Blessed with every spiritual blessing
Ephesians 1 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 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, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 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 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 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, 14 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.
15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
In today’s text from the beginning of his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul says: 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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on 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 on us. We could surely spend days rather than just minutes reflecting on all that is said in these few verses. First, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. That means more than that the blessings of heaven are waiting for us when we die. We are blessed with them now. All of the perfection and all of the realities of heaven are already ours. In heaven there is no evil. There is no sin. There is no violence and hatred. In heaven there is no lack of anything that we need and there is no sickness, disease or death. From the very beginning of His ministry on earth, Jesus said: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17) Repenting requires that we change. We need to change what we do, but even more, we need to change how we think, what we believe. In Luke 17:21, He says: “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” In Luke 19:30, when Jesus was on the cross, He said: “It is finished.” On the cross Jesus completed all that needed to be done in order for the prayer He taught us to pray to be fulfilled. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, just as He said: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Amen, so be it. In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus says: “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” We need to know and to properly use the keys we have been given to loose all of the blessings and the realities of heaven to earth. We need to bind the demons of Hell, just as they are bound from heaven.
Perhaps one of the keys is also found in Paul’s opening statement: He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. God chose and chooses that we would be holy and blameless. It is His will for us. Even before Jesus came, God instructed His people saying: Be holy because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7) If it is God’s will that we be holy and blameless, then if we want His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we must be holy. Of course, we are not able to do that on our own any more than those to whom God commanded it in those verses from Leviticus. But, Jesus gave us the keys. We don’t do it on our own. We do it in and through Christ. He chose us in Him. Remaining and abiding in Christ is a key to our holiness and so to obtaining every spiritual blessing we have been given. In John 10:30 Jesus says: "I and the Father are one." In John 17:21-23, before Jesus was crucified, finishing the greatest work of intercession on our behalf, He prayed a prayer of intercession for us saying: “That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” 1 John 1:5 says: God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we will abide in Christ, remaining in Him, we too will have the light of God in us. His light will dispel all darkness. Just as it is in heaven, it will be on earth.
We see another key in that: He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on 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 on us. We are sons and daughters of God through Christ. In Romans 8:15-17 it says: You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. We have already inherited all that the kingdom of heaven has and holds. It is already ours through the finished work of the cross. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. We have redemption and forgiveness of sins. We also have restoration to what God chose and intended from the beginning, from the foundation of the world. He said: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of thesky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28) Jesus says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18) He says: “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18) Jesus has given us the keys. We need to use them to bring His authority in heaven and earth, back to earth as God intended.
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. Thank You that I am blessed and that You have given me the keys to the kingdom of heaven through the finished work of the cross. As I abide in You, may Your kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.