Much of Ephesians can be viewed through the lens of worship. Some of the most exalted languages in the Bible are used to describe God’s love in this letter.
Against the background of sin and rebellion, God’s grace rescues humans.
— Ephesians 2.5-9 – By grace you have been saved
And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
So that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God
Not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
In Christ, In Him, In the Spirit
Careful readers of Paul’s letters will recognize the often repeated image of “in Christ,” “in him,” and “in the Spirit.”
The opening message of Ephesians profiles our “in him” relationship.
— Ephesians 1.3-5 – God . . . has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.
He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ.
— We are blessed in Christ.
— We are chosen in Christ.
— We are adopted children through Christ.
This theme can be found throughout Paul’s letters. “In Christ” refers to a relationship with Jesus, where we are dependent on him for all that God has for us.
God grants us blessings in the heavenly places in union with Jesus, that is, “in Christ.”
God places us in the heavenly places because he “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus“ (Ephesians 2.6).
As members of Christ’s body (Ephesians 1.23), we participate in his life in the heavenly places.
This position gives us access to God through Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We are victorious over the chaotic forces of this world because we are “in Christ” above the chaos in the heavenly places.
I have provided a sketch of one of the great truths of the first two chapters of Ephesians. How does the fact that we are “in Christ” and “seated us with him in the heavenly places” change our lives?
(1) It gives us boldness in prayer.
Jesus is seated in a position of power at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1.20). We are “seated with him in the heavenly places.”
As we are seated beside Jesus, we can ask him to reveal his plans and purposes to us. We have the privilege to pray “Your will be done” to what we believe Jesus wants to happen on earth.
Jesus highlighted the power of praying in union with his will: “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15.7).
(2) In Christ we are positioned above the chaos of the world.
Jesus counseled his followers to “Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.
“For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7.13-14).
People choose the wide gate and road when they permit the chaos of the world’s system to direct their lives.
It takes effort to rise above the chaos and live in the heavenly places in Christ.
Frank Laubach was right when he said, “It is the hardest thing I do, but it makes everything else easier.”
Let’s ask the Lord to show us how we can join him above the chaos of this troubled world.
All of Grace
Charles Spurgeon wrote a book with the title, “All of Grace.” He knew that every spiritual blessing is a result of God’s grace.
The arrogant person says or thinks, “I did it.” Someone with a true perception of grace says, “God did it.”
Rudy Ross and I have produced a YouTube video on this subject. You will enjoy Rudy’s thoughts on this passage. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.