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Ephesians 4:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But that he also descended - The meaning of the apostle appears to be this: The person who ascended is the Messiah, and his ascension plainly intimates his descension; that is, his incarnation, humiliation, death, and resurrection.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Now that he ascended - That is, it is affirmed in the Psalm that he “ascended” - “Thou hast ascended on high.” This implies that there must have been a previous “descent;” or, as applicable to the Messiah, “it is a truth that he previously descended.” It is by no means certain that Paul meant to say that the “word” “ascended” demonstrated that there must have been a previous descent; but he probably means that in the case of Christ there was, “in fact,” a descent into the lower parts of the earth first. The language used here will appropriately express his descent to earth.

Into the lower parts of the earth - To the lowest state of humiliation. This seems to be the fair meaning of the words. Heaven stands opposed to earth. One is above; the other is beneath. From the one Christ descended to the other; and he came not only to the earth, but he stooped to the most humble condition of humanity here; see Philemon 2:6-8; compare notes on Isaiah 44:23. Some have understood this of the grave; others of the region of departed spirits; but these interpretations do not seem to be necessary. It is the “earth itself” that stands in contrast with the heavens; and the idea is, that the Redeemer descended from his lofty eminence in heaven, and became a man of humble rank and condition; compare Psalm 139:15.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Unto every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given as seems best to Christ to bestow upon every one. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. There is a fulness in Christ, and a measure of that fulness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure till we come to heaven. God's children are growing, as long as they are in this world; and the Christian's growth tends to the glory of Christ. The more a man finds himself drawn out to improve in his station, and according to his measure, all that he has received, to the spiritual good of others, he may the more certainly believe that he has the grace of sincere love and charity rooted in his heart.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 500

In our work we must consider the relation that each worker sustains to the other workers connected with the cause of God. We must remember that others as well as ourselves have a work to do in connection with this cause. We must not bar the mind against counsel. In our plans for the carrying forward of the work, our mind must blend with other minds. TM 500.1

Let us cherish a spirit of confidence in the wisdom of our brethren. We must be willing to take advice and caution from our fellow laborers. Connected with the service of God, we must individually realize that we are parts of a great whole. We must seek wisdom from God, learning what it means to have a waiting, watching spirit, and to go to our Saviour when tired and depressed. TM 500.2

It is a mistake to withdraw from those who do not agree with our ideas. This will not inspire our brethren with confidence in our judgment. It is our duty to counsel with our brethren, and to heed their advice. We are to seek their counsel, and when they give it, we are not to cast it away, as if they were our enemies. Unless we humble our hearts before God, we shall not know His will. TM 500.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1090
Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 76.3

We have a living Saviour. He is not in Joseph's new tomb; He is risen from the dead and has ascended on high as a substitute and surety for every believing soul.... The sinner is justified through the merits of Jesus, and this is God's acknowledgment of the perfection of the ransom paid for man. That Christ was obedient even unto the death of the cross is a pledge of the repenting sinner's acceptance with the Father. Then shall we permit ourselves to have a vacillating experience of doubting and believing, believing and doubting? Jesus is the pledge of our acceptance with God. We stand in favor before God, not because of any merit in ourselves, but because of our faith “in the Lord our righteousness.” RC 76.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1117-8

9-11. See EGW on Romans 16:25. 6BC 1117.1

12. See EGW on Hebrews 4:15, 16. 6BC 1117.2

15. See EGW on Genesis 1:26. 6BC 1117.3

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