By Stan Brown
Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
Paul states three things that God did in accomplishing our transformation from sinners to saints; that is from death to life. All three of these involve being united with Jesus our Savior. The three are being made alive with Him (which was mentioned in the previous verse), being raised up with Him, and being seated with Him. All three of these verbs are compound Greek words that begin with the Greek word translated with which places the emphasis on the relationship we have with Jesus. The first of the verbs, made alive is a combination of three words (with, alive and make). We are made alive with Christ. The second verb, raised up, is a combination of two words (with and raised up). We are raised up with Christ. The third verb, seated with is a combination of two words (with and seated). We are seated with Christ. We begin to get the point. God has made us alive with Christ and raised us up with Christ and seated us with Christ. We are in it all the way with Christ. We are with Him through God’s grace. There is no way out.
There is a logical progression here from being made alive to being raised up to being seated but in reality, the three events must be viewed as synchronous events. When we placed our faith in Jesus, indeed when we believed in Him and were made alive, were raised with Him. We might think of it like this. As He was raised from physical death, we were raised with Him from spiritual death. The Greek word translated raised up with Him is only used in two other places in the New Testament. And both talk of a vital association between our resurrection and Jesus’ resurrection. You were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (Col. 2:12). If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Col. 3:1). Right now, we stand raised with Christ. We are alive spiritually. We are united in the resurrection with Christ.
The third phrase, seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, emphasizes further our union with Christ as it says two things. First, we are seated with Him in the heavenlies. We are now seated with Christ where He is seated. Hoehner writes, “From this position, the believer derives every spiritual benefit (remember Eph. 1:3). Hence, the position of being seated with Christ in the heavenlies gives the believer heavenly status with heavenly power to overcome sin and death.” But Paul also adds emphasis with the words in Christ Jesus at the end of the verse. It is our union with Jesus Christ that underscores the reason for our being seated in the heavenlies with Him. It is because we have been made alive with Him. It is because we have been raised up with Him. These magnificent promises that we possess right now, as spectacular as they are, provide a foreshadowing of what will be ours in the future as John wrote, Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is (1John 3:2).
We started dead (2:1-3). We have been made alive (2:4-6). Paul will next tell us why (2:7) and how (2:8-10).