Ephesians is one of those books that regularly gets misapplied. There are Scripture passages that get taken out of their context and bring frustration when they don’t work “as advertised”. I’m going to look at one of these in today’s post.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…
Ephesians 2:6 NIV
This is an incredible truth. Christ did the work, and now we have complete access to the presence of God. Here, the apostle Paul is continuing to show us the incredible work Christ accomplished for us on the cross.
I keep repeating the fact that this letter emphasizes how we’re to serve God corporately. My calling is not as an individual, but as a part of the body of Christ on earth. This is important to understand.
Unfortunately, this translation misses the point of what Paul’s saying here. Reading this in the Greek, it actually says that God raised us up TOGETHER, and made us sit TOGETHER, in Heaven, in Christ Jesus.
That’s a mouthful. I think it’s important that I’m not seated in Heaven with Christ, but I’m seated in Christ. That makes all the difference. Why is that? I’ll let Jesus Christ, Himself answer this.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:7-8 NIV
There are many believers who simply think they can “claim” the manifestation of this position, without remaining in Christ. If you read all of John 15:1-11, it should be clear to you that remaining in Christ is not something that happens by default.
This level of walk requires a lifestyle of intimacy with Christ through the Holy Spirit. The more time we spend in the spirit, the more of His Word we retain inside of us. This is what elevates our walk into the heavenly realms.
However, there’s more to it than just that. There needs to be a corporate intimacy with the Lord. I showed that by highlighting the words, together.
As a matter of fact, when I read the words, made us sit together, I get flashbacks to my childhood. When my younger brother and I would get into a squabble, my parents would step in and discipline us. Then, they would make us sit or play together – whether we wanted to or not!
In the above verse from Ephesians, I see the Lord doing pretty much the same thing. He makes us sit together in Him. It’s not up to me who I fellowship with in the body of Christ. If it were, I might have chosen a whole different group to surround myself with.
That being said, now that I’ve come to know those who the Lord has called me to associate with, I’m very grateful for these relationships. I would have never experienced the growth and encouragement of being with people very different from my limited world view.
Now, as a part of the church of Jesus Christ (not a denomination), I can progress together with others of like precious faith. That’s an important part of our spiritual growth. It’s the goal of our daily walk with the Holy Spirit.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14 NIV
Being seated in Christ is a calling – “Come up here.” It doesn’t just happen by accident. It’s the result of a life dedicated to seeking and obeying God’s voice.
Question: How intimate are your prayer times with the Lord?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi