Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
- Ephesians 4.8
O helper of workers, ruler of all the good, guard on the ramparts and defender of the faithful, who lift up the lowly and crush the proud, ruler of the faithful...I beg that me, a little man trembling and most wretched, rowing through the infinite storm of this age, Christ may draw after Him to the lofty most beautiful haven of life...
- Anonymous, Adiutor Laborantium, Irish, 6th century
When Jesus ascended to heaven He “took captivity captive.” That is, all those, chosen before the foundations of the world, who had been captive to sin, Satan, and the fear of death, He released from their captivity and claimed as His own. Since then He has been about the business of bringing to Himself all who have been liberated by His resurrection, those given to Him by the Father from before the foundations of the world (Jn. 17.6; Eph. 1.4).
If you are captive to Christ, you are no longer captive to sin. You are free in Jesus for new and abundant and fruitful life, glorifying God in all things (1 Cor. 10.31).
This is why Paul can say that even now all who believe on Jesus are seated with Him at the right hand of God (Eph. 2.6). Sin no longer controls us. Satan’s grip on us is broken. And death has no sting or victory over those who believe in Jesus.
We are captive to Him, and He will never let us go.
And now, belonging to Him as we do, He has bestowed upon us abundant gifts, so that we might use them in service to His Name and for the progress of His Kingdom. We may be little men, but gifted by Christ, the sky’s the limit with respect to what we may accomplish in His Name. Our gifts may seem as widow’s mites compared with those of others, but when they are invested fully in the Lord’s Kingdom, they receive abundant favor with Him.
If we believe that He owns us, and that He has gifted us, let us give evidence of this faith by obeying Him and living as His disciples and witnesses. Not only will He take us to be with Him where He is, but we will discover the secret of living our lives here and now from the perspective and in the power of there and then.
We are captives of Jesus; let us take our world captive to serve Him as well!
Psalm 68.19, 20 (O Store Gud: “How Great Thou Art”)
Blessed be the Lord, our burden daily bearing, O God our God, our Savior and our King!
With us salvation and deliv’rance sharing, He life from death His people daily brings.
Sing to the Lord, O Kingdoms of the earth! Ancient of Days – praise Him on high!
Behold He speaks; His Word is going forth; Ancient of Days – praise Him on high!
Gird me with Your strength today, O Lord, and direct my steps to glorify You with everything You have given me. Adapted from “Faeth Fiada”
T. M. Moore, Principal