Soteriology -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 104:413 (Jan 1947)
Article: Soteriology
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Soteriology

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Continued from the October-December Number, 1946)

The Savior

Things Accomplished by Christ in His Sufferings and Death

XII. The Spoiling of Principalities and Powers

Important, indeed, is the revelation that there are supermundane dignitaries who under divine permission are exercising transcendental authority. These beings are designated principalities and powers. The title (used twice of earthly rulers—Rom 13:1; Titus 3:1) does not necessarily imply that these beings are evil, though according to the context they are, in the majority of passages wherein this appellation appears, said to be evil. It seems evident that the word principalities (ἀρχή) must convey the fact of their dignity and the word powers (ἐξουσία) the fact of their authority. With reference to those angels who “kept not their first estate,” Jude by the use of ἀρχή declares that they departed from the place of dignity, but then no implication is advanced that they sacrificed any aspect of their power and authority (Jude 6). They are created beings (Col 1:16), and their abode, though above the sphere of humanity in might (Heb 2:9), is lower than the thone of God where Christ is now seated (Eph 1:21; Heb 10:12). Over these and all supermundane beings Christ Himself is now in supreme authority (Col 2:10). The Church is now God’s instrumentality by which He makes known unto these beings “the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph 3:10), as in the ages to come He will make known by the Church the “exceeding riches of his grace” (Eph 2:7). These celestial dignities are now exercising their power in conflict with the saints on earth

(Eph 6:12), and so the Apostle Paul states that among all the opposing forces not even the principalities and powers are “able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38, 39). It is likewise revealed that Satan, who bears the title of The Prince of the Power of the Air (

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