“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (NIV)
We tend to live up to how we view ourselves. If we see ourselves as never getting ahead and needing to lie, cheat, and steal to obtain anything in this life, then we will view ourselves as common thieves. If we think that the only way to have love and security in this life is to make ourselves as presentable as we possible can, then we will view ourselves as basically unlovely and search for love in all the wrong places by always trying to keep up appearances. If we look at ourselves as stupid, then we will tend to make poor decisions even when it’s in our ability to make good choices because we see ourselves as unable to compete with those smarter than us.
The common theme in all these scenarios is that it is life lived apart from God. Without him, we are like lost street children trying to just survive from day to day. What we need, what we search for is to have a good blessed life in a loving home, a place to belong in a world of disconnection.
To be “blessed,” to have “blessing” in the Holy Scriptures is to have God’s stamp of approval on your life. Let that reality sink-in for a moment….
The picture being painted at the very beginning of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus was that they were like wayward children roaming the streets as orphans. The Ephesians were ensconced in their idol worship of Artemis, the fertility cult goddess. They were going about life without a whim about the true and living God of all. In sheer grace God plucked them from their worthless condition and adopted them. He placed his blessing upon them because of his love.
What’s more, the Ephesians were chosen and predestined for holiness and purity. God set them apart for his blessing. It’s as if he brought them into his kingly palace, provided lavishly for them, and let them have the run of the place. They got to enjoy every blessing that came with being children of the king.
The focus and orientation of these verses is about how tremendously special the believer in Jesus really is. And it has nothing to do with how presentable we are to a holy God. Instead, out of the storehouse of his blessed grace, God chose and adopted.
On top of all that, God did it simply because he was pleased to do it. God does not choose, predestine, and adopt with a begrudging attitude, but because it brings him great pleasure to do so. My friend, do you see how God views you? Do you know how special you really are? Have you an understanding of the incredible position you have in Jesus Christ, as his follower?
As a child of the king, you live up to the position you know you possess. Freedom from worry and anxiety don’t come from willpower, but from the understanding that our Father owns all things and we will never be in need. Deliverance from the power of darkness doesn’t come by trying to do better, but through the knowledge that God has redeemed us and chosen us to live in his gracious realm forever.
The believer has every spiritual blessing in Christ. God has your back. You belong to him. And to belong to Jesus Christ is to be blessed. It makes all the difference in the world.
Gracious God, your loving activity has snatched me from the barren streets of sin and brought me into a realm of incredible blessing. Thank you for blessing me and giving me a place to belong forever; through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit reign forever and ever in a celebration of redeeming love. Amen.