Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
(Ephesians 1:3 NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
(2Peter 1:3 NIV)
God’s grace given to those who follow Jesus includes “every spiritual blessing in Christ.” What are some of these spiritual blessings? We have a list in Ephesians 1:
- ...he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Ephesians 1:4)
Before creation, God chose that we, his people, would be holy and blameless before him. This righteous state before God is made possible by other spiritual blessings: forgiveness of our sins through Jesus’ shed blood, and the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
- In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ… (Ephesians 1:5)
All who follow Jesus are predestined to be adopted as his sons, apparently in the same sense as in Romans 8:23: “...as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
- In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses… (Ephesians 1:7)
All who follow Jesus have been redeemed! We are no longer lost and condemned; our sins have been forgiven! (as discussed in chapter 29). Jesus shed his blood for me and for you, to give us this spiritual blessing.
- And he made known to us the mystery of his will… (Ephesians 1:9 NIV)
Much that was hidden during Old-Testament times is now made known. We now understand that God’s purpose is “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:10 NIV)
- 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… (Ephesians 1:11)
We are “predestined” to a future “inheritance.” As 1Peter 1:4 says: We have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” See chapter 15 “Your Reward in Heaven” for more on this subject.
- 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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
As we saw in chapter 32, the Holy Spirit teaches us, reminds us, helps our understanding, brings us freedom, and gives us power. The Holy Spirit also is the guarantee of our inheritance.
Thank you, God, for blessing us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ!
For Further Reflection
Ephesians 1:1-14: The whole passage on spiritual blessings.
Romans 8:32: Graciously gives us all things.
1Peter 1:3-9: He has given us new birth into a living hope.
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