As Paul continues his letter to the Ephesian church, he answers the question of how God’s immeasurably great power has been used for the salvation of His people. Paul first describes our condition before we knew Christ. He says we’re dead. This death is a spiritual or living death that is characterized by walking in trespasses and sins. Before we knew Christ we were subjected to the captivity of the world in its opposition to God, the devil and his opposition to God, and our flesh (sinful nature) in its opposition to God. If left in this condition, we would be subject to the wrath of God.
“But God…”, Paul continues: the two words that powerfully signal that God would act and not leave us in that condition. He describes how God, in His great power, has resurrected us with Christ, raised us up with Christ, and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ. In other words, by our faith in Jesus, we are united with him and share in his resurrection and secure place in heaven.
Finally, Paul reminds us that our salvation comes only by God’s grace (as a gift – not the result of our works) and that our salvation is not just ‘from something’ (sin & wrath) but is also ‘for something.’ As God’s creations, our salvation in Christ restores God’s creational purpose for us to walk not in sin but in good works He prepared for us to do from before the creation of the world.