Vol. 14 No. 45
As we have noted in vs. 5, God’s grace was working to provide the believer a new life in Christ, which entailed rescue from Divine wrath, (eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire), now in vs. 6 we will see two more results of God’s grace that are part of our “spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ,” Eph 1:3.
Eph 2:6, “And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.”
This passage looks back to Eph 1:20-23 and shows the marked contrast between the believers’ former lost condition and our present situation in Christ. While we still live in mortal bodies on earth, we also participate in the resurrection life of Christ.
It begins with the coordinating Conjunction KAI for “and” that includes the blessing of our “new life in Christ” with what we are about to see in this verse. Therefore, God’s grace, mercy, and love have done three things:
- “Made us alive with Christ.”
- “Raised us up with Christ.”
- “Seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
Here we have three blessing in the context that all use the prefix SUN, “with.”
The first was in vs. 5, SUZOOPOIEO, and is translated, “made alive together with Him.”
The second is here in vs. 6, SUNEGEIREN, and is translated, “raised us up with Christ.”
The third is also here in vs. 6,
SUNEKATHISEN, and is used for, “seated us with Him.”
So, the second blessing “raised us up with” is the Aorist, Active Indicative of SUNEGEIRO, συνεγείρω that means, “To rise or be raised up with another.” It is used only here and in Col 2:13; 3:1.
Col 2:12, “Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”
Col 3:1, “If then you have been raised up with Christ,(and you have), keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
SUNEGEIRO refers to the believer’s spiritual resurrection with Christ. The prefix SUN is critical to the new purpose the word serves as it gives the word the meaning of joining in with Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and session. The root EGEIRO means “to arise” and appears in classical literature as far back as Homer (Eighth Century B.C.). In the N.T. it is applied to the resurrection of Christ and human beings and sometimes it has a metaphoric sense of the “lifting up” of a person in honor and position. But only in the three passages above is the root joined with the prefix SUN to describe the believer’s participation in Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and session. As such, SUNEGEIRO carries an eloquent meaning to describe the union of the believer with Christ. So it speaks of the believer being position-ally resurrected.
Christ’s post-resurrection state was new, powerful, and unique. So too believers, in whom Christ dwells, have a new, powerful, and unique life and position. This new life, power, and position demand that we have a new set of values, as Paul stated in his companion letter to the Colossian, Col 3:1-2, as noted above.
The “us” comes from the 3rd Person Singular of the verb and continues to include both Jews and Gentiles in the plan of salvation and “all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.”
As noted, not only are we “raised up” with Christ but we are also “seated with” Christ, as tied together with another coordinating conjunction KAI, followed by the Aorist, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person Singular of SUGKATHIZO, συγκαθίζω that means, “sit down with, to make to sit together with.” This is the third “spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.” The unique feature of SUGKATHIZO is the intensive transitive meaning given to the term: “to cause someone to sit down with, to make persons sit together.” So we could say, “made us sit down with (Christ) in heaven”
This is only used here and in Luke 22:55 regarding Peter “sitting down at a fire” while our Lord was enduring his trails. In that event, Peter was joined with those who rejected Christ, while here, those who accept Christ are joined with Him.
It is interesting to note that God first raises us up and then sits us down, reflecting the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross that gives all who believe in Him rest. All of our spiritual blessings happen because of Christ’s prior work and exaltation and because God unites believers to Him. So this speaks of the believer’s spiritual position in heaven, where Christ is. We are no longer mere earthlings; our citizenship is in heaven, Phil 3:20.
This also tells us that we are not raised from the dead and left in the graveyard. On the contrary, because we are united to Christ, we have been exalted with Him and we are sharing His throne in the heavenlies. Our physical position may be on earth, but our spiritual position is “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Just like Lazarus, we have been called from the grave to sit with Christ and enjoy His fellowship, John 12:1-2.
