Is there any way we could imagine someone forgiving our past wrongdoings, then letting us know that the wrongdoings we are current doing as well as those we are going to do in the future are also forgiven? Of course not, but that is exactly what happened when Jesus Christ died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, past, present, and future. The ransom He paid for us included the forgiveness of all of our sins, not just the past. All we have had to do is to accept Him, by faith, as our Savior and Lord. This is not an excuse for us to sin, knowing that they are already forgiven; it is an opportunity for us as Christians to thank the Lord for this spiritual blessing and to live a life that would please Him, praising and glorifying Him. We will still sin, and we need to confess to the Father the sin; however, as we confess, we need to thank Him for the marvelous blessing of forgiveness of sins that He has provided for us.
With a Savior so powerful that He can forgive all of our sins, how can you not count it a blessing to be able to serve and tell others about Him?
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
When Jesus Christ paid the ransom for us who were in the slavery of sin by dying on the cross, He bestowed upon each of us who have accepted Him by faith as personal Savior additional spiritual blessings. It is through His matchless grace that redemption brought the forgiveness of our sins: past, present, and future. Think about that for a moment: He forgave even the most hideous of our sins. In fact, there is no sin that we have committed that is greater than His grace to forgive. He has placed our past sins behind Him, remembering them no more. Some of us Christians may carry with us the guilt of past sins; if so, the fact that He forgave the sins also meaning that He forgave us should relieve us of the guilt of those sins. If, as a Christian, you are carrying the guilt of past sins, rest in the assurance that the sins and you have been fully forgiven!
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
While the spiritual blessings of being blessed, chosen, predestined, adopted, and accepted come from the work of the heavenly Father in salvation, the next few spiritual blessings in the first chapter of Ephesians come from the work of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, also in salvation. Before we became believers, we were stuck in the bondage of sin with no possibility of a right relationship with God. The only way we would be released from that slavery would be to pay a ransom to God, and that is exactly what Jesus Christ did: pay the ransom for us through His sacrifice on the cross. He redeemed us with His own shed blood and death, an awful price to pay for sinners such as each of us. How can we not accept Him by faith when He provided such a spiritual blessing for us?
When you accepted Christ as Savior, did you fully realize what a spiritual blessing you received from the redemption provided by Jesus Christ?
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood…” (Ephesians 1:7a)
We previously referred to Paul as having been specifically chosen by God when he, then called Saul, had his Damascus Road experience. God had a plan for Paul’s life, and we know through Scripture “the rest of the story.” Likewise, God chose each of us who are Christians even before the creation of the world and did so by Himself and for Himself, not because we deserved it but because of His love and plan for our life. Having been adopted as a child of God we have also been given the spiritual blessing of His own nature, made in the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is unlike adoption from a human standpoint: adopted children can be accepted, loved, and receive an inheritance, but they cannot have the distinct characteristics of those adopting them. Although we still have the responsibility to exercise our faith by believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are indeed blessed to have been loved enough by God to accept us as one of His children.
Are you not thankful that you accepted Christ as your Savior and now considered a child of God?
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5)
All Christians should be familiar with the grace of God as it is through the grace, unmerited favor, of God that we have salvation by accepting by faith His Son, Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. It is also this same grace that provides all spiritual blessings that are ours as Christians. It is in God’s providential grace that He has blessed us with spiritual blessings in the heavenlies from which all His blessings come. The multitudes of blessings we receive come from the work of God and are available only to those of us who are “in Christ,” God’s children who are saved through our faith in Christ. All spiritual blessings or enrichments that are needed for spiritual life are bestowed on every believer; it is up to us to appropriate them by faith.
Have you appropriated these spiritual blessings by your faith and used them for the Lord in your spiritual life?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
It was through God’s will that Paul was made an apostle of Jesus Christ. Originally named Saul, he was a violent persecutor of Christians, that is, until he had an encounter with God on the Damascus Road, an encounter that changed Saul from a persecutor against Christ to Paul an apostle and prisoner for Christ. It was through God’s will that Saul was encountered on that road; it was through God’s will that Paul became an apostle of and perhaps the greatest missionary for Christ; it was through God’s will that Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesians, telling them and also us of our great spiritual blessings as Christians. As we embark on this short series of devotionals concerning our spiritual blessings, thank God that it was His will that each of us accept His Son as our Savior and receive the bountiful spiritual blessings that are ours as Christians.
While you are thanking God for being a part of His plan, thank Him also for the many spiritual blessings you have received as a Christian!
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God…” (Ephesians 1:1a)
As Christians we are not guaranteed a life that is devoid of concerns, spiritual concerns included. These concerns can be burdensome and heavy upon our heart and life; however, we as Christians also have a place to turn for an answer to our concerns. Whatever our spiritual concern is God’s Word has a response for us, and He is waiting to commune with us in prayer. He is our “twenty-four hour help line,” always ready to ease our spiritual burden if we simply come to Him, leaving us with the peace of God within our heart. The question then becomes, “What is our response to Him?” One way is to always carry a heart and attitude of gratitude for what He has done for us. We express this gratitude to God through our service for Him, telling others of Him, and communing with Him through prayer. Regardless of what is happening in our life we can go to Him in prayer, remembering that true prayer is always accompanied with gratitude.
Have you expressed your gratitude to God for His amazing grace in your life
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)