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Present Reality


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[R]egeneration is no less less supernatural than Christ’s own resurrection from the dead. Indeed, it is wrought by the very same divine power by which “He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20).

As a matter of fact, the regeneration of a sinner is the result and a constant reminder of every believer’s participation in Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven. God “made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5–6). Notice that Paul doesn’t use the future tense. When he speaks of being seated in heaven with Christ, he is not describing a promise of some reward yet to come. This is a present reality for every believer, the immediate and direct result of God’s saving work. It’s a spiritual reality, of course. This is Paul’s description of our spiritual union with Christ and the high place of honor that we gain through justification.

We must understand verses 5 and 6 in that light. Those two verses bring together the truths of regeneration, justification, and the believer’s union with Christ. God “made us alive” through regeneration. He elevated us to a position of highest privilege (seating us in a place of supreme honor “in the heavenly places”) through justification. All of this—our participation with Christ in His resurrection and our standing with Him before God—is possible because of our spiritual union “in Christ Jesus.”

—John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 102–103.



Posted 2018·07·13 by David Kjos
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