Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ: Eph. 1:3
The more I study Ephesians, the more I love this book. Today, I want to take a closer look at chapter 1, verse 3. I have read this verse numerous time but something keeps bringing me back. So this morning, I want to take a more in-depth look at just this verse.
In this verse Paul tells us that God has blessed us with “all spiritual blessings” in “heavenly places” “in Christ.” Now that’s a good three point outline in itself but I want to know what exactly are the ‘blessings’ that Paul is talking about and he answers that question himself in the verses that follow.
- An Election that can never be annulled – chosen in Him – Eph. 1:4
- A Relationship that can never be severed – unto the adoption of children -Eph. 1:5
- An Acceptance that can never be disputed – accepted in the Beloved – Eph. 1:6
- A redemption that can never be challenged – through His blood – Eph. 1:7
- A Forgiveness that will never be rescinded – forgiveness of sins – Eph. 1:7
- An Abundance that can never be exhausted – He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence – Eph. 1:8
- A Revelation that will never be superseded – the mystery of His will – Eph. 1:9
- An Inheritance that can never fade away – we have obtained – Eph. 1:11,14
- A Seal that can never be dissolved – sealed with that Holy Spirit – Eph. 1:13
- A Pledge that will never be dishonored – the earnest – Eph. 1:14
Oh how blesssed we are. And note here that this list is not exhaustive. God has blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings. Not some, not a few, but all. We just need to claim them. Notice also that these blessings are for those who are ‘in Christ.’
Seven blessings of being “in Christ”
I. The first blessing is deliverance from the deadly curse which sin entails. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” The sentence of eternal death is removed from everyone who accepts Christ, in faith, as an atoning Saviour. Such a one is no longer under the law to be eternally punished, but under grace, he is a forgiven man.
II. Of this life, Christ is the single source. Paul addresses the Church at Rome as “alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Master said, “Because I live ye shall live also.” At the very acme of his assurance, the great apostle could say no more than “It is not I, but Christ that liveth in me.” If the nurseryman inserts the graft of a golden pippin into an apple tree, that graft might say truly, It is not I that live, but the whole tree liveth in me; the trunk itself is pledged to send me sustaining sap. The reason why so many of our Church members are such poor, stunted, hapless creatures is that they are trying to keep alive without Christ.
III. So Divine a thing is this life of holiness in its origin, that it is described as a new creation. Man can construct out of materials at his hand; God alone can create out of nothing. “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” And this word “new” signifies also what is fresh, and unimpaired, and unworn, like a bright garment from its maker’s hands.
IV. A fourth blessing is “acceptance in the beloved.” If we are received into favor, it is solely for Christ’s sake.
V. Peace is the fifth blessing in this casket of jewels. The peace of God which passeth comprehension shall guard your hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus. Happiness beyond the reach of outside disturbance is assured to the believer, and harmony with God.
VI. The next blessing is the fulness of spiritual supply. Paul writes to his Colossian brethren, “Ye are complete in Him.” Dean Alford’s reading is a happy one–“Ye are filled full in Christ.” This is the inexhaustible reservoir which no giving will impoverish. Why need I hunger when in my Father’s house and in my Saviour’s heart are such wealth beyond a whole universe to drain?
VII. After reviewing all these priceless blessings, the exultant believer shouts–“Thanks be unto God who always causeth us to triumph in Christ!” This is the believer’s battle cry and paean of victory. (T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)