- Published: 12 December 2010
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In these few verses we find the depth and the height mentioned in Eph 3:18. It is the depth in which we once were and the height to which the love of God has exalted the firstborn of the dispensation of the mystery.
Note in the first verse the words in italics. It is not necessary to drop down 5 verses to find a verb to take care of the ellipsis (a word or phrase left out). It is found in the preceding verse and right at hand. According to the structure, this subject began with the prayer in chapter 1, verse 15. So all of chapter one from verse 15 leads up to this expression, And you. The note in the Companion Bible suggests Even you.
So verse 1 here means, Even you hath He filled with all this fulness, even you who were dead by trespasses and sins. What a contrast of the then and now! The depth to which they at one time had fallen was being dead in trespasses and sins. This speaks of the natural man, and his inheritance from Adam aided and abetted by the world, the flesh and the devil. There is only one reason for this great change and it is in verse 5, Grace.
Note the three things that work together against the natural man; the course of this world, the prince of the power of the air (Satan), and the lusts of our flesh. Contrast this with the giving up of the nations in Rom 1:18-32 where 3 times it is said that God gave them up or gave them over. It does not mention the world, the flesh and the devil as being responsible, but their own wilfulness. They suppressed truth in unrighteousness, they did not glorify God, were unthankful, imagined things, worshiped images, and the like, even as today.
In verse one Paul says you, but in verse 5 he includes himself with those who had been dead. This is surprising, for at one time Paul had been a great religionist. He was a Pharisee, so he was a party man. He had taken sides in religion. But finally he realized his own fallen state while on a road.
We have said the depth was deep in trespasses and sins. But look at the height; made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. And we are told that He is in a place far above all power and authority. The ones who were in the depths of trespasses and sins at one time are now seated with Christ in heavenly places.
In verse 7 we have part of the length mentioned. It is in the ages to come that these folks will experience further kindness. The other extreme of the length is before the overthrow of the world in 1:4, chosen in Christ before the overthrow to live in the ages to come in heavenly places.
In view of all these blessings, we who once were dead in trespasses and sins are now asked to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called (4:1).
Note the words But God in verse 4. This is like Selah. Take note, is what it means. Notice that God loved us while yet dead in sins. His mercy could only be manifested because of the blood of Christ. Only in Christ can we be in the heavenlies.