Summary: It was love to the children of wrath; love to those who had no love to return to him; love to the alienated and the lost. That is true love--the sincerest and the purest benevolence--love,
Reacting in the Transcendent Life
Eph. 2:5 Even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) 6 And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,
Even when we were dead in sins. Eph 2:1. Comp.
Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The construction here is-- "God, who is rich in mercy, on account of the great love which he bare unto us, even being dead in sin, hath quickened us," etc. It does not mean that he quickened us when we were dead in sin, but that he loved us then, and made provision for our salvation. It was love to the children of wrath; love to those who had no love to return to him; love to the alienated and the lost. That is true love--the sincerest and the purest benevolence--love, not like that of men, but such only as God bestows. Man loves his friend, his benefactor, his kindred --God loves his foes, and seeks to do them good.
Hath quickened us. Hath made us alive.
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Together with Christ. In connexion with him; or in virtue of his being raised up from the grave. The meaning is, that there was such a connexion between Christ and those whom the Father had given to him, that his resurrection from the grave involved their resurrection to spiritual life. It was like raising up the head and the members--the whole body together.
For if we have been planted together. The word here used (sumfutoi) does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It properly means, sown or planted at the same time; that which sprouts or springs up together; and is applied to plants and trees that are planted at the same time, and that sprout and grow together. Thus the name would be given to a field of grain that was sown a the same time, and where the grain sprung up and grew simultaneously. Hence it means intimately connected, or joined together. And here it denotes that Christians and the Saviour have been united intimately in regard to death; as he died and was laid in the grave, so have they by profession died to sin. And it is therefore natural to expect, that, like grain sown at the same time, they should grow up in a similar manner, and resemble each other.
We shall be also. We shall be also fellow-piants; i.e. we shall resemble him in regard to the resurrection. As he rose from the grave, so shall we rise from sin. As he lived a new life, being raised up, so shall we live a new life. The propriety of this figure is drawn from the doctrine often referred to in the New Testament, of a union between Christ and his people.
See this explained:
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.