Today I want to share with you what I see as the spiritual blessings from God in the heavenly places that the Apostle Paul talks about in the book of Ephesians.
Many people try to make more of this scripture than what it says. They make it out to be every conceivable blessing they can think of, but is that really what the Apostle Paul meant?
Let’s take a look at this scripture and decide for ourselves.
EPHESIANS 1:3 NEW LIVING TRANSLATION (NLT)
3 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
Now if we just read that verse, you would conclude that the emphasis is on “every.” However, remember that context is king. You must look at what the entire paragraph, chapter, and even the book are talking about otherwise you might come to some erroneous conclusions.
The Apostle Paul lists these spiritual blessings from God in the following verses. Let’s take a look, shall we?
4 Spiritual Blessings From God
EPHESIANS 1:4 NEW LIVING TRANSLATION (NLT)
4 EVEN BEFORE HE MADE THE WORLD, GOD LOVED US AND CHOSE US IN CHRIST TO BE HOLY AND WITHOUT FAULT IN HIS EYES.
The first blessing that he lists is that even before God created anything; He loves us!
Now before you roll your eyes at the simplicity of that think for a moment. It doesn’t just say that He loves us, but that before He created anything else, He loved us!
Now it is easy to think that God might love other people. People like your pastor or minister. People like the ones who play on the worship team or serve in the food ministry at your church.
It is even easy to believe that God might in some way love humanity.
But it becomes much more difficult to believe that God loves us personally. We know ourselves. We know how many things we have done in our past and even do today that are not all that lovable in God’s eyes indeed!
But that is not what the scriptures say! It says that God loved you even before He created the earth! Wow!
Holy And Without Blame
Not only did He love us but He also made us holy and without blame in His eyes!
That is a hard thought to comprehend. We know we are not holy. We know that the things we have done are our fault. However, that is now how God sees you.
It says that God sees us differently in His eyes.
How can we believe this?
God sees us through the sacrifice that Jesus made. Namely, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. When God looks at us, He sees the purity of the blood of Jesus. He sees the righteousness of Jesus. He sees us through those lenses not how we look at ourselves.
Adopted Into The Family
EPHESIANS 1:5 NEW LIVING TRANSLATION (NLT)
5 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.
Paul goes on to list a second spiritual blessing from God. Not only does God love us but we were brought into His family. We are now legal relatives to the God of the universe. We have been given all rights and privileges that come with being part of a family.
Once again that might be easy for us to think of when it is applied to other people but it becomes much more difficult when we think about it being used to ourselves.
Most of us at best think of ourselves as the red headed step children of the kingdom of God. We might be in there somewhere but nowhere close to being a beloved son or daughter that was chosen to be part of a family because that is something that the Father wanted to do and because it made Him smile.
You see, not only were you loved, but you were chosen!
I had the privilege to adopt my nephew. He was in a situation that was not healthy for him, so I chose to adopt him. Later I had the opportunity to walk away from that choice. I refused. I chose him, and I made him my son.
Do you know how he refers to me today when talking to other people? He calls me his dad even though I was his uncle. That is the power of adoption.
You were adopted by the God of the universe!
Purchased Our Freedom
EPHESIANS 1:7 NEW LIVING TRANSLATION (NLT)
7 HE IS SO RICH IN KINDNESS AND GRACE THAT HE PURCHASED OUR FREEDOM WITH THE BLOOD OF HIS SON AND FORGAVE OUR SINS.
Before we came to know Christ we were slaves. Slaves to our sinful behavior. Prisoners to doing things the way the world does things. Captive to our wounds, hurts, and brokenness.
God sent His son to take us out of that bondage.
Have you ever heard the saying “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps?” Have you ever tried it? It is impossible.
Instead of us struggling in futility to escape the bondage’s that we are trapped in, God lifted us out of sticky clay that had us tied to our failures.
He purchased our freedom, and he forgave us our sins. With that forgiveness, the relationship is once again restored.
Think about it. If you have something against someone, are you in right relationship with them? Of course not! The same was true concerning us. We did not have a relationship with God because there was something between us. We had lived in ways that offended God.
However, that is all changed. Those offenses have been forgiven!
The Earthly Ramifications Of These Spiritual Blessings From God
So you say, that is all well and fine but how does that apply to me?
If you get these things deep in your heart, they will change your identity.
When you know that you are loved, then you will no longer need to try to fulfill that need for love in unhealthy ways. You won’t need to get love from unhealthy relationships. You won’t need to medicate the pain of not being loved with alcohol, drugs, or sex.
If you know you were chosen, then you will see that you do have value. The God of the universe chose you. No longer will you seek your value from what you do or how much you have. You will know that you have value because God valued you.
If you know that God sees you holy and without blame, then you will stop running from Him and start bringing to him your every need and every problem. You will stop trying to hide your struggles from Him.
When you do this, then you will find His strength and power to overcome anything that comes your way. You will find the freedom that He has already been made available to you.
These spiritual blessings from God in the heavenly places have great earthly value as well!