July 1, 2018
Jesus Only: Spiritual Blessings in Jesus
Our series on the book of Ephesians, which we are calling Jesus Only, begins with the first 14 verses of the letter. These verses tell us about all the spiritual blessings we have in Jesus. God blesses so that his creation will give praise. The first truth that we get from the opening of this letter is this: God is to be praised. The word praise means “to bless, extol, or magnify.” To praise God means to focus my own attention on God, and in doing so, to draw the attention of others in that same direction. Praise is a Godward direction.
The second truth that we get from these verses is this: God is to be praised because he has blessed us. Ultimately, God is to be praised because he is God and there is no other. But God has done so much for us, giving us all the spiritual blessings he has in heaven. We praise God because he has poured out the spiritual blessings of heaven upon us now.
The third truth that we can learn from this passage has to do with the spiritual blessings we receive in Christ. First, God chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight. He sees us, not as dirty, sinful wretches, but through the righteousness that belongs to Jesus. Second, God adopted us in love. Whatever one believes about the idea of predestination and election, God has made us his children in Christ. Spiritually speaking, we were orphans with no hope for a home in heaven, but God sent his son and made us adoptable. Third, he bought us with the blood of Christ. We have been redeemed from death through the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross. Fourth, God confides in us by revealing what he is up to in the world. Fifth, God places his mark on us – the seal of the Holy Spirit.
The spiritual blessings we receive in Jesus reflect six core longings of every person: love, security, understanding, significance, purpose, and belonging. You are valued by God. He has satisfied your deepest yearnings in Christ. This gives reason to praise him!