Dave continued his series on Ephesians 2:1-7 last night, looking in particular at verse 6: “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms with Christ Jesus.”
The first thing to notice here is that God has already done this: the verbs are in the past tense, indicating a completed action, not something that is awaiting us in the future. ‘Heavenly realms’ (a term also used in Ephesians 1:3 and 2 Cor 12:2) indicates the place where God dwells in glory. In this passage in Ephesians, we see a contrast between what is no longer true of Christians and what is currently true.
We no longer…
1)…belong to the world
Even though we live in the world, we are no longer citizens of earth. Heb 11:13 and 1 Peter 2:11 use the phrase ‘aliens and strangers’. At one time we belonged to the world and were subject to sin, but that is no longer the case.
2) …live under Satan’s rule
Ephesians 2:2 reminds us that we used to follow Satan’s rule. The world may mock the notion of the devil, but the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor 4:4). Christians have been turned from darkness to light and Satan no longer has power over our lives. We have been given the power to resist him.
3) …live under God’s wrath
God has forgiven us and we are free from His judgment; we have passed from condemnation to life.
Now that God has rescued us, we…
1) …belong to God’s kingdom
Our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth (Phil 3:20)
2) …live under the control of the Holy Spirit
We are ‘under new management’! Rom 8:14 reminds us that those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
3) …are near to God
The ‘heavenly realms’ indicate the place where God manifests His presence and glory. Hebrews 4:16 and Hebrews 10:19-22 remind us that we have access to His presence. Hebrews 12:22-24 reminds us that we can ‘come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.’
Jesus is seated at the right hand of God (Heb 1:3, Heb 10:12). To be seated indicates authority and completion. While a man is working, he does not sit down and rest. Being seated indicates the work is finished and is a sign that Jesus has won the victory. Our redemption is complete, our salvation eternally safe. We can rejoice in this and rest in the victory God has provided for us or we can continue to strive as if we need to do something more to secure our salvation. Which shall it be?