1 Καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν, 2 ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος, τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας· 3 ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, καὶ ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί· 4 ὁ δὲ θεὸς πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει, διὰ τὴν πολλὴν ἀγάπην αὐτοῦ ἣν ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς, 5 καὶ ὄντας ἡμᾶς νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν συνεζωοποίησεν τῷ Χριστῷ , — χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι — 6 καὶ συνήγειρεν καὶ συνεκάθισεν ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, 7 ἵνα ἐνδείξηται ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ ἐν χρηστότητι ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. 8 Τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως· καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον· 9 οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων, ἵνα μή τις καυχήσηται. 10 αὐτοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν ποίημα, κτισθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐπὶ ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς οἷς προητοίμασεν ὁ θεός, ἵνα ἐν αὐτοῖς περιπατήσωμεν.Ephesians 2:1-10 (NA28)
1 And you being dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience; 3 among whom also we all conducted ourselves once in the lusts of our flesh, performing the desires of the flesh and mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest, 4 but God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead I in our trespasses, He made us alive with Christ, — by Grace you have been saved — 6 and He raised us with Him and seated us with Him in the Heavenlies in Christ Jesus, 7 that he might display in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in His Kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 8 for by grace you have been saved through faith and this not of yourselves, it is God’s gift; 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His masterpiece, having been created in Christ Jesus for good-works which God previously prepared that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
by Mike Ratliff
The passage I placed at the top of this post of one of my favorites. I memorized it several years ago when I was going through Evangelism Explosion training. This passage opens up our understanding of much of the Gospel. I remember sharing it with my uncle who was on his deathbed several years ago and I was amazed as God used this and other passages to open his heart and save him. However, the Apostle Paul also shared some doctrinal truths here that I believe most of us just pass over or don’t quite understand.
For example, I have encountered way too many professing Christians who are convinced that they are Christians because of their own works or a decision they made. This passage clearly teaches us that no one is saved that way.
We could spend a great deal of time just on that topic couldn’t we? However, the purpose of this post is to look at the wonderful statement Paul made about our salvation in v6. What does it mean that God seated us in the Heavenlies with Him? The verb “seated in v6 above translates συνεκάθισεν(synekathisen), which is a 3rd person, Aorist, Active, Indicative tense form of συνκαθίζω (synkathizō), which means, “sit down with, cause to sit down with.” You may be saying, “so what?” Yeah, I get it, but let’s go deeper. In the ancient world sitting was a mark of honor or authority. For example, a king sat to receive his subjects; members of a court sat and passed judgment on the one who stood before them; a teacher sat and taught his students. So, the idea conveyed by this word is that of honor, in fact this word is used of Christ in Ephesians 1:20 to convey the fact that He is “seated with honor in the heavenlies.” Then when the prefix sun is added, we have the meaning, “to cause to sit together in Christ.” Now let’s look at this from the spiritual sense. We have already been enthroned an exalted with Christ as the verb tense here is (aorist [past] tense). So what does all that mean for us right now/ Since we are already seated with Christ in heaven, let us now act like it. Last year I wrote and published my commentary on Colossians. I titled it “Complete in Christ.” Here is a passage from that wonderful epistle from our brother Paul.
1 Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you died and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3 (LSB)
Meditate on this passage and I suggest a slow and careful study of Colossians mediating on it as you go. How plain Paul makes this the “sister book” to Ephesians! God has given us new life and new potential; we are now to live like it. Have you ever heard the cliche’ “Some Christians are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good.”? That is ridiculous! If you think through that, you should know that it is impossible for any of us to be “too” heavenly minded. Yes, there are Pharisees all around us who act sanctimonious, self-righteous, and suprerior, but that is not heavenly mindedness. Being heavenly minded means exactly what Paul says,–setting our thoughts, values, words, deeds, and all else on the things of heaven. Moreover, God cannot use use unless we are heavenly minded.
Soli Deo Gloria!