Spiritually Blessed

“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.” Ephesians 1:3

By the grace of God when we accept Jesus for who He is and what He has done to atone for our sins we can be elevated out of the pit of this world into the spiritual realm of His Kingdom. We no longer are slaves to the sin nature that we have inherited from our parents Adam and Eve but have become the children of God with all of its spiritual blessings. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)

We have the consolation of departing from this passing world into the eternal Kingdom that gives us the security of rest in the hand of the Father. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:29) We live in the power of His Holy Spirit that dwells within that leads us on our journey through the wilderness of this world and guides is to the safety of the greater world to come. There in a place of love, peace, and joy we are truly the sons of God. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

Jesus suffered the scourge of the Roman soldiers, the mockery of an illegal trial, and crucifixion on the cross, that through His righteous sacrifice for our sins we could be set free from the wrath of God. By His death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for each of us is by His grace freely given to us as His own gift. The Father gave His obedient Son Jesus all power and authority on earth and heaven. He rules over the principalities and the powers of the spiritual realm and is the absolute majesty of Heaven. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18) The benefits of which are unlimited to those who trust Him.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” As a follower of Jesus Christ we have already been blessed with the spiritual blessings. This verse does not say that we will receive these blessings but that we have received them. “Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” These blessings are ours, we have already received them. When we received Jesus into our lives we also received the blessings from the infinite resource of God’s Riches in Glory. This is an assured certainty, as God’s Word has been proved by the testimony of time and history that no man can doubt.

We also know the kind of blessings and the place these blessings are. They are spiritual blessings not as physical blessings that will pass with the body’s death but spiritual blessings that are eternal. These blessings are in the heavenly places where moth not rust cannot destroy and where thieves cannot steal then away. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” (Matthew 6:20) We spend too much time gathering material blessings that will depart us when we leave this world to the next. The greater value is the spiritual blessings as they will always be with us in the heavenly places.

If we cannot see the value of spiritual blessings, then we are living on the same level as the animals. We are living only to eat, sleep, entertain, and reproduce. Mankind was created in the image of God and He has so much more for us that is higher than our imaginations. Sadly many reject the Word of God, reject His Son Jesus, reject His grace and gift of salvation, and choose to live on the level of the animals. God through His Word wants us to know every spiritual blessing that is ours in the heavenly places. The blessings that we receive through Jesus Christ and the desire of God to provide every blessing available to us.

What then are these spiritual blessings that we have received from God through our relationship through Jesus Christ? Are they some mystic power or cosmetic connection that is reserved for only a few? No they are available to all as the benefit of a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Greek word for blessings is “eulogia.” This word carries the meaning of fine speaking or elegance of language. It is the language used when giving a eulogy which is words of adoration. A blessing is a bounty of fair speech. Since it is God who has blessed us through Jesus Christ then He is speaking good things to us and giving us a bounty of good benefits. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17) The good things that God gives to us are beyond our ability to number but we can outline a few by looking at a few verses in this chapter of Ephesians.

The first spiritual blessing in in verse 4 that He has chosen us before the foundation of the world. He has chosen us, mankind, to be holy and without blame before Him in love. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love.” (Ephesians 1:4) While we were yet still in rebellion towards God, still living in the sin nature that ruled our lives, God in His love for us made provision that we could become restored to be His children. God chose to extend His grace to us that we could receive salvation through His Son. This is the amazement of God that He chose this plan even before sin had entered into the world. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-6)

In verse five we see that we have been adopted by God as His children. Not only is it God’s desire to make us holy but gives us full status as His children. “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” (Ephesians 1:5) Through Christ we can approach God, our Father and receive the full benefits of being His child. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

We are accepted by God our Father through the righteousness of His beloved Son Jesus. As wretched as we are in this world we are seen by the Father as graceful or favorable through His Son Jesus. When we put on Christ God see us in His beauty, in His kindness, and in His righteousness. The blood sacrifice of Jesus has taken away the guilt of our sin and we can stand before our Father perfectly accepted. “To the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

We were once in the bondage of slavery to sin but now we have been redeemed. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:7)Redemption speaks of buying one’s freedom by paying a ransom. The price of our sins is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) That price has been fully paid on the cross by Jesus whose blood has washed our sins away. We are no longer slaves to sin but we have become slaves to God. The gift of salvation is free by God’s grace but it is not free. It was bought by the blood of Jesus. We have been purchased by God at a high price and we are obligated to glorify God in our body and spirit. “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)

We have received the blessing of forgiveness which is the other side of the coin from redemption. By Jesus paying our sin debt the wages of sin in our lives have been canceled. No longer do we live in the burden of guilt resting upon our lives for disobedience to God’s Word.

Many are blinded to the mystery of God’s Word. The god of this world has made the light of the Word of God a mystery to them. “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) The follower of Jesus has been given the spiritual blessing of God’s wisdom and insight in His Word that we may know that God’s desire is to bring all things together to glorify Jesus. “In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him.” (Ephesians 1:8-10) All of God’s creation was made by Him and for His good pleasure. The completion of God’s plan will be when everything and everyone is brought to glorify Christ. By aligning ourselves by faith with Jesus we become part of God’s perfect plan and purpose. “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

As the children of God through Jesus we have an eternal inheritance. That inheritance is beyond the thoughts of man, it is above man’s imagination. “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) The riches of God’s glory, an eternal home prepared just for us, these things do not even begin to describe the inheritance that awaits us in God’s Kingdom. “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:10-12)

The children of God are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God as a pledge that we will see all these blessings that have come to us. The sealing of His Holy Spirit is the mark of ownership that God gives us that the world may know that we are His. The Apostle Paul speaks of this as a down payment towards our full redemption to hold us until the day that Christ brings is to God. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

The list of God’s spiritual blessings go on and the number of privileges we have through Christ are more than we know. We are fellow laborers with God. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9) We are His ambassadors to bring His message of reconciliation to this foreign world of earth. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) As members of the Church of Jesus we are the Bride of Christ that will be presented to the Father perfect. “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” (2 Corinthians 11:2) In this world of trials and tribulation we have peace that passes all understanding, as we are at peace with God. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) The assurance that no power in the universe can separate us from the love of God. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39).

We receive these blessings by our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. By repenting from this world and its sinful ways and turning towards the righteousness of the Kingdom of God. “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.” (Acts 17:30) We do this by our confession of faith in Jesus knowing that we were lost in sin and now we are free. “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

We accept Jesus for who He is the Son of God our Savior that paid the price of our sin on the cross, died, rose from the grave on the third day, and now intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. This is our confession. “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, May 10, 2017

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