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Ephesians, Chapter Four, Lesson Two

WALKING IN GRACE            Page 4

V. 9 ** In using the Old Testament psalm of David, Paul's reader could become confused. So he now offers an explanation of how we are to understand his meaning. How does Paul explain the "He ascended" portion of what he just said in verse eight?

"Now this expression, 'He ascended'..." means that "He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth".

Ascended - Acts 1:9-11, Ephesians 1:20
Descended - Colossians 2:15, 1Peter 3:18-19

** To where did Jesus Christ descend?

To "the lower parts of the earth".

** Where is that?

Sheol, Hades, the place of the dead.

All see - Luke 16:19-31, cf. 1Corinthians 15:55-57

Scriptures show us two locations in Hades that death held people captive prior to the time of Jesus Christ. The pleasant side was known as Abraham's bosom, while the other was "a place of torment". When Paul used Psalm 68, he was describing how Jesus Christ took captive to Himself those who had believed in God by grace and where being held captive by death.

V.10 ** Why do you suppose Paul would now reemphasize his point about Jesus Christ's descension and ascension?

Three reasons:
1) To mark out Jesus Christ as the only One who could do what He did on behalf of His own.
cf. John 10:11

2) To show that His humiliation preceded His glorification. cf. Philippians 2:8-9

3) To illustrate His glorious divine presence and power expressed in universal sovereignty.
cf. Ephesians 1:23 and Colossians 3:11

Let me say also, that the context of Ephesians 4:8-10 is not strong enough on its own to support the view that we have just explored. However, with the support of all of the other passages we have looked at, I am strongly convinced of the use and application of the Scriptures we have seen today.

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