In Christ

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Eph. 1:3

Sometimes we forget just how blessed we are, and we need to call to remembrance God's blessings to us. But we also need to remember just how we have come in possession of these blessings. For they are not of our own making. In our text, these blessings are described for us as “spiritual blessings” (1:3); that is, blessings which come to us through none other than the Holy Spirit in his ministry to us as he imparts to us the riches of Christ. They are called “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (3:8) since the blessings we receive through Christ are infinitely valuable. And they demonstrate “the manifold wisdom of God” in the salvation of his people (3:10).

These are, first and foremost, blessings “in Christ” (1:3). Not everyone is in Christ. We are all “in Adam.” We share Adam and Eve’s fallenness. We are broken, selfish, godless sinners and rebels who are worthy of the judgment of God. Look around you. The world in which we live is man’s world. It is our world. It is the world man has created. All the injustice and hate and war and moral confusion that makes our world so ugly and depressing and dark is mankind’s signature upon human history. Sin is not a harmless or inconsequential pleasure. It is not just a “failing.” Its consequences are all around us, and it is sickening. And what we need to understand is that the darkness that is all around us is also within all of us. All of us. None are exempt. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). Therefore, none of us deserve even the least blessing from God. When we ask why do bad things happen to good people, we forget that there aren’t any good people: “There is none good but one, that is, God” (Mk. 10:18). The only really perfect man who ever walked this earth was crucified 2000 years ago. We cannot expect a single blessing from God if we are expecting him to bless us because of who we are or what we have done. We can only expect to be blessed by God if he chooses to do so out of grace. But God is not only gracious; he is also holy. And the only way God can be both gracious and holy is if our sin is punished in Christ. All the blessings of salvation come through Christ, and through Christ alone. We receive them through faith in Christ, by looking away from ourselves and resting completely upon the sufficiency and merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).

If you are in Christ, if you belong to him by faith, if you enjoy saving union with the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf, then the blessings which the apostle records for us in Ephesians belong to you. And you should not only own them, you should reflect upon them until you feel your heart filling with thanksgiving to God. Let us who are in Christ say with the apostle, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ."

By: Jeremiah Bass