(Part 3) 2020 Resurrection Sunday Message:
Raised Up With Christ
By Pastor Robbie Casas
The immediate context where we find passage we will study is in Eph 2:1-10 which can be divided into two major parts:
I. OUR PAST SPIRITUAL CONDITION: DEAD (2:1-3)
II. OUR PRESENT SPIRITUAL POSITION: ALIVE (2:4-10)
The second part (where we find the passage we will study) tells us:
A. Why He Saved Us (2:4)
B. How He Saved Us (2:5-6)
C. For What He Saved Us: The Eternal Purpose (2:7)
D. By What He Saved Us (2:8-9)
E. For What He Saved Us: The Earthly Purpose (2:10)
For our Resurrection Sunday message, we will only study:
B. How He Saved Us (2:5-6)
Read Eph 2:5-6: “5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
It is because of the fact that “we were dead in our transgressions” (see 2:1) that we needed to be “made… alive”. And because “God” (v. 4) is the subject of this long sentence that starts in v. 4, it is made clear that it is He who has made us alive – not us by anything we can do. How foolish for most people today to think that by their own works they can save themselves! A dead person cannot make himself come alive by his own power for he has none – he’s dead!
And how did God make us alive? “… together with Christ…” The phrase “together with” speaks of our identification with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Recall what Paul said in Rom 6:3-4: “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” When Jesus died and was buried, we too died and were buried with Him; when He came back to life, we too came back to life with Him – all of this applied to us when we came to Christ in faith alone in who He is and what He had done for us in Calvary. What a mind-boggling, awe-inspiring and life-changing truth!
By adding “(by grace you have been saved)”, Paul reminds all his readers that God did all this in Christ only by grace. He elaborates on this further in vv. 8-9: “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” There is no room for boasting, only for humbling and thanksgiving! No wonder God is so offended by pride and so pleased with humble gratitude (cf. Jas 4:6; 1Pet 5:5).
Then Paul continues describing this identification in v. 6: “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”Notice the phrase “with Him”: we were “raised… up with Him”through His resurrection. In the eyes of God, we are no longer spiritually dead in our “trespasses and sins”, we are now alive having been forgiven of these!
But more than just being “made alive” and “raised… up with Him,” we are also “seated… with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” This is a description of our spiritual position in Christ, that of being “seated… with Him,” which is a position of rest – a resting from works, just as Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father (cf. Eph 1:20) having completed the work of redemption and fulfilling the Father’s will.
Although practically and experientially we are still in the flesh here in the world, positionally and spiritually we are with Christ “in the heavenly places” from where comes “every spiritual blessing” (Eph 1:3) that Christ has blessed us with. We are spiritually positioned in heaven in the presence of Christ and the Father! The only thing that we wait for is the fulfillment of being there finally in body (glorified!) as well.
In vv. 5-6, Paul again used the past tense – “made… alive” (v. 5), “raised… up,” “seated….”(v. 6). This tells us that these works of Christ in us have already been completed, even as we still are awaiting the perfect fulfillment and experience of these things, particularly our being “raised… up…, and seated… with Him in the heavenly places.” In other words, this is a done deal!
Have you ever watched an exciting movie where you found yourself wondering how this movie would end for the main characters – most especially the heroes? Do you remember wishing that the story would end really well for them? Well, this passage we are studying, particularly vv. 6-7, is like a spoiler alert, telling us upfront how the story will end for us who are in Christ Jesus: we will live happily ever after! Hallelujah!