As the Lord Jesus walked on earth, He was a circumcised man, debtor to do the whole law (who only could do so because it was required to be kept perfectly, which required One without a sin nature—NC). He was made, as we read, “under the law” (Gal 4:4), and to the utmost tittle of it was obedient to it, so that He presented a righteousness in flesh to God; as He died on the Cross a Lamb without blemish. But by resurrection He entered into another condition, being then “declared to be the Son of God with power” (Rom 1:4), having thereby proved that He, the Son of Man, had the life of God in Him, life superior to the power of death.
We must ever remember, for it is a doctrine insisted on most fully, I might say in all parts of the apostolic Scriptures, that it is with the Lord Jesus in His resurrection that the saints have their union. It is as the first-born from the dead (first permanent resurrection—NC) that He is the Head of His Body, the Church (Col 1:18). The life in His members is not, if I may call it, legal of Jewish life, life of circumcised flesh, but life through the Spirit; a “circumcision made without hands” (Col 2:11), divine life, eternal life, life of the ascended Head. They have become “children of God, being born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Now when the Lord Jesus left this world, He went to the Father—there to prepare a place for us (Jhn 14:1). He ascended to His Father and our Father, to His God and our God (Jhn 20:17); and has gained for each of us—blessed be His name for such riches of grace, such everlasting and satisfying consolations—that we should be loved of the Father with the same love wherewith He Himself is loved (Jhn 17:26).
Being thus in union with the ascended Lord Jesus, Son of God, the saints having the Spirit and life of their Head, sit even now in Him in heavenly places. Their citizenship is in heaven. By Him they have access to God as a Father, through the Spirit. They belong to Him that is raised from the dead, and thus bring forth fruit unto God; and being now the children of God, the world knows them not, even as it knew not Christ, for they have in the Spirit followed Him out of this world into heaven.
The blessings, therefore, wherewith they are blessed are blessings not of this world, or of the earth as we have seen the Jews were, but spiritual blessings in the heavenlies; as it is written, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:3-6).
As children, now in the Father’s presence, they are waiting for the inheritance of the children, for “if children, then heirs”; they are waiting in confident hope for the grace which is to be brought to them at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As the Lord Jesus Himself is now crowned with glory, and seated at the right hand of the Father, as a kind of pledge of His future dominion (Heb 2:8, 9), so His saints here, His members still suffering on earth, have received the Holy Spirit, the fruit of His glory and exaltation to heaven, as the earnest or pledge of their inheritance with Him (2Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:13, 14).
— J L Harris (1793 – 1877)