In the Heavenly Places
A Sermon on Ephesians 2:4-7
4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him …
4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places …
There is true hope in Christ. One of the most comforting and practical teachings of Scripture is that all who are united to Christ in faith have been seated with Him in the heavens. But what does it mean to be seated in the heavenly places? In this sermon on Ephesians 2:4–7 titled “In the Heavenly Places,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings this great news of hope with the reminder that the Christian has been delivered from this present evil world and its coming judgement because of the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. For this reason, Christians should seek to set their minds not on earthly and carnal things, but in that which is heavenly and good. Christians should put their hope with Christ who has died in their place and ascended to heaven where He rules. This does not mean that the Christian has no obligation to do good while on this earth, but it simply means that they should be as pilgrims who are always looking toward the inheritance with Christ Jesus in heaven. This affects how Christians are to conduct themselves, for they should seek what is good, pure, and holy, fleeing from all worldliness and immorality. They should not be like the unbeliever who in their worldliness cares for nothing but what is present in the here and now. The Christian should always seek the heavenly inheritance that they have in Christ by believing in His gospel.
- The passage under consideration is Ephesians 2:4-7 which speaks of God quickening and raising us up with Christ and seating us with Him in the heavenly places.
- The "heavenly places" refers to the third heaven, the place where God's presence and glory are especially manifested.
- As Christians, we no longer belong to this world. We are strangers and pilgrims passing through.
- As Christians, we are no longer under the dominion of Satan or in his kingdom. We have been translated into the kingdom of God's Son.
- As Christians, we are no longer under the wrath of God that is coming on the world. We have passed from judgment into life.
- As Christians, we belong to the kingdom of God. Our citizenship is in heaven.
- As Christians, we are under the control of the Holy Spirit, not the spirit that works in the children of disobedience.
- As Christians, we should be heavenly minded, not earthly minded. Our life is hidden with Christ in God.
- As Christians, we have access into the holiest of all, into God's presence. We can draw near with boldness.
- As Christians, we already experience something of the life of heaven even now. We taste the first fruits.
- As Christians, we share in Christ's victory and rest. The work is finished. We reign with Him.
- We must resist the devil by faith in the victory of Christ. He will flee from us.
- We must look at eternal, unseen realities, not temporal things. Our light affliction is producing an eternal weight of glory.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.