Los Alamos Church of Christ

Let the Word Dwell

#21 Ephesians 2:6

Sune - With

 

This morning I am going to begin with a pop test.  “What?  I hate pop tests.”  Everyone hates pop tests.  Last week I taught you the Memory Palace.  I want to see how many of you remember the Palace.  If you were here last week…

In your own mind, to yourself, without saying it out loud, first just go through the seven spots in our building; then, add the 7 spiritual blessings. How many remember most of the seven spots with their blessing?

 

 

Let’s check them…

1) The Parking Lot of Justification…We are not guilty.

2) The Steps of Sanctification… We are becoming more like Jesus.

3) The Foyer of No Condemnation… We leave our fears on the floor.

4) The Temple of Worship… We are behind the vail. 

5) The Baptistery of Forgiveness… We see the dead fishy sins.

6) The Kitchen of Communication… We listen.

7) The Playground of Re-Creation… We are changed.  

 

You did pretty well/ You failed miserably.

 

Continue praying these seven blessings.  I think they will help you stay on the altar.

 

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The main point I made last week was… every spiritual blessing, all these seven, plus many more, are found… in Christ. 

 

#20 Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

 

The spiritual blessings in the heavenly places are found in Christ. Within the body of Christ there are numerous spiritual blessings.  In our memory verse this morning we are going to change prepositions.  “What?”  Haven’t you changed your prepositions, lately?  We are going to change the preposition “in” to “with”.

 

#21 Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

 

We move from in Christ to with him.  This change in prepositions is… significant. 

 

Let’s do our memory picture…

 

 

Tree List…

 

Now let’s explore the change from “in” to “with”.

 

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Actually, we have to back up just a bit in order to get a running start at the “withs”.  Let’s pick up the context beginning in verse 1.

 

ESV Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

 

This is a terrible place.  It is the “without” place.

--You were dead… in sin.  You walked like zombies focused on one thing… sinful desires.

--You were walking with the prince of the power of the air… Satan.  Without Christ there is only the air prince, who pushes you down the road… dead to Christ; focused on self; the walking dead. 

--You were carrying a backpack full of selfish desires.

--You were walking zombies headed on the road to wrath.  The rest of mankind, the ones without Christ are headed to wrath. 

 

“That’s not a pretty sight.”  In order to appreciate the “with”, we need to know the “without”.  I worry about this for me.  I am not a “hell fire and damnation” kind of preacher.  I preach the love of God; first and foremost.  I am a gospel preacher… I preach good news.  But, maybe, occasionally, we need to be reminded of what we were saved - here’s another preposition; “from”.  We are saved from… wraith.  The rest of mankind is dead “in” sin.  Those living for the passions of their flesh are headed toward destruction.  The prince of the air is leading the sons of disobedience toward the wrath of God.  When we get to Memory Verse #35, Hebrews 12:29 we are going to discover our God is a consuming fire.  Those who are the walking dead will be consumed by the wrath of God.  Those who are not “with” Christ will be destroyed!

 

In contrast to “with” is the “without” of deadness. 

 

Let’s keep reading.

 

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ESV Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 

Wow, the contrast between the walking-dead headed to wrath and the loved-living with Christ in the heavenly places is… black and white; is… absolute zero and the boiling lava-hot; is… bottom of the ocean and top of Mt. Everest; is…Tanya-short to Me-tall; is… dead and alive; is… but God!

 

Here is the fun part of the sermon… note the 3 withs.  In the original Greek language these withs are not separate words but compound words. 

 

There are three fun Greek verbs used in this concept…

 

sunezwopoi,hsen   sunh,geiren   suneka,qisen 

sun e zo poi’ a sen                sun a’ gay ren       sun e kath’ i sen

 

The prefix “sune” means with. The three compound words are…

--with-life

--with-raised

--with-seated

 

We are with-Christ’s life!  We are with-Christ raised! We are with-Christ seated!  The preposition is changed from in Christ; it is elevated to with Christ.  To me the difference is amazing.  We move from being included in Christ to being alongside of Christ.  The English would use the prefix “co”.  We are co-alive.  We are co-raised.  We are co-seated.

 

We are with Christ.

 

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Jesus died on the cross.  Jesus was laid in Joseph’s tomb.  There in the tomb he laid 3 days and 3 nights… dead.  By faith we join him in the tomb by baptism.

 

#14 Romans 6:4a We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death.

 

We leave our sins with him there.  Just as Jesus was raised to life, we are with-raised, we are co-alive.  We leave the zombie body parts in the tomb. We rise to walk a new life with Christ. 

 

ESV Matthew 28:1-7 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead.

 

That’s us.  Go quickly and tell everyone that we are co-alive with Christ!  We come out of the tomb with Christ. We are co-alive with Christ. 

 

But that is not all.  We also are raised with…

 

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ESV Acts 1:9-11 And when Jesus had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

 

We are co-raised with Jesus in his ascension.  We join Jesus as he is lifted off the ground to disappear in the skies.  We will come again with him to this earth.  We are raised with Christ. 

 

After Jesus disappeared into the sky he sat down at the right hand of God.

 

ESV Ephesians 1:19-23 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

 

We sit down with Christ at the right hand of God.  We sit with Christ in the place from which all blessings flow.  We sit with Christ in rule and authority and power and dominion. 

 

This is just about to exceed my ability to process. 

--I am with-alive.  My sins are forgiven and I am alive.  I am no longer a zombie.

--I am with-raised.  I am lifted above the Satan who rules air. I live above the power of the devil. 

--I am with-seated on the right hand of God in the heavenly places.

 

Perhaps, we need to think about the with-seated some more.

 

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There is a paradox.  Maybe, it is a double paradox.  That would be a pair of paradoxes. 

--We are with Christ.  Whatever happens to Christ happens to us.  Whatever happens to us happens to Christ. 

--Christ has promised to be with us to the end of the age.  We are promised to be with Christ till the end of age. 

--Christ is seated on the throne, yet he is here in our presence.  We are here on earth, yet we are there in his presence. 

--We both co-exist, with-exist, together. 

 

Or looking at it from a different perspective, functionally, we are servants on earth.  Positionally, we are rulers on thrones.  We live this life as living sacrifices on the altar.  But from God’s perspectives we live this life as throne-sitters with Christ. 

 

Yet from another perspective… it is like we are undercover agents.  Our real identity is co-sitter with Jesus. But we are doing undercover work on this earth as servants.  We are living in the Prince of the air’s realm.  Our secret job is giving life to zombies.  We are here bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth.  One day we, the sons of God will be revealed as throne-sitters and the kingdom will come fully to this earth; the remodeled earth!

 

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It gets back to Ephesians 1:19… even as undercover agents we have access to the power of our thrones. 

 

Which leads us to next week’s verse…

 

#22 Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

 

We have access to the heavenly powers because that is who we are… co-sitters!

 

The verse after our memory verse is the kicker. 

 

ESV Ephesians 2:7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 

The walking dead shamble down the road escorted by demons to the destination of wrath.  But those who sit on thrones with Jesus will receive immeasurable riches of grace and kindness… down through the ages! Say again…down through the eternal ages!  We are with-Christ.

 

If we could see ourselves as sitting on thrones it would change everything.

--We would never live as victims. 

--We would never live defeated lives. 

--We would never whine about the stuff of this world.  That’s our job… change it.

We are with Christ!

--We would live powerful zombie-redeeming lives.

--We would operate in the power of the throne.

--We would live victorious lives as throne-sitters.

 

 

#21 Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

 

Tim Stidham

June 7, 2015

Los Alamos Church of Christ