We are in a series on the basic beliefs of the Christian faith as outlined in the Apostles’ Creed. When the Creed affirms, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, the life everlasting,” it’s talking salvation. Ephesians 1:3-10 is about salvation, and in the original Greek is one long sentence. Paul clearly was excited by this topic! Let’s take a look at the spiritual blessings of salvation:
 To whom do these spiritual blessings come? They come to believers (“us”, v. 3), because they are “in Christ”. In fact, for those who are “in Christ”, every blessing already is ours (notice the verb tense). God chose us (v. 4) in Jesus, “the Beloved” (v. 6). It’s “in Jesus” that we have redemption (v. 7). If you have Jesus, you have every spiritual blessing. If you don’t have Jesus, you have none. Every spiritual blessing comes “in Christ”. Our “union with Christ” is both legal and vital—like marriage. When you marry, your assets legally become shared equally. In salvation, all of Jesus’ assets become ours. His payment for sins also becomes ours (Romans 6:3-10, 23). We also are united with him in his resurrection. His vindication becomes our vindication. As a result of our union with Christ, we get credit for what Jesus did! We also have everything we need for life and godliness, because we’ve been made partakers of Jesus’ divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4). Jesus’ vitality becomes ours. This truth is both comforting and convicting—because it means that we have no excuse for sinning! Each person either is, or is not, born again, he either has every spiritual blessing or he has none. Just as in marriage, there is a wooing process. God draws sinners to himself, and when anyone says “I do”, every spiritual blessing becomes his! You may not be sure the exact day or hour that you crossed the line (John 5:24), but you’re either united with Christ or you’re not. You either have life in him, or you don’t. You either have all of the spiritual blessings, or you don’t.
 What are some of these spiritual blessings? There are many, but Paul focuses on three: adoption (v. 5), redemption (v. 7), and consummation (v. 10). (1) In biblical times, people adopted not because they wanted to raise children, but because they wanted an heir to carry on their name and receive their wealth. God is everyone’s creator, but in adoption he becomes our loving father; we receive unprecedented access, intimacy, and security. (2) “Redemption” means to be purchased out of slavery. We all enter life as a slave to sin (John 8:34 & Romans 6:20). Even a good thing, such as your children, if you’re living for it, it is your master. What happens when your kids go off the rails—who are you then? If you have any identity other than “child of God”, it is enslaving you. (3) The spiritual blessing of consummation is that eventually God is going to put an end to all evil and suffering, conquer death, and make the world new. The Paradise lost in Eden will be restored in Christ when he makes all things new. This world is chaotic, and we ourselves are falling apart. Even so, one day you will die, and if you are a Christian, you will be raised to live out eternity with God and with his people in a perfect, disease-free, death-free world!
 What enables us to receive these blessings? Redemption through Jesus’ death is the complete payment for your sins (v. 7). When you rest in what Jesus has done for you, and ask God the Father to accept you because of what he has done, you are united with Jesus, and these spiritual blessings become yours. All of them—lock, stock and barrel!
 How can we know if we have these blessings? Experientially, we know we have these blessings when Christ is praiseworthy to us (v. 6). So, do you find that God’s grace evokes your praise? We have earned condemnation and deserve hell (Romans 6:23). The “good news” of the gospel is that in Christ is God’s grace. So, when you think about salvation, does it evoke gratitude to God and worship in you? If it does, that is a good sign that you are in possession of the spiritual blessings that Paul talks about here.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- For those who have placed their trust in Christ as sin-bearer—praise him for the spiritual blessings that have come to you because you are “in Christ”.
- For those who have not yet responded to what God has done for us through Christ—respond today. Today is the day of salvation! Contact us or email us. We look forward to helping!
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)