Both “raising” and “seating” are part of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. He is the agent of the Active Voice. The Divine power that can make an unbeliever have life, be raised, and exalted with Christ, is the same power that presently operates in believers. The Aorist is a Culminative Aorist viewing the entirety of the Action of our being raised and seated from the standpoint of its existing results. The Indicative Mood is for the reality of current Positional Truth identifying us with Christ seated at the right hand of the Father. The implications of this Indicative Mood are found in Heb 1:13-14.
Heb 1:13-14, “But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET”? 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
Next we have two Dative phrases. The first is in the Dative of Place or Sphere and the second is in the Dative of Association.
The Dative of Place/Sphere tells us of the realm in which these blessings occur, “in the heavenlies” EN HO EPOURANIOS, ἐπουράνιος in the plural for “heavenlies.”
As we noted in Chapter one there are five uses of “Heavenlies” in Ephesians that includes:
- The sphere and source of Divine blessing, including super-grace blessings, because it is the place of strategical victory in the angelic conflict. Christ seated at the right hand of the Father is the strategical victory, Eph 1:3.
- The sphere of Christ’s power, which comes from Christ’s victory in the Angelic Conflict and therefore is the key to the Church’s position, Eph 1:20.
- The sphere of the Christian life, which is the believer’s current position in Christ, making it possible for super-grace blessing to be a part of the tactical victory in our lives, Eph 2:6.
- The sphere of angelic activity, Eph 3:10. This is why elect angels are rejoicing and are observing very closely our activities.
- The sphere of spiritual conflict; the angelic conflict in the Church Age, Eph 6:12.
Next we have the Dative of Association that tells us of the fact of our being “united with Christ,” EN CHRISTOS IESOUS. The absence of the definite article HO in this phrase calls attention to the quality of the proper noun. Jesus Christ is unique; He is the only celebrity for the Church Age. It speaks of our union with Jesus Christ and the reason for all the “spiritual blessings in the heavenlies” that we receive.
So the sphere is the place of victory in the Angelic Conflict and in effect it is our identification with the strategical victory of the Cross. At the Cross Christ bore our sins. Three days later He was resurrected. Then He ascended and was seated at the right hand of the Father; this is the strategical victory of the Angelic Conflict. The strategical victory has its continuation at the Second Advent. In the meantime, during the Church Age, we have tactical victories when a believer reaches super-grace. We have a part in glorifying God in the Church Age in tactical victory. There can be no tactical victory without some strategical victory first. The strategic victory is the fact that God the Holy Spirit unites each one of us into union with Christ at the point of salvation. Strategic victory leads to tactical victory.
All of this is the reality that God the Holy Spirit enters each one of us into union with Christ at the point of salvation, which is part of His ministry of Baptism, 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:4-7; Col 2:12-14, that has nothing to do with water baptism, and has provided for us equal privilege and equal opportunity to be victorious in the spiritual life.
1 Cor 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
Eph 4:4-7, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6 One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
Gal 3:26-28, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the basis for our retroactive Positional Truth, Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:12, meaning we are not only identified with Christ, but we are identified with Him in His death, the principle being that Jesus Christ rejected human good when He was bearing our sins and therefore we are identified with Christ because that is our position. Our position in Christ is that of rejection of human good.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is also the basis for current positional truth, Eph 1:3-6; Col 2:10, which is our current position in Christ, our eternal union with Him; being spiritually alive in Him, raised in Him and seated at the right hand of the Father in Him.
Eph 2:7, “In order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
This verse tells us why God has transformed us from spiritual death to spiritual life with all of its associated spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. It begins with the purpose clause HINA meaning, “in order that,” to indicate the goal or aim of the action. It is a strong statement of purpose.
Next we see when God’s purpose will be ultimately revealed, “in the ages to come,” EN HO AION HO EPERCHOMAI, speaking of the eternal state; when we receive our resurrection bodies and beyond.
Then we have, “He might show” in the Aorist, Middle, Subjunctive of ENDEIKNUMI, ἐνδείκνυμι that means, “show, demonstrate, manifest, or point out.” In the Middle Voice, it carries the sense of “to give proof or exhibit” and is translated “He might show for Himself,” i.e. His own glory. The Subjunctive Mood is not for potential but for the purpose clause.
