Everyone needs encouragement, so I wanted to change gears and remind you of one of the greatly neglected elements of our relationship with God in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 makes an incredible statement that we ought to take time to meditate and muse over:
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. (Eph. 1:3 NAS)
The problem is that we are so cluttered up at times with life that we don’t feel blessed. We feel like survivors in a prison camp. Life is so filled up with stuff, not all bad of course, but it certainly weighs on us even if it is good; good can often mean busy and lots of work too. On the other hand, we have lots of challenges too. Many people are not happy in their work; others are “stuck” in school and detest the opportunity because it is not relevant to life. Still others feel lonely, overwhelmed, and suffocating in responsibilities or relationships that are sucking the life out of them. Among a myriad of other issues life sometimes can feel pretty unfair – to say nothing of the fact that many people are their own worst enemies and bring much affliction on themselves.
I want to list the “blessings” that these few verses indicate we have from the hand of our Lord. The obvious question many bring up after seeing these is usually positive, but the tricky part is what difference does it make? Here are some of the blessings God has given us:
- We (Christians) are in Christ (3) – “in Christ” is: we have a new mode of existence; a new way to look at life.
- God chose us in Christ (4) – He chose us; not, we chose Him…:?
- God chose us in Christ before He created the world and all that is in it (5).
- God chose us to be holy and blameless before Him (5).
- In Christ He predestined us to adoption as sons through Christ (5).
- God’s purpose is done according to His kindness (5,9).
- God’s will is to bless us (5).
- God will use our life to praise and worship Him (6).
- God has freely lavished His grace upon us (6,7-8).
- We are greatly loved by God in Christ (beloved) (6).
- We have redemption in His blood (7).
- We have forgiveness of our trespasses (7).
- He has made known to us the mystery of His will (9).
- We have an inheritance according to His purpose and will (11).
- He will manifest His glory by what He is doing in us (12).
- Having believed the gospel we were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit (13).
- The Holy Spirit is the promise to those who believe in the gospel (13).
- The Holy Spirit indwells our life and personally interacts with us (13-14).
- The Holy Spirit is a pledge of our inheritance from God to us (14).
- This pledge (Holy Spirit) is a guarantee that we belong to God (14).
- This pledge is God’s guarantee of our final redemption to live with Him forever (14).
This is not everything God has secured for us or continues to secure for us. The key is that all this comes only because we are in Christ. It is not something we earn – it is freely given by the riches of His grace. What does this mean? It ought to change the way you view your relationship with Him and the way you live life. We should not feel like we are only surviving – we have everything we need for life and godliness! Amazing for sure.