The following is updated from a previous post.
In Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-11) he gives us eight definitions of those who are blessed and the outcomes of those blessings. Who are the recipients of these blessings?
Read Ephesians 1:7-14
Last week I began a new study in Ephesians and we started with the Four Spiritual Blessings God Gives Us. This week I would like to look at four more blessings we receive from God because of Jesus. But, as a reminder, here are the four spiritual blessings we talked about last week from Ephesians 1:3-6:
Now let's take a look at four more blessings God will pour out on those who believe in Him.
What a mighty God we serve! He has blessed us with so much, so let's look more closely at the four blessings above.
We have redemption through Jesus' blood (Ephesians 1:7). What does that mean in layman's terms? It means we have been redeemed back to God because of Jesus' blood. We have been bought, as it were, at a great price (Jesus' life), meaning we have been saved from the penalty of our sins, which is eternal separation from the Lord (death). Yes, our bodies will die, but we are spiritual beings who will still live on. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross redeems us from eternal separation from God. His blood cleanses us from all sin, enabling us to enter into God's presence. In the book of Ruth we learn about the concept of a Kinsmen Redeemer. I encourage you to read the entire book of Ruth (it's only 4 chapters) as it is a lovely tale of devotion, love and redemption. In it, we not only find out what it means to be a Kinsmen-Redeemer, but we also learn that it was through Ruth and Boaz's line that the final Redeemer would come.
We have forgiveness for our sins. Why? Because of God's grace. Ephesians 1:7-10 explains in no uncertain terms that God's love is so great for us that He forgave us before we even acknowledged what He had done. For those of you who have stumbled upon this, listen carefully - God has forgiven you of ALL your sins. That is why Jesus died for you. IT IS FINISHED. You are forgiven. Now believe it, accept it, turn from your sins and live a life that is honouring to God.
God's ultimate plan is this: to gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. He wants unity for the world and its people and that unity comes to all who accept His Son as their Kinsmen-Redeemer.
We have an inheritance. Many people have mistakenly believed that the word "predestination" which is used in Ephesians 1:11 means that God knows ahead of time who will believe in Him and it is those people He has selected to be saved. While God does know who will accept Him and who will not, this verse does not mean that He has chosen certain individuals to be saved, ignoring the rest. It means that God's plan is for the ENTIRE world and it was for everyone to be saved. (John 3:16-17) and He chose us ALL in Him before the foundation of the world (John 17:24, Ephesians 1:4). We have all been predestined to be the "praise" of God's glory, but not everyone is willing to accept this wonderful inheritance God so freely gives. In other words, everyone is given the gift, but you have to accept it.
We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. When we accept our inheritance and believe in Jesus Christ our Kinsmen-Redeemer, we are sealed with God's promise to us - His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance! Not only does God redeem us before we acknowledge Him as Lord, but He forgives us then places His seal upon us (His Holy Spirit), marking us as His own! And it is through His Holy Spirit that we learn to become Christlike. It is through God's Holy Spirit that we find strength, faith and grace to continue in these perilous times. As we abide in Him, He abides in us, until finally, when Jesus comes or He calls us home, we will be perfect and complete in Him (Philippians 1:6).
Now meditate on this one precious fact - everything God has done since the beginning of time has been to draw us to Himself. His gifts are immeasurable. His love unfathomable! Praise be to God!