4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:4-6)
The Apostle Paul has set forth the truth that solely on the basis of God’s rich mercy and great love with which He loved rebellious sinners like you and me, God initiated an action on the sinner’s behalf, even as sinners were was dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3).
What action has God done? He has made the spiritually dead sinner alive in Christ. The sinner has been spiritually resurrected and brought to new life in Christ. God imparted unto us new life. This necessitated a new birth by the Holy Spirit called regeneration (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:1-5). Regeneration always precedes conversion (John 3:3).
Secondly, God has raised us up with Him. The Lord has resurrected us into new life and living. It is a spiritual resurrection which foreshadows the believer’s bodily resurrection in Christ (I Corinthians 15:35-49).
Thirdly, the Lord has “seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The word seated (συγκαθίζω; synkathizo) literally means to be sit down together. This positional fellowship believers presently have with God is in the heavenly places. This means the domain of God and His angels. This fellowship is solely for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The IVP New Testament Background Commentary states, “Scholars have compared the image of the exaltation of the believers in 2:6 with the fairly common Jewish image of the righteous enthroned in the world to come; Christians have begun to experience the life of the coming age in advance. The context would drive an additional point home especially forcefully to readers once enslaved by fear of Fate or the stars: to be “seated with Christ” means in 2:6 what it meant in 1:20–21—to be enthroned over the evil powers. Christians need not fear demons, Fate or anything else; their lives are ruled by God.”
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The tense of “raised” and “seated” indicates that these are immediate and direct results of salvation. Not only is the believer dead to sin and alive to righteousness through Christ’s resurrection, but he also enjoys his Lord’s exaltation and shares in his preeminent glory. In the heavenly places is the supernatural realm where God reigns. In 3:10 and 6:12, however, it also refers to the supernatural sphere where Satan temporarily rules. This spiritual realm is where believers’ blessings are (cf. Eph. 1:3), their inheritance is (1 Pet. 1:4), their affections should be (Col. 3:3), and where they enjoy fellowship with the Lord. It is the realm from which all divine revelation has come and where all praise and petitions go.”
May we all give thanks today for God’s great grace in seating us in the heavenly realms with Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!