September 20, 2021

Spiritual Blessings in Christ 11-07-2021

11th July 2021 Pentecost 7 (Seventh Sunday after Pentecost)
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
(Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-13)
By Heeyoung Lim

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:2) This is Paul’s greeting for the saints of Ephesians. Our daily greeting can be transformed into a godly greeting of grace and peace when we are in Christ. May we have peace and comfort in Christ even though we are surrounded by the negative reality of the world.
We are confronted with so many things in the world that seem to be out of order. Many parts of it are broken and torn by human being. Reordering and fixing are necessary in God’s hands. God is at work, calls and uses us for His great ministry.
We have been born into and grown up in a fallen world, so we have learned the ways of the world, but we are in Christ when we become a Christian. We are no longer who we once were, but we often do not see who we really are. Ephesians1 helps us see who we truly are as Christians. If we could see ourselves more clearly as who we are in Christ, we would be able to live more consistently like Him.
May we live by the inclusive love and ways of Jesus Christ even in new forms of life. The prophetic words and actions that resists against injustice, on the other, works for communities of peace and justice, in the name of a gracious, righteous, and loving Christ, has led Christians to ministries and worship that witness reconciliation and restoration.
Paul tells the Ephesian Christians about praise be to God. God the Father chose us and adopted us as his spiritual children. (5) God the Son redeemed us, forgave us of our sins, enlightened us to know His will, and has given us an eternal inheritance. (7) God the Spirit sealed us, made us secure in Christ, and led us for our redemption. (13)
Christians need to be spiritually enlightened so they may understand the glorious plan of God for the whole world and the greatness of God’s power. God reorders and renews the universe through His encompassing plan of salvation. Everything is in His unconditional love and powerful control. Through the ministries of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Christians have been given every necessary spiritual blessing. God promised the riches of their inheritance in Christ.
Spiritual blessings lie on the will of God to provide grace and peace to His people, but we sometimes do not remember His grace or miss out His blessings. We have received the blessing of being chosen by God and adopted by Him as his spiritual children. An adopted child who is brought into a family has the same rights as a child born into that family. God did this through Jesus. All our sins are forgiven in Jesus because we have believed in Jesus as our Saviour.
However, this does not mean that true Christians never sin. It means our sin is paid for by the death of Christ. His death paid the price for our release from sin and death. This is our spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. This redemption and the forgiveness were accomplished by the death of Christ on the cross where He shed his blood and died to save us. Making forgiveness possible was a major accomplishment in God’s eyes, since it required the sacrifice of blood and the death of his Son, Jesus. (7) This decision for us came out of God’s grace which He lavished on us with all wisdom and insight. (8)
We are predestined to become Christian believers, but responsible for our action because of free will at the same time. We can take both rather than choosing or following one between these two theological perspectives.
Here we have some Bible verses about God’s salvation and human election.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“First of all, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone. (1 Tim. 2:1)
“This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”. (1 Tim. 2: 3-4).
“The Lord is not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
This is God’s will towards people and the world revealed throughout some Bible verses and spiritual blessings in Christ. The blessings need to be shared in our lives. We do not know the result, but we can commit ourselves to the spread of the gospel message. May we participate in the God’s plan of redemption for those who still do not believe in Jesus and forgive someone who has mistreated us in the love of Christ. Making it possible would be difficult, but I am sure it is time to lavish on others with all our wisdom and love God has given us.
God wants us to be holy and blameless in His sight as in verse 4. We are in Jesus who is holy and blameless. May we be holy and blameless in God’s sight.
In the Holy Spirit, we are sealed until the day of salvation if we believe in Jesus until the very end. This will be for when we are still alive on earth, after we die, or at Christ’s return. This spiritual blessing is to bring praise to God for His grace in our lives (12). We can see ourselves as someone very precious because of all God has done for us.
As we shared, the Bible tells us to praise God the Father who chose us and adopted us as His spiritual children according to God’s plan to receive an inheritance which will possess in full when we stand before God in heaven. In Christ, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin; we have been spiritually enlightened and enriched. In the Holy Spirit, we were sealed and made secure. May we be enlightened to understand the significance of these spiritual blessings in Christ. I pray we who are the first to hope in Christ may be to the praise of glory.
How blessed we are! God has given us spiritual blessings in Christ. We do not always feel spiritually blessed, but we need to remember that we are truly blessed. God is to be praised by His creation. As in verse 6 and 12, may we be the praise of His glory. Our fellowship and love for God will be reflected in intimate love and complete unity among other believers. Our efforts through loving and caring in our relationship with God’s creation will be a good way to participate in what God wants us to do. It would be one of ways to share spiritual blessings.
I believe that we are glad and happy to live our lives as Christians. May we enjoy the Christian life more completely and to live like Christ more consistently. At the fulfillment of God’s plan, all that exists will live in the relationship with God. May we enjoy the fact that we belong to God and the family of God, participate in God’s loving plan for all creation. I hope we be grateful that God has forgiven our sins and given us eternal life. May we praise God, love others, take good care of God’s creation in the appreciation for spiritual blessings in Christ.
The church will always be challenged by God’s revelation in Jesus Christ to love and serve God and people to renew herself in worship, life, and mission. We are chosen for praise to God, destined for worship God, and appointed to the glory of God. Let us remember we have received the lavish blessings from God. It is time to share it with others. God is the one who is giver of all blessings and source of life.
May God’s abundant blessings will be shared in Christ.
Thanks be to God! Amen. 

(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)