Spiritual Blessings

Spiritual Blessings

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan.  And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.  Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.  And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.  The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him (Ephesians 1:3-14, New Living Translation).

In his letter to the Ephesian Church, Paul shares three pieces of good news. The first is that we were chosen by the Father who chose us in Him before He created the world so that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love. It was His good pleasure and will to adopt us as His children by His Son, Jesus.

The second piece of good news is that we are redeemed by God, the Son. We are redeemed through His precious shed blood and our sins are forgiven according to the Father’s rich grace. In Christ, are all things, both in heaven and on earth. It is in Him that we have an inheritance which was the Father’s plan from the beginning and will which shall be fulfilled.

It is God’s purpose that we should praise and glorify Him for all these wonderful things He has done and continues to do through His beloved Son.

The third piece of good news is that we are sealed by God, the Holy Spirit. In Christ, whom we also trusted, after we have heard the Gospel and having believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. A seal is a sign of ownership and authenticity. God makes the Spirit dwell in us as a sign that we are His. The word “guarantee” is a deposit, a pledge.

Through the Holy Spirit, God has made a deposit, a pledge that He will fulfill all His promises to us. We are guaranteed that when we believe in Jesus Christ, we will receive the Holy Spirit. And when we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, our inheritance is sure–guaranteed. And being sealed with the Holy Spirit shows that we are God’s. Only a child of God will have His Spirit in him or her. The Spirit dwelling in us determines whom we belong to.

So, we have reasons to rejoice and praise God. We were chosen, redeemed and sealed by God. We are His children. In order to be holy with Him and blameless with people, we must have the love of God in us (verse 4). Today, I encourage you to reflect on the good news that God wants us to be a part of His family. He sent His Son to die for you so that those who believe in Him will have everlasting life–they will have an inheritance and they will receive the Holy Spirit. Don’t keep this news to yourself–share it with others.