Ephesians 4:9 In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean?
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?
Here where Paul says He (Jesus) ascended is Paul’s fore gone conclusion that to ascend one must first descend. Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. here we see the descending Christ. (Philippians 2:6, 7) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ( Philippians 2: 8) And in the Gospel of John we read ( No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.) 3:13. This is a key verse so we can understand that our salvation comes from above far above any man’s achievements.
What does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? This is the verse the Roman Catholic Church doctrine of “Limbo” (Limbus Patrum) is drawn from. In which they make contiguous or close to Hell. Where they claim the patriarchs and those who maybe were not quite good enough, went when they died till the coming of Christ. And they went hither as a holding place , they could be elevated by penitence and candle lighting. All which is factitious and false. Consider the place where Abraham was with Lazarus in His bosom in ( Luke 16:23) and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. There is a great gulf between them. All the spirits of the patriarchs and all other redeemed return to God. There Heaven and Hell and no in-between. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The Lord Jesus went to no such place at His death, but went to paradise where the penitent thief was. It is appointed unto all men once to die. The redeemed will go to Heaven and the unredeemed will go to hell. ” The lower parts of the earth, “A mother womb, ( Psalms 139:15) The grave is referred to as the lower parts of the earth.The to these two verses is the God descended to man, man did and cannot ascend to God. The plan of mans salvation comes from above. It is started, maintained and completed by God.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1: 24,25)