Apostle Paul begins the letter to the Ephesians with a doxology of praise to God the Father who blessed us in the Heavenly realms with seven blessings that we have in Christ. The heavenly realms refer to spiritual things that we cannot see or touch. It refers to Christ’s rule over all and where His people enjoy the blessing of the Heavenly Father. “In Christ Jesus” is used 7 times in this song of Grace. It describes our spiritual position in Christ, where we enjoy the Father’s blessing in our daily life. Let us have a look at these 7 blessing one by one as it is shown in this magnificence doxology.
(1) The Blessing of Election.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ, for He chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (1:3-4)
This is the marvelous doctrine of election, God the Father has chosen us in Christ! Remarkable, isn’t it? The Lord said in John 15:16 “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”. In doing this, He did not elect the rest for an eternity in hell, as our logic would suggest. If a person does go to hell, it is completely his own choice. It is not because God predetermined him to go there. Those who continue to deny God as the Creator of Heaven and earth, they deny God’s love for them. God in His love seeks them, but they reject His love to them. But thanks be to God, His saving grace comes to us, and leads us to believe in His Son Jesus.
God chose us in Christ for a purpose: to be holy and without blame. The Bible says: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14)
(2) The Blessing of Adoption
“In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ … to the praise of his glorious grace” (1:4-5).
The Bible says: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1: 11-13).
The word “predestine” gives us a vivid picture of a fence or boundary built around someone’s property. So when we speak of God predestining us for life in Heaven, we can think of our loving Father putting a protective fence around us before ever entering our mother’s womb. This fence says, “Hands off” to the devil, whose only desire to destroy us. But thanks be to God our Father “We are secure”. Our Lord Jesus said “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29)
(3) The Blessing of Redemption
“In Him we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of sins” (v.7)
To redeem means “to purchase and set free a prisoner or a salve by payment of a ransom.”
The bible says: “For you know that it was not with silver or gold that you were redeemed … but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter1:18).
By His death and resurrection, our Lord Jesus has redeemed us from three things; “the curse of the law, the power of Satan, and the power of sin”.
The curse of the law: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10) “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” (Gal 3:13) Our Lord on His cross met the holy demands of God’s Law.
The power of Satan: In Christ, we have been set free “For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:13-14)
The power of sin: “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace … and now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God’s righteousness, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Rom 6:13, 22-23).
(4) The Blessing of Revealing His will.
“He made known to us the mystery of his will—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (8-10)
What is the secret that God has revealed to us?
“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus”. (3:6).
That in Christ the wall of separation between the Jews and the Gentiles and between male and female had been brought down.
Ever since sin came into the world, things have been falling apart. First, man was separated from God (Gen 3). Then man was separated from man as Cain killed Abel (Gen 4). There was a difference between the Jew and the Gentile, a difference between male and female, but because the love of God in Christ’s death on the cross. Sin is tearing everything apart, but “In Christ Jesus we are all children of God through faith … There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3: 26-29)
Apostle John has seen a vision of that great plan of God “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7: 9-17).
(5) The Blessing of Inheritance
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, to the praise of His glory” (1:11-12).
In Christ we have a wonderful inheritance as Peter says; “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter1:3-5). That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Also in Christ we are His inheritance. We are valuable to Him. God the Son is the Father’s love gift to us; and we are the Father’s love gift to His Son. We note in John 17 how Christ calls us “those whom You have given Me.”
Christ’s future inheritance is wrapped up in His Church. In Christ, we will enjoy our inheritance in that day when He comes. The last two blessing are;
(6) The Seal of Spirit
(7) The Deposit of our Inheritance
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory”(13-14)
God the father through His Son has blessed us by giving us His Spirit to dwell in us and has sealed our salvation. The Holy Spirit is referred to as “seal,” and “deposit” in the hearts of Christians. The word “seal” means “to protect, to guarantee and engagement ring.”
God our Father has put his seal upon us because he has purchased us to be his own. In 2 Corinthian 1:22 we read “Now it is God who makes both you and us stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come”.
When we first believed, God marked us with a seal of His Spirit. The seal of the Spirit is spiritual bond between God the Father and us. That means that our salvation is secured. It keeps us safe. No one can break the seal. No one can break into our life. To the end, we are safe and secured.
The gift of the Spirit to us is also a down payment, God’s FIRST INSTALLMENT to guarantee to us that he will bring us to the eternal glory to enjoy our eternal inheritance.
That seal also means “Engagement ring”. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and his church is his bride. He gives his Spirit as the engagement ring to his church What a Great Assurance!!! What a great blessing we have; the Spirit of God is in us. We are God’s house. It is God’s plan to dwell with us for eternity, as John states in Rev. 21:1-4 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea and I heard a loud voice saying: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Because God grants us His Spirit, we can live joyfully; confident of our sure glorious place in heaven. Thank God, we are His forever. Yes friends, our hope is in what God has done and not what we have done or will do. So the sealing of the Spirit is our hope, our security – for God himself has stamped us, and there is no one greater than God. We are secure, and can be sure that all these blessings are ours in Christ. Let us thank God our Father for the great gift he has given us, the indwelling of His Spirit in our life. Let us walk then in that Spirit which we have been sealed with; to the praise of His glorious grace.