Spiritual Blessings in Christ
” 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, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” – (Ephesians 1:3-10 ESV)
Over the last several months I have found myself returning again and again to the book of Ephesians. The book has always fascinated me. It tells us who we are in Christ and who he is in us, and that we are blessed in Him. It clearly teaches us that our redemption comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It also reveals God’s plan of grace to conform us into his image. We see that God chose us and set us apart for himself before the creation of the world. And, that God reveals his master plan to unite all things in his Son. Everything and everyone which was made by Jesus (which is literally everything and everyone) will be summed up and have it’s meaning in Him.
I’m not really into the whole predestination debate anymore. I’m satisfied that God is both sovereign and that humans can make free choices. The ultimate goal of the Apostle Paul’s instruction here; is that we be conformed into the image of Jesus – not to argue how God chooses his elect.
We have been chosen to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be spiritually seated with him in the heavenly realms. We know that only those who are “in Christ” will experience eternal life with Jesus now, and in his coming Kingdom. God has marked us out and called us as sons and daughters. We are Christ’ inheritance and he has a lot invested in us.
Jesus is the source of our blessing and he delights in his children. The fact that we are seated in “heavenly places” with him should lead us to pursue his heart for all people. Some say we can be “so heavenly minded, that we’re no earthly good.” But, I don’t see that as my problem, or, an issue with the western Church as a whole. If we would access the “mind of Christ” we would have his perspective on life in this present evil age. We live in between what theologians call, ‘the now and the not yet of the age to come.’ Our quest should be to discover all that God has for us in this age “in Christ” as we experience his great grace and the power of the age to come, to some degree now. And, how we can impact people with the love of Christ that we ourselves have experienced.
As I delve more and more into the book of Ephesians, I find a hunger in my heart for a deeper intimacy with God.