“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
In this passage, Paul is saying that God is not only merciful; He is rich in mercy to all who call upon Him (Romans 10:12), not because they are worthy of it, but because it is His pleasure to show kindness and love (Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3). God’s love is more than sympathy; it leads to benevolent actions and is unchangeable.
The heavenly Father loved us “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8). It was this love that moved Him to save us (John 3:16). Love is a main quality of His character (1 John 4:8). His love was shown when He offered His only begotten Son to redeem mankind (John 3:16).
“Sit Together in the Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus”
We are crucified with Him, we die with Him, we rise with Him, we live with Him, we reign with Him, we are joint heirs with Him, we suffer with Him, and we share His glory (Romans 6:3–8; 8:17; Galatians 2:20). Thus, salvation is achieved not by instruction but by the believer’s having access, through faith, to the empowered life that flows from Christ.
We are raised by the transforming power of God’s grace, to live a new life in Christ Jesus. As the Savior was quickened from the grave, so man is quickened from spiritual death. And thus the sinner overcomes sin by God’s grace. It is God’s purpose to bring man into a new sphere, a new relationship in which he is governed by new principles. Christ is in heaven seated at the right hand of God (Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1), and the believers, by accepting Him as their Redeemer, may be there also in a spiritual sense, sharing His throne.
Those who view their Savior as sitting at the right hand of God may live in the atmosphere of the heavenly kingdom while here on earth. Christians now live in the heavenly world. Christ’s entry to the heavenly kingdom was a surety of the entrance of all who would accept His redemption. The spiritual life on earth then becomes a sample of the heavenly life. Christ is with us by His Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:20), and He regards us as already living with Him.
In His service,