Start the next part of your journey. Go far close to home at McDOwell Tech, the 6th best community college in the USA

 

The Blessing of Blessing

By Caron Cline

Burke CountyCaron Cline

The letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus contains some of the most powerful promises concerning our identity as children of God. This letter was most likely circulated among the various churches in Asia Minor, including Laodicea. Identity theft is one of the greatest tools used by the devil to render believers useless in the kingdom of God. This letter from Paul was written as a revelation of the abundant blessings lavished by a gracious Father upon His children as well as practical instructions for living out our calling to the glory of God.  We have an incredible destiny and we are loved with an everlasting love. Let’s dive into the first few verses of this letter.  In Ephesians 1:1-2, Paul calls himself an ambassador of Christ Jesus. Ambassador means one who is sent. Paul was personally commissioned by Jesus for Jesus’ purposes. My favorite phrase is ‘by the will of God’. How could it be God’s will to call someone like Paul? He was a former persecutor of Christians; a Pharisee who thought himself holier than thou. He stood by and watched the stoning of Stephen, basically having the blood of Stephen on his hands. But the passion Paul had in persecuting the church was a gift from God that Satan had stolen. God took it back. God will use us in spite of how much we have blown it in the past. It takes one word of surrender and one step of repentance for God to pick us up and turn us around. He will pull us out of the miry clay and set our feet upon a rock. (Psalm 40) He will rewrite our story for others to see and we can fulfill God’s intended destiny for our lives. He holds the master script, but He will not force us to accept His will. Our challenge is to say ‘yes’ to everything God has for us. God leaves that up to us; He gives us a free will. Paul said ‘yes’ and God took those gifts and turned the world upside down.

As Paul greets the recipients of this letter, he proclaims two very important blessings over them: grace and peace.

The Greek word for grace is ‘charis’ and it means favor and the goodwill of God and Christ toward us.

The Greek word for peace is ‘eirene’ and it means one, quietness, rest; the peace of mind that is a result of reconciliation with God.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God, therefore, to experience the grace and peace of God we must be full of faith. We can rest assured that this is God’s intended destiny for every one of His children.

The deeper we tread into Ephesians 1:3-14, the clearer our intended destiny shines. Paul actually becomes a worship leader in these verses. He begins to think upon the amazing benefits that we enjoy as faithful followers of Jesus and the blessings bestowed upon us by our Father. I don’t think he can sit still as he writes or dictates this letter. I can see him getting more excited with every phrase.

He blesses God and so should we because He blesses us. He blesses us with a blessing. That seems like an odd phrase.

He blesses us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. We will see the phrase ‘in Christ’ over and over throughout this letter because there are no blessings outside of Christ. Therefore, there are no blessings without a relationship with Jesus. Every blessing is hidden in Him. Those of us who have bowed our knees in surrender to His Lordship is now hidden in Christ with God.

We are called to abide in Jesus and to allow His word to abide in us. We are to hang on His every word.

Let’s go back to verse 3. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

The Greek word here for spiritual means ‘imparted by the Holy Spirit’, so it is supernatural. The word for blessing here is ‘eulogio’.  A eulogy is kind words spoken over someone. It also means fine speaking; elegance of language; benefit; commendation.

Here is something exciting to think about: because we are in Christ, only supernatural spiritual words of elegance and commendation are spoken of us in the heavenly places.

Romans 8:33 reminds us that if God is for us, who can be against us? Our God is speaking kind words about us, His children. God is for us.

Corrie Ten Boom said: “God is voting for us all the time. The devil is voting against us all the time. The way we vote carries the election”.

God is always speaking blessing over His children. Satan is always speaking curses over God’s children.

We must make a choice to believe the truth over the lies of the enemy.

Why would the Father refuse to listen or to speak negative comments about His beloved children? The truth can be summed up in just a few words.  God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless and He is not interested in hearing any other report. He calls those things that are not as though they are! (Romans 4:17)

How can sinful creatures such as us attain the status of children of God, holy and blameless? The answer to this question is also in these verses: God loved us and predestined us for adoption as His children through Christ, according to the purpose of His will.

2 Corinthians 5:21 also tells us that “He (Christ) Who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. As born again believers, we stand before God wrapped in the righteousness of Jesus and as far as God is concerned we are holy and blameless.

We are blessed, chosen, adopted and redeemed.

Redemption equals freedom.  The blood of Jesus paid the ransom so that we could be released for the adoption process. The price was without equal. There was not enough money in the world to secure our release, but the blood of Jesus was sufficient payment. That blood bought our freedom and totally forgave us of every sin; past, present, and future. We are cleansed and our sins are completely removed.

Again, we are forgiven because of the riches of God’s grace, which He lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight. This word ‘lavish’ means to shower generous quantities upon someone.  It would almost seem foolish and shortsighted to lavish such wonderful eternal blessings upon people like us; dust. After all, we keep making the same mistakes; we keep doing the wrong things over and over; we fail to honor our Father as He deserves. Yet, God lavishes the riches of His grace upon us in all His wisdom and insight, realizing beforehand that we will fail at times to live up to our potential.

We were chosen before the foundation of the world to be hidden in Christ. God has an eternal viewpoint. In His omniscience, before the world began, we were already redeemed and sanctified and delivered into the kingdom of God for all of eternity.

These spiritual blessings that we experience are the revelation of the mystery of God’s will. It’s interesting to note that a revelation is a sudden understanding of a previous mystery. One minute you are blind to the truth but the next minute your eyes are open to truth. When a person receives Jesus as Savior and the Holy Spirit comes into their life, the eternal light of the glory of God opens their eyes to the truth in an instant. Suddenly, by the revelation of the Spirit, we get it! The mystery of God’s will is Christ in us, the hope of glory. The blessings are no longer temporal; they cannot be removed. Once we are in Christ, all these things and more are ours. He has died and risen to provide us with everything pertaining to life and godliness. It’s within us, not without.  Our blessings are spiritual and therefore eternal.

One of the last blessings mentioned in these verses is the promise of our inheritance, an inheritance which we already possess. Our salvation is our inheritance, yet we still have not received it in its fullness. Jesus didn’t leave His disciples, nor us,  as orphans and once He ascended back to heaven, the Father sent His greatest gift and blessing to His children; the Holy Spirit. Once we believe in Jesus, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The word ‘seal’ means ‘to stamp with a private mark for security’.

We are stamped and we are sealed. He is not leaving and no other spirit is coming in. Although the enemy can still attack a Spirit-filled believer’s soul (mind, will and emotions) and physical body, he cannot touch the spirit which has been sealed by the Holy Spirit. He knows that we belong to the God of the Universe. This seal is also airtight and keeps our spirits fresh; it cannot spoil or decay. We are forever young!

Therefore, we are secure for all of eternity. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance and is always with us to witness to our spirit concerning the truth of our relationship with God the Father through Jesus the Son. He reminds us that we are heirs of God-coheirs with Christ-and that we possess every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. This gift has one purpose; that God might receive the praise and glory due to His name for all of eternity!

We are blessed, chosen, blameless, holy, adopted, redeemed, forgiven and sealed.  Nothing on earth can ever compare!

________________________________________________________________________________

Caron is a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. She loves to teach the word of God.

Her desire is to see every believer grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

________________________________________________________________________________