Christians have an amazing spiritual “inheritance.” We can thank Jesus for that. We are blessed in every imaginable way because of Christ. “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.” (Ephesians 1:3)
- Our blessings are “spiritual” and in “heavenly places” – our blessings are not earth based. They’re not something we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears, smell with our noses and touch with our fingers. They will not pass away, they will not rust, they will not decay. They are by nature “spiritual” and thus spiritually perceived, understood and enjoyed. They are blessings of another realm. They are not lying on the ground, flying through the air or floating on the water. They are not restricted by heighth, width or depth. They are not held within an earthly container that has boundries of size and shape. We don’t have “some” spiritual blessings. God says we have “every” spiritual blessing. We don’t compare what we have spiritually with other believers as if one Christian can have more or less of God’s blessings than another believer. Every believer has every spiritual blessing. Our blessings are safe from being stolen, lost or given away. They are secure in heavenly places. No person, no government, no army, no angel can hide or take our spiritual blessings from us. Everything God has given us is under His Supreme provision, protection and purpose.
- That knowledge should fill us with hope and joy every moment of our lives. Life on earth is hard. Sometimes it can become too much for us to bear … in our own power. It is at those times we need to read and re-read Eph. 1:3 and remember this great “fact” about our position in Christ. We have “every” spiritual blessing and no matter how difficult life becomes, we don’t lose what Christ won for us. Jesus won those spiritual blessings for us through His pain, through His humiliation, through His stripes, through His death on the Cross, through His resurrection from the grave, through His ascension into the heavenlies to sit on the Royal Throne of Heaven. The “spiritual blessings” you and I enjoy today were provided for us at great cost to the God of Heaven. He loved the world so much, He gave His One and Only Son so that those who believe would not perish, but have everlasting life. We can thank Him every day for what Christ did for us and enjoy those spiritual blessings.
The spiritual blessings we have in Christ are certainly remarkable and constitute true miracles since they cannot be performed by anyone but God. However, our spiritual blessings contrast deeply to those of God’s other chosen people, Israel, and should give us great reason to pause and reflect on the vastness of our blessings. The relationship God has with us is based solely upon His Grace. Israel’s covenant is based upon God’s Grace and the Law He gave them in the wilderness. The Church, which is the Body of Christ, receives every spiritual blessing in heavenly places as a gift of Grace from Jesus Christ, the Savior and Head of the Body. We do not deserve it and cannot earn it. Israel received its spiritual blessings as it obeyed Jehovah. Israel did not receive “every” spiritual blessing as Christians do because no flesh can obey God.
“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28
Even as God gave Israel His Law and His promise of great reward in a land flowing with milk and honey, Jehovah the Almighty laid out for Israel the sad future it would face in its inability to obey even the least of God’s commandments. This portion of God’s Word was prophetic of the terrible history of Israel’s punishments for its sins for thousands of years to come.
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright. ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit. ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate. ‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied. ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you. I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas. I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest—for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it. ‘And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues. They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away. ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes. Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.’ These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the Lord made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.” Leviticus 26:13-46
Israel continues under the curse of the Law to this day and has yet to be redeemed from individual and national sin, though their redemption is drawing closer every day. Fortunately for Christians, we are not under any curse and have been forgiven all our sin because we are not under the control of the Law, but are under the protection of God’s Grace!
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” Romans 6:14
Anyone who stands outside God’s salvation which came through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile, is under the curse of God’s Law. No man, woman or child can stand before God on the merits of their own works and good deeds. No one is justified by the Law. Those who are just live by faith.
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Yet the law is not of faith, but ‘the man who does them shall live by them.’ Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:10-14
We are truly blessed to know the salvation of God and not only are we saved from eternal punishment, which every one of us deserves, God gives us every spiritual blessing in heavenly places! Before any of us might become proud of what “we” were able to accomplish when Israel could not, let us always remember that what we have in Christ is all from God and because of God. None of us received any spiritual blessing because of our goodness. We are no better than the Jews and they are no better than the Gentiles.
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” Romans 3:9-12
It’s pretty clear, then, that the pride any of us should feel about our having every spiritual blessing in heavenly places should be in Christ only, Who earned our blessings with His Body nailed to a Cross and His perfect obedience to God’s Law. Without Christ we have no hope. With Christ we have every spiritual blessing. What a gift!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”