Eph 1:3-14 – “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ….” There is so much packed into this short passage, and it has such fundamental implications for our lives. Here are a few of the things I see:
- Adopted by God to be His child (verses 4-5): we have the best parent and are part of the best family ever. This gives us a sense of belonging. We feel it from our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we should feel it more and more as we meditate on verses like this. Did you have less than stellar parents, or did a parent pass away when you were young, or did they split up? It is becoming much more common in our society to grow up in a dysfunctional family for one reason or another. Regardless of your situation, if you are in Christ, you have a Father and family that is secure. This also means that our Father will make sure we eventually end up like Him, in the same way a child most often ends up very much like his/her earthly parents.
- Redemption through his blood (verses 6-8): the problem of our shortcomings and failures has been taken care of. If we are honest with ourselves, we all fall short of what we want to be. We all have insecurities. We all feel guilt before God about at least some things. But Jesus has taken all of that and covered it with his blood, something we could never do ourselves.
- He revealed to us the secret of His will (verses 9-10): incredible! He has shown us the mystery of the Gospel, given us hope for eternity, set us on a path to be united with Christ. (For more on the mystery of the Gospel, see Ephesians 3:1-13.) We all wonder and worry about the future. Why are we here? What will happen to us? In a world in which “no one can know the future”, our future is secure, our purpose clear: we will become like Christ, and be welcomed into God’s presence for all of eternity. Nothing on this earth can screw up that plan. The peace of mind that brings is immense.
- Sealed with the Holy Spirit (verses 11-14): this is personal, it isn’t just a mental exercise, a set of truths to intellectually assent to. He has come to live with us (John 14:23). It is like the difference between a pen pal on the other side of the world and a spouse who lives with us every day, experiencing everything together, supporting us when we need it. He is our strength to live like He wants us to, our teacher of spiritual and life truths, our comforter, our guarantee of all of His promises about the future.
God has addressed every fundamental need we have: belonging, forgiveness, hope, purpose, strength to live well, confidence for the future. No other religion or philosophy addresses all of that. Some give you rules to obey, some give you something to hope for without confidence, some give you wise sayings to live by. But the God of the Bible has given us everything we really need and long for (see II Peter 1:3-8). I would expect nothing less from the One who created us.
Sure there are things in this world we would like: enough money to live comfortably, a loving family, good health. But even if some of these things elude us, these spiritual blessings are enough. I want to fully take hold of all of these spiritual blessings, to walk in them daily. I want to know the complete fulfillment that comes from them. And I want to make use of them to bless others.