Monday: Ephesians 1:3-6
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3–6, ESV)
Every Spiritual Blessing
Blessing eulogia is speech that evokes a blessing. Have you ever had a manager give you promotion or a raise? You find out the good news when they speak to you. When we were teens, we asked to go to some place: a concert, a friend’s overnighter, drive to the beach with a newly-licensed friend. We begged to hear the words: “Yes. You may go.” Sometimes we got the blessing we wanted and sometimes we got the blessing we didn’t want. Father knows best. In any event, It is the parent’s voice that evokes a blessing.
A king has the power, by his tongue, to enrich you, to favor you, and to exalt you. Our Father has spoken a blessing upon us in Christ. More than a blessing, the Scripture says “every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.” Some may be rich in life but poor in health. Some maybe healthy but poor. I have known men who have much money but have been humbled by afflictions that money cannot prevent. I have known some who don’t have much money but are healthy and happy. Lack of money cannot prevent these blessings.
In this life you may have one or the other. But in Christ, you have every spiritual blessing. Some of it is received here. Much of it is reserved for later.
I prayed recently, standing upon the promises of God. I prayed for the promise of renewed strength found in Isaiah 40:31.
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV)
My heart is for spiritual renewal and a fulfillment of the destiny that God has for me. I want to live up the call. That is a promise I can believe God for. There are many promises that are spiritual blessings God’s Word. I have some here, I have some in heavenly places. I don’t care if I have no dollars in my pocket, if I know I can draw upon the bank and everything I need is there.
This is the blessing of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. I can be loaded down and lacking. I can turn to the Lord and sigh and groan and tell Him about it. I can immediately, by faith, fly faster than an eagle from here to there.
Faith sees what is invisible. It hopes for what it does not yet have.
If God does not fulfill a single promise to me for the next twenty years, I am satisfied to live on the promise itself. He has spoken every spiritual blessing for us.
We can enjoy what God has prepared for us who love him before we possess it fully.
Tuesday: Ephesians 1:4-6
“even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4–6, ESV)
He chose us, not only before we were born, but before the world was made. This means that God knew that man, created with free choice, would sin with his freedom. He knew that paradise would be lost. God knew that creation would fall and that redemption would be required. Where man would sin with his freedom, God would find a way to love the rebel and to legally reconcile him to Himself with His free grace.
But it would cost him dearly with His own son.
God declared this blessing to us before we born--before the world was made. This blessing is in Him, Jesus Christ.
People may make a lot of controversy about predestination. Men may group themselves into camps of free-will vs. God’s election. Jesus invites all to come to him by choice, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Whenever Christ spoke of God’s love to save, he said, “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Whoever is whoever.
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” John 7:37 Anyone means anyone!
But not everyone He calls, comes. And we see in Scripture that He passes many by. And with others, thought they seem to begin with them, they don’t persevere. He lets them go like: Korah, Dathan, Gehazi, and Judas.
Let’s be real, when we are left to ourselves, we will, like Adam, use our freedom to make the worst choice possible.
We have all chosen 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 3:10–12, NKJV)
We all need God to choose for us, desperately. We need him to work sovereignly and wonderfully to bring to do what we cannot do for ourselves, bring us, like the prodigal son, to our senses and to draw us to Himself.
God purposed to save a remnant, before the world was made, to make them holy and without blame before Him in love.
“who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” (2 Timothy 1:9, NKJV)
Wednesday: Ephesians 1:5-6
By the ninth grade I had experimented with nearly every known intoxicant available. By age fifteen, I was prematurely worn out. I had been attending church with the guy who helped me get loaded for the first time. He had “gone straight”. I was now at a youth camp. Reading a Bible, Jesus’ words: “Many are invited but few are chosen” seemed to be imprinted upon my soul. (Matthew 22:14)
Burned out, I believed on Him.
I emerged into a new birth, with new desires and a right departure from drugs, wrong friends, and all the slavery that came from my freedom; that is, from doing anything I wanted to do.
When my mother left our home with a new boyfriend and my father fell into work, drink and, ultimately, into the arms of a substitute for his lost love; I would lay on my bed at night in an empty house, listening to a song over and over on my cassette player:
“How can I say thanks, for the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved, yet You gave to prove Your love for me; The voices of a million angels, could not express my gratitude.
All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee. To God be the glory…”
I was fifteen. The Lord spoke to me through His Word, “Though your mother and father forsake you, I will never forsake you.” Psalm 27:10
“God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (Psalm 68:6, NKJV)
My story may be worse than some, but far more have stories worse than mine.
In any event, we are all in need of adoption into the household of God. The world says, we are all children of God. This is said aiming at the fact that God made us all. But the Bible says we are not all God’s children.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:12–13, NLT)
Being born has nothing to do with the will of the baby, and being born again is all God’s doing.
God graciously adopted me into his family. It had nothing to do with any plan I had. It had everything to do with his pre-plan to bring make me his child.
And it is the same for those of you who are chosen. There are many who called and just as many who dismiss the invitation.
For God's chosen, these same are adopted, according to the good pleasure of His will.
Thursday: Ephesians 1:6
“ (He has don al this) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV)
God’s Motive to choose us, is for His Glory
Let me ask you a question, “When was Christ’s work upon the cross, before or after your sin?” It was after, wasn’t it? When was Christ revealed to you? He was revealed after your sin. Isn’t it in this world that we fall into danger of some kind: a fast river, a burning car, a slip over a cliff? It is after our trouble, that someone might rush to our rescue to save us. But it is to God’s glory that Christ should save us before we are fallen in sin. His grace was before us. His grace is with us now and His grace will cause us to persevere. This is to the praise of the glory of His grace!
Christ saved us before we were born. Friends, as we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, Christ was predestined to save us from the foundation of the world.
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8, NKJV)
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.” (Isaiah 42:1, NKJV)
God intends for His glory.
Listen, If all the angels in heaven, and all the men in the world, had been put to it to find out a way to answer this question, ‘How shall sin be pardoned, the sinner reconciled, and God glorify His justice?’
They could never have done it.
Isaac Ambrose wrote:
“I imagine as if I heard God speak to Christ from eternity, ‘See, here I have loved a remnant of mankind both of Jews and gentiles, with an everlasting love. I know they will sin and corrupt themselves, and so become enemies to me, and liable unto eternal death. Now, you are a mighty person, able to do what I require of you for them. If you will take upon yourself their nature and sins, and undertake to satisfy my justice and law, and take away that hatred that is in them towards me and my law, and make them a believing holy people, then I will pardon them. I will adopt them for my sons and daughters. I will make them co-heirs with you with an incorruptible crown of life.’
And then Christ said, “Lo, I have come to do thy will, O’ God.” Hebrews 10:7
This is the mystery revealed that even angels long to look into. 1 Peter 1:12 And it is to the praise of the glory of his grace to reveal this to us, experientially.
“having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,” (Ephesians 1:9, NKJV)