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Exalted Christology

I've been reading from Peter O'Brien's commentary on Ephesians as I prepare to teach on Sunday. I'll be looking at Ephesians 2:1-10.

In v.6, Paul tells his readers that they have been raised with Christ and seated in the heavenly places with him. Earlier in 1:19-22, Paul described the power of God as being evident in his raising Christ and seating him in the heavenly places. What God has done for Christ, he has done for believers.

Being in "heavenly places" is more than a reference to a future with the Lord. We are seated with Christ right now. The immeasurable power of God which raised Christ is active in our lives right now. O'Brien elaborates on this:

According to 1:19-22 Paul praises God's incomparably great power by which he raised and exalted Christ to a position 'far above' every level of the powers. Now this exalted Christology is applied directly to the readers of the letter. Because they  have been identified with Christ in his resurrection and exaltation, they, too have a position of superiority and authority over the evil powers. They no longer live under the authority and coercion of the 'ruler of the kingdom of the air' (2:2). The implications are clear: since they have been transferred from the old dominion to the new reign of Christ, they do not have to succumb to the evil one's designs. The power of God which raised Jesus from the dead is now available to them as they live in the world.

This is good news for us. We do not have to be dragged down by sin. We do not have to be victims of the sin in the world. We do not have to be tarnished by the brush of ungodliness. It's a choice to forsake those things that are evil, even the smallest thing. It may mean making hard choices, but we are not powerless to do this. We were powerless to bring ourselves back to life from spiritual death, but now that we are in Christ, we can rest in his power.