Ephesians is replete with groundbreaking (and shaking!) truths for the believer in Christ.
From the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places the apostle Paul (author) details in chapter one, through the work of God’s grace in bringing the dead to life in chapter two to the the mind boggling mystery of God revealed by the Spirit of the inclusion of Gentiles in God’s inheritance, Ephesians is a minefield of precious truths for the believer in Christ.
Looking to chapter two verses 4 to 6 in particular we see God, who constrained by His great love and richness of mercy, refuses to be an onlooker and bystander to our hopeless predicament choosing rather to enter our very ugly narrative mired with sin and hopelessness to bring to life with Christ those who were dead and seat us with Him in the heavenly places.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
This truth (as well as many other mind boggling ones in Ephesians) takes some time to sink in and process: that we are now sat with Christ at the right hand of God. This is where we can now be found. This is our new address in Christ.
God, not only addressed our state in Christ (raising us who were dead in our sins and trespasses up with Him) but gloriously changed our position too (seating us with Him in the heavenly places at His right hand). In the process of getting delivered from from the domain of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved son (Col 1:13), we who were dead were given life by the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11) and sat by God with Him in the heavenly places.
Considering the cause and effect of our initial state (dead in our own sins and trespasses) our current state of undeserved new life topped with a seat at the right hand of God with Christ is beyond comprehension. It defies all logic or rational.
Here’s what’s key though…
God’s truth, you see, does not require our feelings to validate it – it remains true regardless.
Affirming and embracing it in faith (not feelings) is key to releasing it to work powerfully in us.
Don’t wait for your feelings to affirm God’s truth for you – exercise faith in it for its powerful working in your life.
Our change of state and position can only be explained by God’s great love and His rich mercy. This truth is further summarised and put succinctly by the apostle in verses 8 and 9 highlighting the fact of the matter that this is purely a gift of God that is wholly unmeritted.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
But in this process of highlighting the all encompassing role of grace in our salvation, verse 7 gets frequently overlooked, almost lost. Pause and consider, for a moment, the implications of Ephesians 2:4-6. Let us put into perspective and apply the truth of this passage to our own lives here and now.
When raising us up in Christ and seating us with Him in the heavenly places, God was single-minded in His purpose. Enter Ephesians 2:7. It was, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
God’s purpose in saving you by His grace, was to, from here onwards, continually show His kindness to you as an expression of the immeasurable riches of this same grace. In other words, God is purposed, even determined (!), to continue to show you His kindness, now and throughout eternity, without you ever deserving it one single bit. Wow!
God has a single banner (ie declared purpose) over you: His love.
He brought me to the banqueting house,
and his banner over me was love.
Song of Songs 2:4