His purpose is to show His gracious lovingkindness.
The thing that God desires to demonstrate through us is, “the surpassing riches of His grace,” HO HUPEBALLON PLUTOS HO CHARIS AUTOS.
This super-abounding grace applied “toward us” EPI HEMEIS, is from God’s love, as noted in vs. 4, as exemplified here as His “kindness,” CHRESTOTES, χρηστότης that means, “goodness, uprightness, kindness, mercy, or even generosity.” It is God’s love expressed in tender action, cf. Rom 5:8.
Rom 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The “kindness” of God, i.e., the “riches of his grace or goodness,” is demonstrated in Christ. God’s act of kindness is solely an act of grace. The marvelous feature of this kindness is that it was done when we were in rebellion to God, Titus 3:3-7.
Titus 3:3-7, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
And finally, God’s love, as demonstrated through His grace towards us, is based our position/union “in Christ Jesus,” EN CHRISTOS IESOUS.
- This verse deals with Phase Three, our eternal state and that state is one of grace – surpassing grace.
- God’s purpose in our redemption is not simply to rescue us from hell, as great a work as that is. His ultimate purpose in our salvation is that for all eternity the Church might glorify God’s grace, Eph 1:6, 12, 14.
- Throughout all eternity the Church will be a demonstration to all creation of God’s grace. Believers will truly be “trophies” of God’s grace forever.
- This eschatological dimension implies that it will be for the benefit of angels, as well as, men.
- For all of eternity believers of the Church Age will be glorifying God.
- God will be able to point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us.
- Therefore, the Church, being His memorial will be for His praise and glory throughout all of eternity.
In the Greek, this verse begins with the anaphoric article HO in the Dative case used to link what has already been noted in vs. 5 regarding “being saved by grace.” With it is the Postpositive Conjunction GAR meaning “for” or even “because,” linked with the Instrumental Dative of Cause for “grace,” CHARIS, χάρις. The Instrumental Dative of Cause indicates the cause or basis of the action of the verb, which is “having been saved,” as noted below. It tells us the why and basis for our salvation, which is the grace of God. So we translated this phrase, “For on the basis of the grace.”
As we have noted above, this grace refers to the Plan of God as emanating from the character of God. Grace is the operating principle of God’s Plan; grace is the way in which God can provide all things for us which He designed to provide for us in eternity past without ever compromising His character and at the same time glorifying Himself. So grace is the only principle to the plan of God because grace means that God is responsible, God does the work, God does the providing. But to keep His plan perfect, God must do all of the work and all of the thinking, and take all the credit. Therefore, grace excludes man’s works in the Plan of God.
The axioms of grace:
- God is perfect, therefore His plan is perfect.
- A perfect plan can only originate and function from a perfect God.
- If man can do anything meritorious in the plan of God, it is no longer perfect, and obviously no longer grace.
- A plan is no stronger than its weakest link. For this reason grace excludes human merit and human ability. Grace also excludes human good. Do-gooders never make it under the Plan of God.
- Legalism, asceticism, and human good are the enemies of grace.
- Therefore, works of human righteousness have no place in the Plan of God.
With this we have a periphrastic phrase made up of two words. First we have the Present, Active, Indicative, 2nd Person, Plural of EIMI that means, “is or to be,” so here it is “you are.” This is linked with the Perfect, Passive, Participle in the subject Nominative case of SOZO, σῴζω that means, “save, keep safe, preserve, rescue, or make well.” It is the Intensive Perfect Tense that emphasizes the results or present state produced by a past action; therefore, we have “you are saved,” (in the past with the present result of being saved in the present time that continues into the future).
So far we have “for on the basis of the grace you are saved, (with the results that your salvation will continue absolutely into the future).” Here we see that the basis or cause for our absolute salvation is the grace of God, period, and nothing else.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson #’s:
15-138 through 15-140
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins.Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!