In the last post in this series, I demonstrated how scripture reveals you are CHOSEN and PREDESTINED in Christ. Now, let’s look at how you are made a SAINT in Christ Jesus. Now lets find out how we are made FAITHFUL in Christ Jesus and can have His peace and His grace. You are blessed!
Sing with me!
Come with me to Ephesians 1: 3–Spiritual Blessings in Christ – 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…
You are blessed by God in a major way. It doesn’t matter what you see, or what you feel, the Bible tells you that you’re blessed, so you need to begin to believe it and see yourself that way.
Whenever you start to feel like you don’t have enough, or that you just aren’t enough, remember that you’re blessed in a big way. So start to see yourself as having all you need – all that God has put on your heart to do. Remind yourself that you are blessed!
The blessing belongs to God
Paul opens with “Blessed be” in order to establish a clear emphasis on God. In the next few verses he will address predestination, adoption, God’s will, grace, redemption, and God’s glory, all themes connected to God Himself and worthy of blessing.
After blessing the Father and Son, Paul notes God has “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” This all-encompassing statement indicates that every blessing we could possibly need has been given in Christ. Christ came from heaven to earth from the Father to bring us every blessing we need. Paul will go on to describe these blessings in detail. Here, he emphasizes the fact that “every” spiritual blessing has been given.
Praise God for All Spiritual Blessings! – Ephesians 1:4-14
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Paul was so amazed at the sheer magnitude of these blessings from God that he kept on writing and writing, and did not stop until he reached the end of verse 14 – this makes it the longest sentence in the Bible. And if we really take time to consider what these blessings are, we will be absolutely amazed as well. They will make us realise what an immense privilege we have to be God’s people.
The spiritual blessings that Paul wrote about in these verses include being chosen before the foundation of the world (v.4), predestined unto the adoption of children (v.5), accepted in the Beloved (v.6), redeemed and all our sins forgiven (v.7), initiated into the Divine Mystery (vv.8-10), obtaining an inheritance (v.11) and being sealed with the Holy Spirit (vv.13,14).
Added to them are many other significant blessings that Paul mentioned in the rest of his epistle to the Ephesians: They are blessings of hope (1:18), power (1:19), peace (2:14), boldness of access to God (3:12), strength (3:16), spiritual gifts for service (4:7), and the whole armour of God (6:11).
And here is the best part: They are all ours – every one of them! What a great treasure trove of precious spiritual blessings we have!
I don’t know about you, but I would never trade these spiritual blessings for all the riches in the world, because they are absolutely priceless. To put it another way, these spiritual blessings are ‘out of this world’. That is probably the reason why Paul used the phrase ‘in heavenly places’ to describe them. The spiritual blessings that God has blessed us with are truly ‘out of this world’. They give us a wonderful foretaste of heaven, so that we will choose to set our affection on things above rather than on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2).
Why settle for earthly blessings?
This is totally opposite to the Health-wealth-prosperity Gospel that is being preached so widely today and makes everyone set their affection on things of the earth. This false gospel teaches that God wants all believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and personally happy. It has gained a very large following by endorsing materialism and promoting greed. Prosperity Gospel Preachers encourage their followers to pray for and even demand miracles and material prosperity from God. The books they write have titles like ‘Its Your Time’, ‘This is Your Day for a Miracle’ and ‘8 Steps to Create the Life You Want’.
The truth is that the Health-wealth-prosperity Gospel actually short-changes people drastically. It distracts us from our true eternal riches by turning our attention instead to the transient material riches of the world. But what are all these worldly treasures? They are reduced to nothing at all when compared to the vast spiritual riches that God has bestowed on us freely.
So, what relevance does all this have to you? It will give you the right perspective you need to have as you live in this world. Whenever you feel weary or disheartened, take time to review all the spiritual blessings that God has blessed you with. Whenever you suffer any loss or feel unjustly deprived of anything, just focus your thoughts on the spiritual blessings you have from God.
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