by Ken Marshall
When God blessed Israel in Old Testament times, He gave people who obeyed all His commandments earthly blessings, because the Israelites were His earthly people whose destiny was to be fulfilled on earth. In Deuteronomy 28:2–6 they were given blessings of the field, cattle, basket and store. Israel’s hope was from the foundation of the world and their blessings were physical because they are to be enjoyed in an earthly Kingdom. Matthew 25:34
Today we are not promised wealth and an increase in worldly goods if we are a faithful member of the Body of Christ. It would be foolish to assess a person’s spiritual wealth today by the size of their bank balance, their house, their car or their business success. God will meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ. Philippians 4:14
The faithful in Christ Jesus are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3. These blessings are unique in their spiritual character and their sphere in heavenly places at the right hand of God. We have spiritual blessings because our eternal home is a spiritual sphere. The word ‘blessing’ in Ephesians 1:3 is the Greek word eulogy which means ‘to speak well of’. God has spoken good things about us or pronounced good things for our benefit.
The inception of spiritual blessings before the foundation of the world is also unique. Spiritual blessings are supernatural blessings far above such things as ‘basket and store’. We can’t count or appreciate all the spiritual blessings freely bestowed in heavenly places.
Let us take a look at twelve spiritual blessings revealed in Ephesians:
1. ‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.’ Ephesians 1:4
We were chosen as a group, a universal church, not as individuals for a definite purpose in the redemptive plan. We will enjoy every blessing that is spiritual in the Heavenlies. We were chosen by grace (unmerited favour) by the Father. Christ has taken our sins away from us so we are holy and blameless in God’s sight. God sees us through Christ. This does not mean that Christians are actually sinless or blameless, but they are holy and blameless in God’s sight. God chose to extend His grace to us and offer us salvation. He made this decision before sin entered the world.
2. ‘Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself.’ Ephesians 1:5
God predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ. When the epistle to the Ephesians was sent, a natural son could be disinherited but an adopted son could not. God grants us full status as His children.
3. ‘He has made us accepted in the Beloved.’ Ephesians 1:6
We are highly favoured and perfectly accepted.
4. ‘We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.’ Ephesians 1:7
Redemption speaks of buying one’s freedom, paying a ransom. Christ’s death has redeemed us. By a great price we have been bought back from sin and death and made free to become servants of Him.
5. We have ‘the forgiveness of sins’. Ephesians 1:7
Our sins were imputed to Christ who bore them on the cross. His righteousness was imputed to us who believe. When God forgives our sins, He also forgets them.
6. Christ as ‘Head over all things to the church’. Ephesians 1:22
This speaks of a relationship of the church to the Head. This is a union with Christ that can never be broken.
7. ‘In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated’. Ephesians 1:11
We have an inheritance in Christ and as a church have become a heritage. We have a glorious heavenly inheritance which is the highest and best God has to give (Philippians 3:20) and at the same time we are the inheritance of Christ.
8. ‘Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise’. Ephesians 1:13
A seal is a mark which designates ownership. We are sealed on believing and this mark is the new nature that is created in every believer. In Christ the Holy Spirit seals each member of the Body. Our eternal security is guaranteed.
9. ‘The redemption of the purchased possession’. Ephesians 1:14
The completion of redemption is the resurrection in the future. It is the final payment of which the seal is only a down payment.
10. ‘Made alive’ or ‘quickened together with Christ’. Ephesians 2:5
God makes us alive spiritually, raises us up together and seats us together in the glory of heaven’s holiest of all in and with Jesus Christ. Never before have any company of the redeemed been so favoured as to be blessed in the highest heavens where God is enthroned. The body of Christ can rejoice in such riches of grace and glory.
11. ‘He is our peace’. Ephesians 2:14
This is an individual peace each believer has. The Greek word for ‘peace’ refers to the total-wellbeing of a person.
12. ‘Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone’. Ephesians 2:20
The Church which is the Body of Christ is spoken of as a temple. It must have a foundation. God, through His Holy Spirit dwells inside all believers. Collectively, all Christians make up His temple in this dispensation. Christians are the bricks.