Unlike the tradition of religions which depend upon resources from a humanistic plane, God gives his children untold resources to live life on the supernatural plane. God gives his children power to perform his work, peace in pursuing through pain of life, pleasure in participating in revealing his glory to others, provision in paying for taking the Gospel around the world, and possession of his plan for humanity through the ages as revealed in His Word. These spiritual blessings separate Christianity from every other religion in this world. God wants to bless the socks off his kids.
When I was in Israel, I looked at an ancient map which gave me an epiphany into this passage which I will post next time so as not to make this post too long. So let us get to it.
Eph 1:3-14Praise 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. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who loves you so much that I have done everything possible to forgive, save, secure, bless, purify, and guarantee your life both here on earth and one day in heaven. Why would I call it “lavishing on you” in vs 8 if you had to earn or work hard to attain it? I AM the Master builder of My church. I AM the one who chose you and revealed my mysterious will to you through my Word and gave you EVERY spiritual blessing that I can for my purposes to be accomplished in and through you. I AM the God who marks you with My Spirit the seal and deposit of salvation making you mine for eternity. I have taken care of your past, so you don’t have to worry about your failures; your present, so that you can live boldly for the kingdom; and your future, so you can have ever increasing joy as you look forward to life’s end with certainty. Nothing on earth can offer you an equivalent. No matter what life throws at you, you have all that you truly need in me. Your problem is that you confuse your wants with needs. Keep your eyes on me and what I have to offer, and you will have all that you need and more to help others. Satan got Eve to take her eyes off of all the beautiful things in the garden which I gave them freely, only to want the one thing they could not have. I have given you everything for life and righteousness, why would you want more than that? Want Me.
We tend to thank God for things that he does for us and rightly so, but what can we learn about who God is from this passage so that we can praise him for that as well? What is he like? Since He has given them to us, then that means that He must own them in himself as well. What are these spiritual blessings that come from God that this passage is talking about? What do they look like in our lives when He manifests them in us? These should be obvious to all. What characteristics are they? Even though they are heavenly, are they transmutable? He chose us = He has volition and has given that to us. He is Holy and blameless = He is righteous, without sin, and In Christ, so can we be. Freely given = He is generous, so we can be too. Forgiveness of sins = God is forgiving and tells us to as well. Made known to us = God is all knowing and wise, he made us to possess knowledge and wisdom and expects us to use it. According to his pleasure and will = God finds pleasure when he chose to bless us with his grace. He is gracious = we can be too with God’s grace in us.
Col 3:1-4 say it best: Set your hearts and minds on things above, where Christ is seated… when Christ, who is your life… this is our problem, our minds are on things below, and we live as if he is not our life so his spiritual blessings don’t mean as much to us as his physical blessings. But more on this in our next post.