Every Spiritual Blessing
Without a doubt the greatest gift a person can ever receive is their eternal salvation. Salvation is a gift of unimaginable value and cost, and one that should be cherished and treasured more than anything else (cf: Matt 13:44-46).
The Apostle Paul recognized the value of his salvation and that it was not gained through his own actions (cf: Rom 9:16). In the opening chapter of Ephesians, Paul explains that God is responsible for it all, and we humans are simply the recipients of this gift of priceless, infinite value.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Eph 1:3-6
Here, Paul weaves together a magnificent image of the blessings we have in Christ. I love that Paul says every spiritual blessing. Not just some, but every one of them. God doesn’t hold back good things from His children (see Luke 11:13). So, what are these spiritual blessings? While there are many, the one I’d like to focus on today is our salvation.
Reading this passage, it is important to note that Paul uses the past tense verbs as he writes about what God has done for us – blessed, chose, predestined, bestowed. For a believer, these promises and blessings have already been obtained; God has already given them to us. This might be tough for us to comprehend as we live in a fallen world, but as we see here and in other places in Scripture, we possess these blessings today (cf: Eph 2:10, 1 Peter 4:10, 2 Cor 5:17).
In a similar fashion, our salvation is ours right now. It is not something we need to continually earn or work for; we possess it, and we do so because of God’s grace, as we have previously studied. The assurance of our salvation is part of this heavenly blessing. And how do we know this? Paul tells us: because God chose us before the foundation of the world.
The next question we might ask is: why? Why did God choose us before He even created the world? Why has He blessed us with every spiritual blessing? Paul explains it in practical terms: that we would be holy and blameless before Him,and to the praise of the glory of His grace.
This is where the rubber meets the road for believers. God saved us and gave us these heavenly blessings before time began so that we would live lives that glorify Him and bring Him praise. He didn’t save us because He was lonely or because we somehow deserved it, instead He saved us because He is a gracious, loving Father, and by doing so it ultimately brings Him glory and honor. And because He chose us for these things, we can rest fully assured of our salvation as long as we continue to love Him, love others, and abide in Him (cf: 1 John 3:23-24).
The idea of having assurance in our salvation is something many of us struggle with at some point in our walk. As we can see here, the hope of salvation rests on God’s promises, and that should bring us great comfort. God did not intend His adopted children to wonder if they were part of His family or not. Instead, He wants us to have full confidence in His ability to save us and preserve us (see John 5:24, John 6:37, Phil 1:6, 1 John 5:13, etc.). So let’s go boldly before His throne in prayer, praise and thanksgiving, living lives that honor Him and showing others that He is good, and rest certain that every spiritual blessing in heaven is ours this very day.
If you struggle with the guarantee of your salvation by Christ’s work alone, I encourage you to read the following passages and prayerfully ask God to help you discern and understand what an extraordinary and irrevocable gift He has given you through His Son: John 1:12-13, John 6:44, John 15:16, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 9:11, 2 Thes 2:13, 2 Tim 1:9, 2 Tim 2:10, Heb 4:16.