It’s a tradition in my family at Thanksgiving for each of us to share one thing we are thankful for as we sit around the table. Some years, it’s easy to a list a hundred blessings. Other years, it’s hard to think of even one.
As Christians, our gratitude should never be based on the temporary blessings of this world. Regardless of whether you have a long list or the heavy heart this year, let’s take a fresh look at the incredible spiritual blessings we have received in Christ. These blessings don’t change. These are blessings we can never lose.
These blessings are not earthly things like relationships or possessions. They are spiritual blessings. And all of these spiritual blessings are found in one place—in Christ.
Jesus is the blessing from which all other spiritual blessings flow. When Christ becomes our very life, He becomes the source of everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
These blessings flow from Jesus, but what exactly are the spiritual blessings Paul describes? Here are just ten of the blessings that Ephesians chapter one mentions.
1. We are chosen
"Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…” (v4)
God, who created all things, chose us to be His. Furthermore, He chose us before He created the world. In other words, He specifically chose to create us. Contrary to the evolutionary belief that we all evolved without any thought or purpose, Scripture says that God specifically made you. And He chose to make you His child.
2. We are holy and without blame
“…that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” (v4)
Websters 1828 dictionary defines Holy as, “whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart, temper or dispositions; free from sin.” Blameless is defined as; “Without fault; innocent; guiltless.”
While we live in this world, we will sin. However, sin is no longer our identity. If you are in Christ, you are holy because Christ is holy. Your actions do not define you. Christ’s action on the cross defines you and makes you holy. He crucified our old sinful man, clearing all our guilt, and gave us a new life, clothing us in His righteousness.
3. Adoption as sons
“…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself…” (v5)
In addition to being specifically chosen by God and then made holy, we have also been adopted into the family of God. God is our Father. The church is our brothers and sisters. We are no longer orphans.
4. Acceptance in the Beloved
“…He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (v6)
Our acceptance as sons of God is not based on our own actions or inherent worth. It is based on the grace of God, that is ours through faith in Christ. Since we did nothing to earn our acceptance, we can do nothing to become unacceptable to God once we are in Jesus.
5. Redemption through His blood
“In Him we have redemption through His blood…” (v7)
Redemption is similar to a ransom. We were slaves of sin, but Christ paid our ransom with His very blood. We are no longer slaves. We are redeemed.
6. Forgiveness of sins
“…the forgiveness of sins…” (v7)
The forgiveness of sins can only be found in Christ. There is no other way to obtain forgiveness. So if we belong to Christ and confess our sins to Him we are forgiven! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
7. Riches of Christ’s grace
“…according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us…” (v7-8)
Grace is often thought of as an undeserved hug from God. Grace is undeserved. However, it is much more than a hug. Grace is God’s enabling power to live the Christian life.
Are you in bondage to a specific sin? Does it feel impossible to live in victory? You have access to the riches of Christ’s grace which He has made to abound toward you. This grace is available to every believer who will reach out in faith and receive it from God.
8. Knowledge of God’s will
“…having made known to us the mystery of His will…” (v9)
Does it ever feel like God’s will is a mystery? In Colossians, Paul explained the mystery of God’s will. Are you ready for it? “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
This might not be the answer you hoped for. Nevertheless, it is an immense blessing. When Christ becomes our life, He enables us to live the Christian life, He sanctifies us, conforms us to the image of Jesus, gives us hope for eternity. This has been the will and the purpose of God from before the foundation of the world.
9. An inheritance
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance.” (v11)
“You received the Spirit of adoption…we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:15-17).
We often think that God asks too much when He says we must give up all to follow Him. And yet, God has given us all that He has in Christ as our inheritance. What do we have to give up in comparison to what He has given us?
10. Sealed with the Holy Spirit
“…in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” (v13-14)
The night before Jesus was crucified, He said, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus said it was better for us to have the Holy Spirit than to have the physical Jesus with us.
One reason it’s better is because the Holy Spirit is always with us. “I pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever…you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
- Read through and meditate on Ephesians 1 and respond in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for all the spiritual blessings you have received in Christ.
- Seek Jesus afresh. Make Him your goal, your reward, and your desire. All the spiritual blessings are found in Him. And all that we need for life and godliness is found in Him.
|About Katie: Loves an urban cafe as much as the smell of campfire and pine. Works in communications while studying business and non-fiction writing, and is most happy when leading worship and discipling others.|