One of the things I remember from my first year as a Christian is a lot of big words — words like salvation, regeneration, redemption, justification, sanctification, predestination, glorification, dispensation, among many others. I could tell the words were important because older Christians were obviously taken with their importance. I was blessed to be able to look after and live in the house of a Bible teacher for a few weeks while he and his family were traveling. I had access to his large library of theological writings. I spent almost all of my spare time at the house reading from his library and learning about these beautiful and powerful words.

What I learned was that every true believer in Christ inherits all of these spiritual blessings at the nano-second they are saved.

“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 should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 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.” Ephesians 1:3-14

I didn’t know it when I was “born from above,” but I had inherited thousands of spiritual blessings explained through special words passed down to us for thousands of years. Here are some of the “words for a new life” just from this one small portion of the Apostle Paul’s writings.

  1. blessed
  2. spiritual blessing
  3. heavenly places
  4. chose in Him
  5. foundation of the world
  6. holy
  7. without blame
  8. love
  9. predestined
  10. adoption
  11. sons
  12. good pleasure
  13. His will
  14. praise
  15. glory
  16. grace
  17. accepted
  18. Beloved
  19. redemption
  20. His blood
  21. forgiveness of sins
  22. riches of His grace
  23. abound toward us
  24. wisdom
  25. prudence
  26. mystery of His will
  27. purposed in Himself
  28. dispensation of the fullness of the times
  29. all things in Christ
  30. inheritance
  31. works all things
  32. counsel of His will
  33. trusted in Christ
  34. Word of truth
  35. Gospel of your salvation
  36. having believed
  37. sealed
  38. Holy Spirit of promise
  39. guarantee of our inheritance
  40. redemption of the purchased possession

And that was just the beginning! God placed several mentors into my life during my first year as a “baby” Christian that prepared me for God’s calling in my life. Two of them were Bible teachers who introduced me to the great treasure of studying God’s Word from the Greek and Hebrew. The other two were pastors who had a great burden for shepherding God’s people and reaching the lost sheep in their community. I smile as I write this because God gave me the dominant spiritual gifts of teaching and shepherding and the mentors who were in my life during my first year as a Christian were men who had similar dominant gifts.

It’s just one small reminder that God chose us before the foundation of the world. It reminds me of what parents do before their children are born. They prepare for the arrival of the new bundle of joy. They buy clothing, furniture, diapers and other necessities for a newborn. They sometimes remodel a room and get it ready for the new baby. The birth of a child is no surprise to the parents and their family and friends. That’s why we say that a woman is “expecting.” They are expecting the child to be born, so they prepare. God did the same thing. He chose us in Christ from before the foundation of the world and made all the necessary preparations for our birth. Everything we needed was in place and ready. Nothing in our lives is by chance. God knew it long ago.

My guess is that you could say the same thing as me about your first year as a Christian. God knew you were going to be born and He prepared everything and everyone for you. Who did God put into your life as mentors that first year? Who were the Christians who ministered to you most? Did they have similar spiritual gifts as you? How has God worked in your life to prepare you for worship and ministry? It’s often through other Christians. I believe we are drawn by the Spirit of God to the people He will use to train us for ministry. Take a look around. Who is in your life now? What Christians are you drawn to spend time with? Who do you think like and want to be with in your local church and other Christian groups and organizations? What ministries are most important to you? That’s often a big clue to your primary spiritual gift and ministry.

The Bible is filled with words – 783,137 to be exact. More than three-quarters-of-a-million words, each one having great and eternal importance because they are the “Words of God.” These are words of eternal life. They teach us, guide us, protect us, answer our hardest questions, meet our deepest needs. I pray that all Christians will fall deeply in love with the Word of God and make Bible study a major part of their lives every day, year after year. The Word of God is our salvation, our hope,  just like Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has the Words of eternal life. No one else does. No other religion, no other philosophy, no other teacher or leader. Only Jesus has the Words of eternal life. We are most blessed to have these Words available to us to read, study, memorize, and internalize. The Word of God is not a book of literature to be read and put on a shelf. The Bible is alive with principles and precepts that save souls and guide the greatest living organism in the universe – the Body of Christ.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries