Five Eternal Gifts from God - Grace 11
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—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 coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7, ESV)
God’s grace toward the condemned sinner results in salvation. It means God has made the sinner alive. This means the sinner is cleansed from sin, given a new heart (intellect, emotions and will), given a new inclination, desire and disposition to worship Christ resulting in obedience to the Word of God: the Scriptures.
God not only made dead sinners alive because of His grace, but also raised them. The text indicates this in phrase “and raised us up with him…” found in the first part of verse 6. To be raised up refers to the sinner’s spiritual resurrection presupposing the eventual bodily resurrection all believers in Christ will experience. This is because and only possible through Jesus Christ.
God not only made sinners alive and raised them, but also seated us in the heavens: “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.” (Ephesians 2:6b-7, ESV).
The phrase “God seated us with him” (Christ) means that the believer in Christ is presently in the domain and dominion of possessing the citizenship of eternal life and no longer possessing the citizenship of spiritual death. This means that believers in Christ are citizens of heaven. This world of rebelliousness towards God and His word is no longer our home, our domain. We are ambassadors and representatives of another kingdom: the kingdom of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”