THE FIVE MINISTRY GIFTS TO THE CHURCH
HOW CHRIST WON THE RIGHT TO GIVE GIFTS
-APOSTLES, PROPHETS, EVANGELIST, PASTORS, TEACHERS-
Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) (Eph. 4:8-10)
In explaining the application of the Old Testament passage, Paul says, Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth? The He of whom Paul is speaking is the One who will fill all things—Jesus Christ, “who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:23). Ascended refers to Jesus’ ascension from earth to heaven (Acts 1:9–11). He ascended from earth to heaven to forever reign with His Father.
Paul is quick to explain that the expression He ascended cannot mean anything except that He … also descended. If, as seems clear, ascended refers to our Lord’s being taken up to heaven, then descended must refer to His coming down from heaven to earth. The captain of our salvation was first abased and then exalted. Divestiture came before investiture, incarnation before glorification (see Phil. 2:4–11). This truth is repeated in proper chronological sequence in verse 10 (Phil. 2:10): He who descended is Himself also He who ascended. ...Read More