If God didn’t take the initiative, none of us would be saved. Isn’t that true? The Lord took the initiative to raise the dead physically, and the Lord has taken the initiative to raise us spiritually.
Most people don’t understand that it takes a miracle for a person to be saved. How would you raise a dead man? Let’s suppose there was a dead man in your church. First, we could give him an example of how a dead man ought to live. We could do deep knee bends, push-ups and walk around to see if this has an impact on him. Do you think that an example would raise a dead man? No! Yet, most people think that Jesus came as an example. Salvation does not come by learning lessons from the life of Christ but by receiving life from the death of Christ. Jesus is not an example because he would be an example of those who are saved but not to those who are dead. There’s no way possible that you can raise a dead man by an example.
We could place the dead man in a powerful environment
. We could keep a roomful of living people that will make him a live man. This is the way they try to deal with the sin problem. You put a dead man in a room full of living people and see if it brings him to life. Environment is not the answer. In the best environment this world has ever known, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fell into sin.
We could try a lot of encouragement. We could encourage him to get up, come alive again. We could say, “You have it in you! Open your eyes! Stretch!” A lot of church services are simply big pep rallies. They think they just must encourage one another to do better and to live better. People come down the aisles of churches, putting their hands in the hands of pastors, saying, “I’m going to do better pastor because you’ve really encouraged me today.” You can’t encourage a dead man and make him a living man; that’s not the answer.
We could try to use education to try to raise this dead man. We could give him, The Ten Lessons On Life.” We could say, “Read this book.” Do you see the futility in all of this? Do you know what it takes to raise a dead man? A miracle! It took a miracle to save you and me. Our salvation is as big as the miracle of the resurrection, when Christ got up and walked out of the grave.
What is this grace? We learned first, that we were restored. Second, we were raised. In Ephesians 2:6, we read, “you were also raised, and hath raised us up together”. When Our Lord saves us, when he gives us life, he doesn’t leave us in the grave. When Jesus spoke to Lazarus while he was in the grave, he said, “Lazarus, come forth!” He meant for Lazarus not only to have life but to have liberty, to get out of that grave, to be raised up.
Our Lord gives us power to live the Christian life. Our testimony tells everyone that Christ saved us and give us the power to live a victorious Christian life. He breaks the power of cancelled sin and sets the prisoner free. God gives me strength and power day by day.
Thank God for the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, who not only has restored us and raised us, but today allows us to rest in Heavenly places. We “sit together in heavenly places.”
What a difference between the people who doesn’t understand the grace of God and the people who understand the grace of God. Those who don’t understand the grace of God are working feverishly trying to earn a piece of real estate in Heaven.
Our text states that we are seated right now in the Heavenlies. We don’t have to wait until you die to go to Heaven. We are right now seated in the Heavenlies. The Heavenlies is not a place that we visit from time to time; it is to be our permanent dwelling place.
What are the Heavenlies? There is little difference between Heaven and the Heavenlies. The Heavenlies is the sphere of victory, where every Christian lives day by day. The Lord Jesus, according to the Book of Ephesians, has been raised up and he’s sitting at the right hand of the Father in the Heavenlies. When Jesus died, we died with him. When he came out of the grave, we came out with him spiritually. When he was seated, we were seated with him.
Do you know what the Lord Jesus Christ is doing right now? He is resting in his finished work. Do you know what I’m doing? I’m resting with him in his finished work. Have you learned to rest in the Lord Jesus Christ? If you have not, you do not understand what it’s all about to just simply to lay back in the arms of the Lord Jesus Christ and rest in his arms.
Do you know where Paul was when he wrote Ephesians? He was in prison. Yet, this book does not smell like it was written in prison! We smell the air of Heaven.
Many times, we tell people to keep looking up when we’re already up. All things are beneath us and we are seated with the Lord Jesus in the Heavenlies. There’s only one way you can look and that is down. We cannot get any higher than to be raised with the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been restored, raised and then rested!