Every Spiritual Blessing
Every spiritual blessing, Part 1
15th January 2016
If we're not careful, we can get a bit grumpy with God. We know it makes no sense to grumble at God, because God's perfect so it's illogical to blame Him for anything, but sometimes we can feel like complaining to God about the prayers He hasn't answered the way we wanted. So it's good to remember what God has done for us, because that helps us to maintain an attitude of gratitude and praise.
Early in his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul says:
God has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing.
We haven't received every material blessing, every financial blessing, or even every physical blessing - every healing - we'd like. My Aston Martin still hasn't arrived, and I've still got diabetes. But we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. It may not feel like it when the cat's been sick on the carpet, and the car won't start, and the children are fighting, and you haven't got enough money to pay the gas bill, but if you're a Christian you've already been given every spiritual blessing there is. And spiritual blessings are much more valuable. Material, financial and physical blessings are only for a few years, but spiritual blessings last for eternity.
It's only right and proper that we should praise the One who's blessed us so abundantly.
Paul says God has blessed us in the heavenly realms. The phrase "heavenly realms" occurs five times in Ephesians but nowhere else in the Bible. Paul's saying something specific in this letter, and he says it several times: We Christians live on earth, but we also live in the heavenly realms. In chapter 2 verse 6, Paul says that God has seated us in heavenly realms - past tense - it's already happened. That's why we can, as Hebrews 4:16 says, "approach the throne of grace with confidence". As Paul says in Philippians 3:20, "our citizenship is in heaven".
Sometimes we feel completely earth-bound, but sometimes we feel so close to the throne of God. We live physically on earth, but spiritually in heaven. I do hope you feel that heavenly environment sometimes. I hope you have moments, as I do, when we're so captivated by the glory of God that we're only barely aware that we're on earth at all.
Perhaps these things are too wonderful for some of us right now. But the truth is that every Christian lives in heaven now, as well as on earth.
And God blesses us in Christ. It's only by faith in Jesus that we receive these spiritual blessings. The name "Christ" occurs 10 times in the first 14 verses of this letter. Paul's making it absolutely clear that Jesus Christ is central to God's plan for us, and His plan for the world.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In the Greek, verses 3-14 form a single sentence, containing many of the great doctrines of the faith, and setting out some of our most important spiritual blessings. In the coming weeks, let's look together at these wonderful blessings we've already received, and be thankful.