Paul writes that God’s love was revealed in his mercy. What is the mercy of God? It is an expression of God’s compassion, ‘a boundless, overwhelming immensity of divine pity and compassion,’ the attribute ‘which disposes God to be actively compassionate’ (A. W. Tozer).
God shows mercy to the undeserving, to those who can never merit it for themselves. His mercy was unexpected, because who would have imagined that a holy God would pardon sinners? But his mercy, while free to us, was costly to God because his own Son had to pay the penalty for the sins of his people.
The love of God is also revealed in his actions. Paul describes them in incredible terms. He says that believers are made alive together with Christ, that they are resurrected with Christ, and that they sit with Christ. What Paul is describing here is union with Jesus that is enjoyed by all believers in him. In order to appreciate what Paul says we should note two important aspects of this union.
The first aspect concerns positional union, and that is the doctrine that Jesus Christ was the representative of his people in every stage of his experience. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead and exalted to heaven, it was on their behalf as well as his own. Because it happened to him, it also happened to them.
The second aspect is personal union, which begins when a person believes in Jesus, and that is the aspect that is described here. At that moment, they receive new life, a new location or position and a new authority. We will say more about them tomorrow.