Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no-one can boast. Ephesians 2:3-9.
The theme of this short passage from Ephesians is effectively the same as yesterday’s theme: the love of God. There (not knowing what passage I would be looking at today) I reminded myself that God’s love is no mere warm feeling or affection that he holds towards me but is an active unfailing goodwill that will stop at nothing to “bring me to glory”; and here in Ephesians is the glory in question — being seated with Christ in the heavenly realms!
It is sometimes said that Scripture is the best commentary on Scripture and if we want another bit of the Bible to bring this concept of being seated with Christ in the heavenly realms alive we can do no better than go to 2 Samuel 9. King Saul is dead and David has now become king over all Israel and has ascended to his throne in Jerusalem. Normally, in those days, when a new king ascended to a throne, his first act would be to kill all remaining male members of the previous king’s family (objects of wrath) so that they could not pose him any threat, but David does the opposite. He asks: “Is there no-one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness (chesed)?” The answer comes back: “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.” The lad’s name is Mephibosheth and David has this person of (literally) no standing brought from a place called Lo Debar (which means “Barren Place”) to the palace in Jerusalem and tells him: “You will always eat at my table.” Then he makes provision for Mephibosheth to inherit everything that had once belonged to Saul and his family.
Saved by grace and seated with the king in the highest place! What an illustration of the truth of what God has done for me. (Note that Paul speaks of our being seated with Christ in the heavenly places as a present reality.) But the question I need to ask myself this morning is: Am I living in that truth and that reality or am I back in Lo Debar living on scraps?
Lord Jesus, help me to take my place at your table today and to enjoy to the full all the good things you have provided for me. Amen