All Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Ephesians 1:3

Paul began his letter to the Ephesians by offering praise to God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). There are many reasons why God is worthy of all praise and honor; but in this passage, Paul directed our attention to the spiritual blessings we have from Him. We give glory to God because he has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

As Paul continued, he listed some of the spiritual blessings available to us:

  • Predestination – “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Ephesians 1:4-5). The New Testament teaching of predestination is not the same teaching by many in the denominational world who teach that God unconditionally preselected certain individuals for salvation. Paul wrote in another letter, “Those whom He foreknew, He also predestined” (Romans 8:29). Predestination is tied to divine foreknowledge, not arbitrary selection. God predetermined that a certain class of people would be saved – those who would be “holy and blameless.” We are able to be part of this group in Christ.
  • Grace – “…to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). Grace is God’s gift of salvation. Paul told Titus, “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). This grace was given to us freely (“freely bestowed”), not according to what we deserve. After all, what we deserve is punishment: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
  • Redemption – “In Him we have redemption through His blood…” (Ephesians 1:7). We have been redeemed by God from our bondage to sin. We belong to God, having been “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Peter reminded us of the price that was paid by God to redeem us from sin: “You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
  • Forgiveness – “…the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). All who have reached an accountable age have separated themselves from God in this manner. Paul wrote, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In this condition, we are helpless to fix it. Paul later told the Romans, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Receiving forgiveness of our sins allows us to have fellowship with God since “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
  • Revelation – “In all wisdom and insight He made known to us they mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him” (Ephesians 1:8-9). God made known the mystery in order to lead us to Christ. This mystery was revealed by the Holy Spirit. “For to us God revealed them” – the things previously hidden, the mystery (1 Corinthians 2:7-9) – “through the Spirit… Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). This is the one spiritual blessing that is given to all. The rest are reserved only for those who are in Christ. This blessing – “the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13) – shows us the way to get into Christ to receive these other blessings.
  • Inheritance – “…we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). An inheritance is given to children or heirs. Paul wrote elsewhere, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:29). Peter said this inheritance is “imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Jesus has gone on ahead of us in order to “prepare a place” for us in the presence of God (John 14:2-3).
  • Pledge – “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is a pledge – a “down payment” – of our inheritance. God has assured us that He will save us if we follow Him. We do not need to worry about God failing to fulfill His promises.

One important point to remember about these spiritual blessings is that they are available to us in Christ. There is nowhere else we can go to receive these blessings. Jesus is the only way (cf. John 14:6).

This begs the question: How does one get in Christ? To answer that question, we will simply let the Scriptures speak for themselves:

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3).

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

Does this mean that baptism alone saves us? Not at all. In writing to the Galatians, Paul connected baptism with faith (Galatians 3:26-27). In the letter to the saints at Rome, Paul wrote about how belief and confession pertain to our salvation (Romans 10:9-10). And in the same chapter as the verse cited above, Paul showed the need of repentance – becoming “dead to sin, but alive to God” (Romans 6:11).

So how can we access the spiritual blessings in Christ? By getting into Christ. After hearing the gospel, one must believe it and believe that Jesus is the Christ, then repent of his sins, confess his faith before men, and be baptized into Christ. Doing this will allow one to take advantage of all these blessings that Paul discussed here.


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