LIVING AS SONS FROM THE HEAVENLY REALMS
Ephesiand 1:3-6; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has crowned us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ; even as, in His love, He chose us as His own in Christ before the creation of the world, that we might be holy and without blemish in His presence. For He pre-destined us to be adopted by Himself as sons through Jesus Christ–such being His gracious will and pleasure– to the praise of the splendour of His grace with which He has enriched us in the beloved One (Weymouth translation).
As we continue dissecting our text to search out and understand what it means to live as the sons of God from the heavenly realm we want to consider the idea of spiritual blessing and blessings. First, what is spiritual blessing? We find this reality throughout the Old Testament record practiced in this manner: a father would lay his hands on his children and pronounce a blessing upon them. Most often the blessing would be a positive reinforcing of the value of their person and place within the plan of God.
We see this when Jehovah, our heavenly Father, pronounced future blessing upon Abraham personally in Genesis 12:2-3; And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. There are three important observations to make in this pronouncement: (1) Father blessed Abraham personally -I will make you a great nation, and I will make your name Great; (2) This personal blessing would cause Abraham himself to be a blessing; (3) And, within Abraham’s personal blessing, and him being a blessing, all the families of the earth would be blessed. In this we see Father affirming Abraham’s personal value as His son, and Abraham’s significant place in God’s eternal plan. And with this blessing Abraham went forth in faith from Haran not knowing where He was going only knowing that Father was going to bless him and others through him. What significance and confidence this blessing must have imparted into Abraham’s soul! We find this practice of “blessing” throughout the scriptural record of biblical history but what must not be missed is that it was initiated by our heavenly Father to impart heavenly blessing from the spiritual realm. Abraham’s blessing had the force of heaven behind it to preserve and fulfill it. It is the divine nature of our heavenly Father to bless therefore He speaks blessing upon us. This has much import for our subject text.
Ephesian 1:3 begans with Paul blessing the Father because Father has blessed us with “every” spiritual benefit that exist in the spiritual realm. These blessings or benefits were conceived in the mind of our Father and were a reality in heaven before ever the world and man was created. We did not have access to these blessings while we were dead in our trespass and sins. When we are are deemed to be in Christ , by the Father, these blessings are at once ours though it may take years to perceive them. Many such blessings are benefitting us while we remain unaware of them. Our ignorance of them does not negate the benefit of them, and thankfully so. But as the Spirit reveals them to us, our adoration of, and thanksgiving to, our heavely Father abounds. This is the meaning when Paul says “blessed be” the Father at the beginning of verse three for the word “blessed” here means adorable. The idea is this: Let the Father be adored for what He has done in Christ for us! Father is far more worthy of adoration than babies and kittens!
Paul says we adore the Father who has blessed us. This word “blessed” means; to celebrate with praises, to invoke blessing for the purpose of causing to prosper and to make happy, and to impart the favour of God. Beloved, this level of bestowment was in the Father’s heart and mind-for actions proceed from the heart but begin as thoughts-from before the foundation of the world. Throughout eternity past Father was thinking specifically of you, and you were so wonderful and precious to Him, His infinite generosity bestowed upon you every spiritual blessing His infinite wisdom could conceive, and His infinite power could accomplish for you. This awesome truth is no doubt beyond our natural understanding but it can be received by faith into our hearts. And it should be-so receive it now! But wait-it gets even better.
The word “blessings” is the Greek word “eulogia” from which we get our English word eulogy. Listen to the definition of eulogy according to Webster: a speech of commendation of a person, on account of his or her valuable qualities or services. Unfortunately most eulogies are delivered upon one’s death at the funeral ceremony when the deceased can never here the value of his or her life in the estimation of family and friends. But not so with Father! He blesses or eulogizes His sons in life-so we can know now-how He esteems and values His sons while we live; and to impart confidence and significance to us while we are living-as He did with Abraham so He does with us.
Now listen to the spiritual meaning of eulogia: it is a spiritual commendation, benediction, or consecration given with elegance of language to impart benefit and largess which is a present, gift or a bounty bestowed. How gloriously beautiful such revelation is to heart and mind. How is it Father can think and speak this way concerning me-for I often fall short? Is not this all to often our rebuttal to such inconceivable heavenly reality? The answer beloved is Christ.
The end of verse three directs us to the cause of such blessing-it is possible because we are in Christ. Remember Father loved and chose us-in Christ-before the foundation of the world. Father foresaw our sin, but He also foresaw our being in Christ, and this latter view blotted out and removed the first view before you were born into sin in this life. Paul reveals in Colossians 2:10, that we are complete in Christ; but beloved Father saw us complete in Christ from before the foundation of the world when He first conceived you in his heart and mind. And the same holds true for Hebrews 10:14 that declares that by one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Beloved, Father saw us perfected and standing complete in Christ before the foundation the world, for He chose us in Christ from before the foundation of the world. There is no other way for the these truths to be so. If He saw me in Christ before the creation, then he saw me complete and perfect in Christ at that same time-before I ever committed one sinful act. Sin has never been a problem for God for He removed it in Christ from before the creation of the world and most definately before you and I ever sinned. Sinning is a problem for us. It cripples our faith, casting us down from our heavenly place in Christ, to be held in the death grip of shame, guilt, and comdemnation from which we cannot escape until confession is made, unrighteousness cleansed, and fellowship restored.
These truths are too high for finite human reasoning and can only revealed by the Holy Spirit to our spirit-man who is willing and able to receive such heavenly reality by faith. If Father could look past our sin in Christ, we too, should look beyond our sin to see ourselves in Christ as Father does-complete, perfect, and crowned with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. Through this heavenly view we not only see ourselves positioned and seated in Christ, who himself sits at the right hand of the Father, but we begin to discover the spiritual blessings of the heavenly realm. As we discover these invaluable spiritual blessings, our affections are diverted from earthly things as those things are consumed by the glory of eternal things. As we possess and utilize these blessings we are progressively equipped to live our life on earth from our heavenly place in Christ just as Jesus did. In our next post we will introduce the truth that the man Christ Jesus lived His life on earth from the heaveanly realm.
Until next time be who you are-a son of God living from the heavenly realm.