BLESSINGS IN CHRIST

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 1:1-14

“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.”  (Ephesians 1:3)

What an incredible statement!  We have been, are, and will be blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing!  This statement is the beginning of one of the longest sentences in the Bible.  The sentence ends with verse 14.  Paul was beside himself as he reflected upon what a blessed man he was.  He could not hold back listing blessing after blessing he had received from his heavenly Father.

Notice that Paul tells us that all these spiritual blessings are found “in Christ.”  Some form of this phrase is found ten times in this long sentence (“in Christ,” “in Him,” “in the Beloved”).  These blessings are only possible if we are in a vital union with Jesus Christ.

Theologians call this vital union with Jesus “the mystical union.”  The mystical union is the vital, intimate, and spiritual union between Christ and His people.  We are said to be “in Christ” and He is said to be “in us.”  This mystical union points to the fact that Christ is our only source of spiritual life and strength, and of our blessedness and our salvation.  It is mystical because our relationship with Jesus transcends all analogies of earthly relationships.  There is no other relationship like the relationship between Christ and His people.

John Calvin wrote these words about the mystical union:  “First, we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from Him, all that He has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value to us.  Therefore, He had to become ours and to dwell within us” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion).  

As we begin to unpack all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ, we must remember what John Murray wrote:  “Nothing is more central or more basis than union with Christ…it is the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation” (John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied).  The greatest treasure we have is the gift of God the Son Himself.  He is in us and we are in Him.  “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Father in heaven, thank you for pouring out to me every spiritual blessing in Christ that is possible.  Thank You that I am in Christ and that He is in me.  There is no greater treasure than this!

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