- Published: 12 December 2010
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In Eph. 1:13 is mentioned the gospel of our salvation. Paul had been preaching this gospel from a house in Rome, chained to a soldier. The Ephesians had heard of this gospel and believed. Hence the saints and faithful mentioned in verse 1.
Again in 2:5, the apostle adds a parenthesis, By grace are ye saved. Then in 2:8 the find, For by grace are ye saved through faith.
What is this salvation? Is it salvation from something? Or is it a salvation to something? Is it the obtaining of everlasting life? We hesitate to write on the subject of salvation because so few have any idea of what it really means.
In 2:1 we have a wondrous truth which has been obscured by the translators. The words in italics have been added to fill what was left out. It is a figure called ellipsis. It should read, And you hath He filled, who were dead to trespasses and sins. The word filled is used in the verse before. So it is a blessed truth that our reckoning ourselves indeed dead to sins can make way for the infilling of the fulness of God, Christ being the Filler. This is a part of the great salvation.
Then dropping down to verse 5, we see these words repeated, Even when we were dead to sins. What then? Quickened ...raised...seated.
But there is much more. All through this there is a wonderful identification with Christ. We are quickened together with Him. We are raised together with Him. We are made to sit together with Him. This is true togetherness. And it is made possible by our having died with Him to trespasses and sins.
Our great salvation then has to do with a baptism or identification with Christ. This is the one baptism (Eph 4:5 ). This salvation is far beyond the partaking of the divine nature and having everlasting or age-abiding life. It takes us right into the holy of holies at the right hand of God.
All too often the quickening, as a present experience, is left out or neglected. Many preach; Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ coming again. These are very important, but some momentous events have been left out. Christ ascended! It is the ascended Christ who has spoken to us in these days through His servant, Paul. And it is with the ascended Christ that we are quickened together.
The quickening makes it possible for us to live in newness of life. We are to reckon ourselves as dead, but also living unto God. Dead to the world and to sins, and living to and for God. The quickening makes it possible for Christ to live in us and to work thru us. This makes for the good works.
It is blessedly true that this great salvation has delivered us out of the authority of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. But we cannot stop there. There is much more.
We have not mentioned all that God is doing for those who have died to sins. There is a goal. It is found in verse 7, That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. But in all of it, remember the refrain, By grace are ye saved.