywhere.
8.    Are you part of the fullness which fills Him?

 

BIBLICAL REFERENCE - "The Workings of God's Might In Christ," 1:19b-23

 

(1:19b)
 
"and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might"
    Ephesians 3:7 - "The working of His power"
    Philippians 3:21 - "Able to subdue all things unto Himself"
    Colossians 1:29 - "I labor, striving according to His labor"
    Ephesians 6:10 - "In the strength of His might"

 


 

(1:20)
"which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,"
    Acts 2:24 - "Whom God hath raised up"
    Mark 16:19 - "Sat on the right hand of God"
    Ephesians 1:3 - "In the heavenly places"

 


 

(1:21)
"far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come."
    Matthew 28:18 - "All power is given unto Me"
    Romans 8:38 - List of "Authorities"
    Ephesians 3:10 - "In the heavenly places"
    Colossians 1:16 - List of "Authorities"
    John 17:11 - "Father... through Thine own name"
    Philippians 2:9 - "A name which is above every name"
    Ephesians 2:2 - "walked according to the course of this world"

 


 

(1:22)
"And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,"
    1 Corinthians 15:27 - "All things under His feet"
    Psalms 8:6 - "All things under His feet"
    1 Corinthians 11:3 - "Be ye followers... of Christ"
    Ephesians 4:15 - "The head, even Christ"
    Ephesians 5:23 - "Christ also is the head"
    Colossians 1:18 - "He is the head of the body"
    Colossians 2:19 - "The head... from which... the body is nourished"

 


 

(1:23)
"which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
    1 Corinthians 12:27 - "Now ye are the body of Christ"
    Ephesians 4:12 - "Building up the body"
    Ephesians 5:30 - "We are members of His body"
    Colossians 1:18 - "He is the head of the body"
    Colossians 1:24 - "For His body's sake, which is the Church"
    Colossians 2:19 - "The head, from which all the body..."
    John 1:16 - "And of His fullness, we have all received"
    Ephesians 3:19 - "That you may be filled up"
    Ephesians 4:10 - "That He might fill all things"
    Colossians 3:11 - "Christ is all, and in all"

    Romans 6:4-6 raised by His Glory - power

    Romans 6:4-6 Raised by His glory (power)

 


 

[1] Strong, Augustus Hopkins, Systematic Theology, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, NJ, Twenty-seventh printing, 1970, p. 418

[2] Calvin, John, biblestudyguide.org/comment/calvin/comm_vol41/htm/iv.iii.ii.htm (1 of 3)  Ephesians 4:2-7, Verse 4

 


1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."

 


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49_eph_1_19b-23_Study.htm

2014-09-24 1842