Jeremy Sarber

Seated with Christ in the heavenly places

God has raised believers up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6-7). Not only does God give us life, but he also gives us life eternal.

Notice that Paul doesn’t say that we will be raised up. He uses the aorist tense here. While the fullness of our spiritual life is yet to come, it is so certain that Paul speaks of it in the past tense as though it’s already happened. We might as well be in the heavenly places (the supernatural realm where God rules) because it is absolutely certain. Christ and his Spirit have guaranteed it.

Even more important from a practical standpoint, our salvation has a purpose. God’s love motivated him to show us mercy. In turn, he brings us to life in Christ. The question is, why? For what purpose?

In the end, God has made us alive to sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6). Did we need to be made alive for that?

When Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, he instructed the other people present to unbind him, and let him go (Jn 11:44). Lazarus was wrapped in cloths, but a living person can’t function while he’s still wrapped in the trappings of death.

God’s grace and kindness are shown to us even now as he begins to accomplish the very thing for which he saved us. According to Romans 8, Those whom God foreknew he also predestined, not to merely go to heaven, but to be conformed to the image of his Son (Ro 8:29). For us to become like Christ, we must be raised again. Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Ro 6:4).