Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)…
When Paul wrote of "heavenly places" as the lot of Christ's people on earth, it was not to please the imagination or dazzle the fancy with mere spiritual visions — but to show us how near and how available is the source of spiritual and saving strength for daily life. To be "with Christ," therefore, "in the heavenlies," is —
I. TO BE LIVING AT THE SOURCE OF POWER FOR NEW OBEDIENCE, and to draw from thence for support in that service which is true freedom, freedom from slavish fears, from corroding cares, from every inordinate affection which would hinder you in the doing of His will. Brought nigh to God — living in the fellowship of God, through Jesus — you have a well-spring of new motives of action opened for you in His service, and of strength for patient rest in His will. That well-spring is ever full and never failing. These Divine resources are ever near, and ever the same; though your experience of them, alas! may ebb, and flow, and fluctuate.
II. But we come now to notice another view of the position of those who are raised up to sit with Christ. It is to be ARMED FOR CONFLICT. The spirits of evil have still power to tempt and molest. And if these evil influences are to be repelled and quenched, it can only be done from within the citadel of power which is provided in the fellowship of a risen Lord.
III. The "heavenly places" to which all believing ones are raised up on earth to sit with Christ, are (in a peculiar manner) PLACES OF THANKSGIVING. As the cleft of the Rock to which you have fled from the fury of the storm, what else should your place be but one fitted for thanksgiving, — a "tabernacle" to be filled with the "voices of rejoicing and salvation" and praise ever going forth in testimony to Him, whose almighty hand opened the refuge and averted the destruction!
IV. And now, in conclusion, the text POINTS TO THE FUTURE — into "the ages" of eternity — to that great hereafter on whose brink we are ever walking, and which at any moment we may be called to enter.
(J. S. Muir.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)