“Which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and sitting him at the right hand in the heavenly places above every ruler and authority and power and dominion and every name which has been named — not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”
One of the beauties of Paul’s letters is not only is he a systematic thinker who lays out the depths of theology before the church of Jesus Christ, but also that he occasionally breaks out into benedictions. It is an ongoing reminder to us that while the Christian faith does have intellectual content, that content of our faith ought always draw us to bask in the awe that we have for our savior. How remarkable and amazing is our God! Truth about Him and praise for Him must never be made separate. As the Sons of Korah wrote:
“Great is Yahweh! Worthy of Praise!
In the city of our God and on his holy mountain!”
(Psalm 48:2, verse 1 in English translations)
Yet, we must not stop here, presuming that this is merely an expression of Paul’s awe for our Savior. For indeed, in praising Christ, he lays out an important principle. The principle is that Jesus is enthroned over all creation. He is not waiting for some future reign as some Christians would suggest, but he already reigns from heaven on high. And he reigns over all things. He certainly reigns over his church, which Paul will bring out in the verses that follow, but he rules over nations and powers and authorities in heaven and earth. He has been exalted on high and before him every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Jesus’ reign over creation is not that of a coming and future King, but it is that of a present and eternal King.
One of the sad things in the world today is that many Christians behave and act as if they are a people without a king. They are waiting as it were, but they see no royal authority in power, only chaos reigning on earth. Many behave, then, as if it did not matter how they lived and many more behave as if this world is a fearful place. My friends, that is not the attitude of the Apostle Paul. No. He sees Christ exalted on his throne and ruling over the world. Indeed, the enemy has sought to usurp power and hold territory that is not his own, but it is our role as the church to attack such ideas and to engage the enemy with the confidence that only comes from the knowledge that our King reigns over all creation — things in heaven and on earth and under the earth. We have nothing to fear in the created order — only Him who has redeemed us from death.
Think about how radically our culture would change if the church adopted the mindset of the Apostle Paul rather than the mindset of the defeatists. At times, I have been accused of being a “triumphalist” in my theology. To that, I say, “so be it,” for indeed, if I am triumphalistic, then the Apostle Paul is even mores. Christ reigns over all creation and he has commissioned us to take dominion of all creation through the Gospel — by making disciples of all nations. Shall we take dominion over the creation in the name of our glorious King or shall we return to our petty squabbles, fighting to preserve our own little insignificant places on the rock we call earth? What will it be?