Monday, March 19, 2012

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 2:6)

Where you sit makes a difference. 

At the reception, the wedding party has a special table of honor and they often are served first.  In a courtroom, the judge has his own chair, presiding over the proceedings, and people may only come near him if invited.  A kid would never think to walk into homeroom and take the teacher's seat as his own.  You just don't do that!  Even around our dinner table, everyone has their designated spot and Shirley and I occupy the two head seats, facing each other.  If one of the kids decided to "feel their oats" and take one of those seats, they would receive a stern look and probably a growl! 

While growing up I remember holiday feasts where there was never enough room around the main "adult" table for the kids to sit there too.  We children had our own place to eat, often an old card table dragged out of the closet and recruited for duty.  Usually, if we wanted food we had to wait for the adults to get their fill and then petition them to pass it from the main table.  It was very clear who was honored and important and who was not!  It was a memorable moment when one was invited to sit at the adult table.

Jesus once gave some sage advice to the religious leaders, telling them to take a less important seat when they were an invited guest at a feast.  They might then be invited by the host to sit in a more important place, which would be an honor, coming on the heels of their humility.  Even if that didn't happen, it would be far better to sit in a less important spot than to proudly park one's hindquarters in a more honored place, only to be asked later to go sit in the cheap seats!

In Ephesians chapter one verses 19-22, we see the honor bestowed on the Lord Jesus:

"These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His [God's] might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet..."

First of all, we need to realize that where Jesus is seated is not a's a throne.  It is a throne of grace for us but a throne of judgment for His enemies.

Second, we need to realize that Jesus' throne is above every other ruler (whether human, angelic or demonic).  Apart from the Father Himself, there is no higher throne.  Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords and He is the Lord of hosts, the head of the entire angelic realm.  Therefore, what He says goes!

Third, we should note that all the other thrones of rulers...visible and invisible...are not even close to possessing the authority that the Lord Jesus has.  Jesus is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every other name!  No one is even a close second to Him.

And that brings us to today's Scripture:  "even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] 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" (Ephesians 2:5,6).

The implications of this revelation are staggering.  We, the Church, the body of Christ, share Christ's throne!  Christ's enemies have been put in subjection under His feet...the feet of the body of Christ!  The Lord Jesus, therefore, desires to exercise His supreme authority on earth through His people...His prayerful, humble, united people! 

Can you see maybe why the devil wants to keep us prayerless, proud, and divided?  Yeah, I thought maybe you would!

Maybe you can now see also why our enemy doesn't want us to know who we are in Christ and why he works so hard to accuse, belittle, and demean us.  He's scared of us!  So why should we be scared of him?

Let me make one final note about our position in Christ, which I think is really cool.  Look with me at verse 7: " that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

Did you catch that?  Okay, here's the Rich paraphrase:  God saved us, brought us out of spiritual death into life in union with Jesus, and raised us up to sit with Jesus on His throne so that when we actually do get to heaven, the Father can spend the rest of forever loving on us, and hugging on us since we'll be right next to Him!

Are you smiling?

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