A study put together using notes from the classic Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary.
“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”
In the King James Version, the phrase “made us alive” is translated as quickened, or in other words “vivified”, and it is in regard to being spiritually awakened, as well as corporally, in the afterlife. There must be a spiritual resurrection of the soul before there can be a comfortable resurrection of the body ( Jhn 11:25, 26 Rom 8:11 ).
When considering the phrase together with Christ we are to remember that the Christ is the Head, seated at God’s right hand. And just as the Head is seated at God’s right hand, so shall the body also sit there with Him. No, we know that we are already seated there in Him (“in Christ Jesus,” Eph 2:6 ), and hereafter shall be seated by Him; in Him already as in our Head, which is the ground of our hope; by Him hereafter, as by the conferring cause, when hope shall be swallowed up in fruition. What God wrought in Christ, He wrought (by the very fact) in all united to Christ, and one with Him.
The phrase by grace you have been saved, in the Greek, translates “you are in a saved state”—not merely “you are being saved,” but you “are passed from death unto life” (Jhn 5:24). Salvation is to the Christian not a thing to be waited for hereafter, but already realized (1Jo 3:14). The parenthetic introduction of this clause here (compare Eph 2:8) is a burst of Paul’s feeling, and in order to make those reading his letter in Ephesus feel that grace from first to last is the sole source of salvation; hence, too, he says “you,” not “we”.
The phrase raised us up together is concerning the raising of God’s people with Christ. The “raising up” presupposes previous the quickening of Jesus in the tomb, and of us in the grave of our sins. Just as He was raised, so are we!
When God has seated us with him, He has seated us with Christ, namely, in His ascension. Believers are bodily in heaven in point of right, and virtually so in spirit, and have each their own place assigned there, which in due time they shall take possession of (Phl 3:20, 21). He does not say, “on the right hand of God“; a prerogative reserved to Christ peculiarly; though they (and we) shall share His throne ( Rev 3:21).
All of this is only possible through our union in Christ Jesus. This union is the ground of our present spiritual, and future bodily, resurrection and ascension. “Christ Jesus” is the phrase mostly used in this Epistle, in which the office of the Christ, the Anointed Prophet, Priest and King, is the prominent thought; when the Person is prominent, “Jesus Christ” is the phrase used.
Today’s blog was put together using the Jamie, Fausset & Brown Commentary (1871). Here is what Charles Spurgeon had to say about this classic commentary: “It is to some extent a compilation and condensation of other men’s thoughts, but it is sufficiently original to claim a place in every minister’s library: indeed it contains so great a variety of information that if a man had no other exposition he would find himself at no great loss if he possessed this and used it diligently.”