During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.
Before moving to the next portion of Paul’s letter, we must ask two questions of the blessings Paul has already spoken of (see Ephesians 1:3-14). First, where are they located? And second, why are they given?
Where Are They Located? In Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).
Where are these blessings located? A dozen or so times so far in his letter Paul has used the phrase “in Christ," “in Him,” or “through Him.” It is as if there is a position Paul knows of — and that position is in Christ Jesus. To understand this concept, we must think of Paul’s letter to the Roman church. There, Paul wrote of being in Adam by birth, but in Christ by the new birth. A transfer has occurred for every believer: now in Christ Jesus.
Every blessing of God is found in Christ. So if you are a believer, you have all the blessings because of Christ. In other words, someone earned them, and it wasn’t you. It is only in Jesus these blessings are found and enjoyed. We cannot earn them. We cannot work for them. They are bestowed.
Why Are They Given? For The Praise Of God’s Glory.
“to the praise of his glorious grace…” (Ephesians 1:6). “…to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:12). “…to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:14).
Why are the blessings given? Like the repeated chorus of a song, Paul three times mentions the praise of God’s glory. The church is to receive her blessings for a purpose: to respond in praise and worship, not only in song but in lifestyle. We are to become a people who bring glory to God by the way we live. So the purpose of the bestowal of these blessings, the outflow of such grace, is the beautification of the reputation of God.
We have been chosen for holiness, and a clean life is a life which points to God’s goodness. We have been predestined for adoption, and an accepted life is one of peace, which leads to God’s glory. We have been redeemed from the old life of sin. We are in the know regarding God’s mysterious plan. We have been sealed with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We have a guarantee we belong to God, and God to us. All of these blessings lead to a life of praise. All of these blessings lead us to glory in God, to give Him glory.
So the believer understands, the spiritual blessings of God are all located in Christ, and those blessings exist so that we might celebrate the glory of God. Let us be a people who mine the treasures of Christ forever and a people who sing the song of God's beauty as we do.