During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.
“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..." (Ephesians 2:5–6).
We have now observed why God saved us, but what did God do to rescue us from our previous condition? Spiritually dead, followers in every way, and under the judgment of God, what did God do to snatch us from that old life of despair? In two short verses, Paul tells us God "made us alive together with Christ," "raised us up with" Christ, and "seated us with" Christ. Earlier in this chapter, Paul taught us of the three things we were. Here, we learn of three things God has done to override our previous condition.
First, God made us alive together with Christ, which is the opposite of being dead in our trespasses and sins (see Ephesians 2:1).
The only way a spiritually dead person can commune with God is to be made alive—by God. God must raise the dead person from their deadness. So God makes a believer alive. This spiritual life will give way to eventual physical and eternal life.
Second, God raised us up with Christ, which is the opposite of living as followers of the world, devil, and sinful passions (see Ephesians 2:2-3).
In our raised position we are empowered to follow God. For the first time, believers are enabled to follow God, given the capacity to overcome the pull of sin.
Third, God seated us with Christ in the heavenly places, which is the opposite of our old wrath position (see Ephesians 2:3).
As children of wrath, we had a position of judgment. But in Christ, a believer has a new position, not of wrath, but of the radical grace of God. We no longer occupy the wrath position, but the grace position, the position of Christ Himself.
So believers have been fused together with Christ. Many try to rehabilitate humanity, but God resurrects humanity. This fusion with Christ is the ground and goal of the Christian life. It is the ground because it is foundational to who we are. We cannot move on without a firm understanding of it. It is the goal because our most profound need is an experiential connection to the reality of our new position in Christ. An intimate relationship with Christ is ours for the taking, for Christ has won this grand position for us.