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How Did God Rescue Us?


Text: Ephesians 2:4-7  

We’re still reeling with the unforeseen realisation that despite our abhorrent corruption and pollution by sin, God has stepped in on our behalf, without any merit on our part, to rescue us from our eternal plight. He could have destroyed us for our sin. But he didn’t. Lamentations 3:22-23   We already KNOW how God has rescued us, for that is exactly what Paul has been telling us in chapter one. It has been accomplished for us, on our behalf, in Christ alone, without any input from us. It is the objective work of God. But all of that divine work, in its enactment, as it is applied to our lives, has an EFFECT upon us. We might refer to that as the empirical effects of the rescue, our first hand, observable experiences of new birth. How our rescue affects us, sinners, being rescued from our sin. What did the divine shepherd, the Lord Jesus do for His sheep, for ME and YOU when he rescued us in similar manner, from our sin?

1 He Quickened Us (together with Christ). 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,

We are saved from our sinful spiritual condition, our deadness, and given new life. And we are quickened, only because we are IN CHRIST. There is no new life without Jesus. The English phrase, “quickened us together with:” is just one single word in Greek. συζωοποιέω (syzōopoieō) It means to share in the quickening of another, that other is Christ. Our new life springs from our union with Christ; it is in him that we live: READ John 14:19  

2 He Raised Us Up (together with Christ). 6 And hath raised us up together.

Now the same grammar applies. “Raised us up together” is one word, συνεγείρω we are raised up from death to life, a spiritual resurrection:-

  • It is an efficient resurrection. It is  as real as the actual physical resurrection of Christ from the grave.When we are given new life, it is not to be compared with a medical resuscitation, where we are brought back to life after a critical incident, and while we are grateful for medical intervention, we are left physically or mentally impaired by the experience. It is a new life that is an abundant life!
  • It is an existing resurrection. It has already been accomplished! As Christ is our head, our representative head, we are not only raised with Christ, we were raised IN Christ. Paul deliberately couches his words in the past tense. He HAS raised us up. It is already done, it is finished, for all of God’s elect were in Christ when he died on the cross, and in Christ when he rose from the dead. 
  • It is a sanctifying resurrection. In Christ we are raised to a life that is above the life of this world. READ Colossians 3:1  That fact gives us a different form of conversation, a different way of life, a different fellowship, we are lifted up! 
  • It is a future resurrection. We are exalted to reign with him; to sit upon the throne with Christ, just as he has sat down with his Father on his throne.

So, a progression has begun. We have been given new life, we have been raised up, and having raised us up, God has…

3 He Sat Us Down (together with Christ). and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Now, what does it mean, that we have been seated in heavenly places? God indwells us though the work of the spirit and we are in his presence already. And as another way of putting that same truth, because we are ‘In Christ’ and because Jesus is physically seated at the right hand of God. READ Eph 1:19-22  We are already with him, in heaven, at God’s right hand. That is our status in Christ.  And you will know, the idea of ‘sitting’ implies that our labours are over, that we are at rest, that the war is ended, and that we are at peace with God. 

4 He Shows Us Off! (together with Christ).  7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

The word show in AV is ἐνδείκνυμι – to demonstrate, to manifest, to put on display, to give outward proof.  We are God’s handiwork. Paul tells us this in Ephesians 2:10 Let’s note in passing that God is so pleased with what he has done in devising our salvation, in bringing it about, at great cost, that in the ages to come, he will be glorified in holding us up, as trophies of his grace, so that the heavenly hosts will rise together in worship of the God of Salvation.

Yet even now, as we look back at the experiences and testimonies of the saints of the past centuries, we are encouraged to persevere in the fait, until that last day.READ Hebrews 12:1  

Of course, there is an opposite side to this coin. Not only does God put on display his exceedingly rich grace, in saving sinners, he also puts on display his wrath with those who are unrepentant. Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: He does that, in the end of time, to demonstrate his righteousness, and his justice and purity, and again, that in itself advances his glory, and raises songs of praise among the heavenly host.

Conclusion. Now, I wonder did you notice the link between each of these wonderful experiences that the believer had bestowed upon him or her when they were rescued by sin? It is all of Christ! It is He who has quickened us, raised us, seated us and enabled us to be placarded as trophies of grace! It is all the work of Jesus!

© Bob McEvoy 2023

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