Do You Want Every Spiritual Blessing?
After Paul finished his greeting, he began his letter to the church at Ephesus by saying, in Ephesians 1:3, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”
He begins his letter by praising God. I think this is something that we, as believers, miss far too often. We need to praise God more…much more! Not just on Sunday morning when we’re singing the worship songs in church or on the freeway when we missed a near accident, but all the time. We need to praise God in our homes, we need to praise God at work, we even need to praise God when we are stuck in traffic. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I love how Charles Haddon Spurgeon put it when he said, “We are not sitting here, and groaning, and crying, and fretting, and worrying, and questioning our own salvation. He has blessed us, and therefore we will bless him. If you think little of what God has done for you, you will do very little for him; but if you have a great notion of his great mercy to you, you will be greatly grateful to your gracious God.”
Paul goes on to say that God has blessed us. Christians today, especially those of us in the West, often see blessings as monetary. In fact, you can turn on the television any day and hear a pastor preaching this very message. But, what does Paul say here? He praises God for “every spiritual blessing”. Notice he doesn’t say anything about physical or monetary blessings, he thanks God for every spiritual blessing. Spurgeon also said, “Our thanks are due to God for all temporal blessings; they are more than we deserve. But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings. A new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of God is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. To have God for our portion is blessed, infinitely more blessed than to own broad acres of land. God hath blessed us with spiritual blessings. These are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value.” Don’t you love that? Our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings! When was the last time you thanked God for spiritual blessings? For that matter, when was the last time you asked God for spiritual blessings? I noticed this passage years ago, and yet for me, it’s still not often enough. We are so focused on the physical that we often forget the spiritual. Oh, we might remember it in church, or when we read a blog about it, but we need to ask God to remind us of it daily. We need to ask God to open the eyes of our hearts to those spiritual blessings, He would be happy to, I’m sure.
David Guzik said, “If we have no appreciation for spiritual blessing, then we live at the level of animals. Animals live only to eat, sleep, entertain themselves, and to reproduce. We are the only creatures on this earth who are made in the image of God and He has something much higher for us, yet many choose to live at the level of animals. God wants us to know every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united in Christ.” The world keeps trying to tell us that we are just animals, but we know that we are much more than that. We are the only creatures who are made in the image of God. We are the only creatures with a soul, I’m sorry to break this to you, but all dogs don’t go to heaven, they don’t have a soul. We have a purpose, whether you have found your specific purpose or not, we are all here to glorify God!
The verse doesn’t end here though. It goes on to say that we have those spiritual blessings “because we are united with Christ.” I know that I often sound like a broken record, but this subject is just too important not to talk about. This is one of the key themes of the New Testament. Over and over again, the Bible tells us how important it is that we are united, and yet we keep dividing ourselves. In John 17:22-24, when Jesus was praying to the Father just before His crucifixion, He said, “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!” Did you catch what He said there in verse 23? He said, “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” Christ prayed for our perfect unity so that the world could know that He was sent by the Father and that we are loved. Why doesn’t the world believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? Because we have lost His perfect unity!
I’ve said it many times before, but if we don’t set aside our petty differences and unite as the body of Christ, we will never be effective in this world. Again, the only doctrine that matters is that of salvation by God’s grace, through our life-changing faith in Christ, that’s it. God wants us to be united in Christ alone. It’s time we stop following men and start following God!
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