20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Verses 20 to 23 set forth three manifestations of God’s power seen in Christ. First, we see God’s power in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.
“Which” refers to God’s great power of the previous verse.
He worked [exerted] in Christ
God worked His power in Christ. Our living union with Him shares this power. He meets our spiritual needs in Christ. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead raises the believer from spiritual death.
when He raised Him from [out from] the dead
It took some exerting to raise Jesus from the dead, never to die again (Mark 10:33-34). Death is the greatest fear of man, but Jesus conquered death by His resurrection.
and seated Him at His right hand
God the Father set Jesus at His right hand (Ps 110:1; He 1:13). That is more than raising Him from the tomb. The seat at the right hand is a place of honor. It is a place of completion of God’s work in Jesus. There He shares the Father’s throne (Rev 3:21). Jesus will remain seated at the Father’s right hand until all enemies are put under His feet (1 Co 15:24).
The Bible affirms the importance of the seating of Christ at the Father’s right hand as the place where He oversees victory over all enemies and intercedes for His own:
Ro 8: 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
God never asked angels to sit at His right hand (He 1:13). He asked only one person to hold universal dominion over everything—Jesus Christ, the God-man (Ps 2:7-8).
in the heavenly places,
We saw the words “heavenly places” in verse three. This is the same sphere where God blesses believers with spiritual blessings.
Heaven is not merely a state; it is a place. Jesus did not disappear into a vacuum but went to a place. This was a place of ultimate honor and final victory over forces alien to God.
The power that raised Christ from the grave is the same power that raises the believer from spiritual death.
This verse sets forth the strategic victory over the devil through the formal seating (or session) of Christ at the Father’s right hand.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to the believer (Php 3:10). His power is life giving. The extent of what God has already done in Christ by raising Him from the dead shows that He makes that same power available to us (Ro 1:4; 1 Co 6:14; Co 2:12).
What happened to Christ is determinative for the believer. The power whereby God works in the lives of believers is the same by which He raised Christ from the dead to share His throne.
Resurrection power in the life of the believer does not allow obstacles to daunt him. He surges ahead in the face of problems. The person operating under this kind of power does not need outside backing. He or she can function alone.