Have you ever felt bound by the pressure and chains of darkness, sin, and depravity? Have you ever wanted to break free but found it was impossible? Have you discovered the secret to the victorious Christian life? The answer is rather simple, and it is found in the heavenly realm.
Before you assume there is a secret 1, 2, 3 formula or a hocus-pocus saying to wave over your life and suddenly find everything the way you want it to be, there is not. But there IS a Person. Oh what a Person He is! His name is Jesus! May He be the answer to our ever problem and our solution to every situation!
What does this have to do with the heavenly realm? Last week we began looking at the Greek word epouranios (the heavenly realms/place). If you haven’t yet read that post, I encourage you to do so now before continuing this one (click here for part one).
Let us look at the next two uses of the word epouranios found in the book of Ephesians.
[I pray that you would know] what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the epouranios, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
What a powerful verse! Do you see the truth Paul is describing? Jesus died. Dead, cold, food for worms. And like a dead person, it is impossible (in the natural realm) to bring life into them. We might attempt to prop them up, put a smile on their face, but they still won’t breathe. Dead. Yes, Jesus was as dead as the proverbial door nail.
But God reached into the midst of death and yanked Jesus out and brought Him into life. Yet as tremendous as that is, it wasn’t enough. The Father then sat Jesus at His own right hand, in the heavenly realms (epouranios). What a position!
The right hand is hand of strength and power. When you lean or sit at someone’s right hand, you sit in the position of dependency – dependent upon their strength. When a groom takes the lovely hand of his new bride and escorts her down the aisle after saying “I do,” he extends the elbow of his right arm, his side of strength. The bride reaches with her left hand, the side of weakness, and leans upon the strength of her groom. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, leaning and dependent upon the Father for power, strength, and authority.
It is in this place of dependency upon the strength of the Father that Jesus takes the position of absolute authority and power. EVERYTHING is under His feet. Nothing can stand against Him. All principality, all authority, all power, all dominion must bend under the command, rule, and authority of Jesus. There is no name greater – His Name is above all others, and not only in this world but also in the one which is to come. He is the head over all. He is Jesus!
What does this have to do with victory, freedom, and our life in Christ? Everything! When Jesus died upon the cross, as William Law states it: it wasn’t merely for forgiveness but for Pentecost. The purpose of Jesus dying was not only to save us from sin but to free us from the power of sin in order that the outside God could get inside. God doesn’t merely want forgiven people walking about the earth, He wants to live IN them and be the very essence and source of their lives!
How do we live the Christian life? The secret to the Christian life is allowing the God of the universe to live our lives within us. Yes we are still participating and intricately involved, but we are not the source. The classic illustration is the glove. A glove has no power or ability on its own. It is only when a hand is shoved inside does it have the full ability and power of the hand. It can lift the same weight as the hand can and it can do anything the hand can do, but not because the glove is acting on its own – it is sourced by a hand. Jesus must be the source of our life (the hand within our glove). It must be Him, not us, living our life.
At the beginning of Ephesians chapter two, Paul writes that just as Jesus was dead physically, so we were dead as a door nail spiritually. Lifeless, cold, decayed, not able to be propped up. And just as the Father yanked Jesus from death to life, so He too reached into our deadness and yanked us into life! Oh what a thought! But it wasn’t enough. He then sat us at His right hand IN CHRIST within the eporanious.
Our spiritual position is IN CHRIST! And being IN Him, we now have the full authority and power of Jesus available in our lives. This does not mean we can selfishly behave as if we have all power and authority – it is NOT ours, it is Christ’s. But just as all things are beneath His feet, so it is true with us when we sit IN Him. This means darkness, sin, and depravity no longer has to have its thumb in our back! We can be free! When the darkness comes to encroach and oppress, we can look at it square in the eye and within the authority and Name of Jesus demand it to leave, and it must (see James 4.7).
So how do we live the victorious Christian life without the weight of sin and chains? It is to be wholly dependent upon Jesus, leaning upon His “right arm” just as He leans on the right arm of the Father. It is to be absolutely surrendered to Him, allowing Him to live and source our lives, as the hand sources the glove. It is to rest and rely upon the authority of Jesus while reckoning the reality of our position IN Him.
Next week, we will finish our study on the heavenly realms. Until then I encourage you to read Romans 6 and truly examine your life to see if you have reckoned (living within the fact and reality – making the fact your own) the life of Christ. Oh what a grand position we have IN Him!
Read the other Bible Studies in this Heavenly Realms series: