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.
What a mighty God we serve! He has blessed us with so much, so let's examine the four blessings above.
We have redemption through Jesus' blood (Ephesians 1:7). What does that mean in lay terms? It means 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 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 (it's only 4 chapters), as it is a lovely tale of devotion, love and redemption. In it, we not only discover what it means to be a Kinsmen-Redeemer, but we also learn that the final Redeemer would come through Ruth and Boaz's line.
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 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 honouring God.
God wants unity for the world and its people, and that unity comes to all who accept Jesus as their Kinsmen-Redeemer.
We have an inheritance. Many people mistakenly believe that the word "predestination," used in Ephesians 1:11, means that God has chosen specific individuals to be saved, ignoring the rest. But it doesn't mean that. It means God's plan is for everyone to be saved (John 3:16-17). 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 extraordinary inheritance God so freely gives. In other words, everyone is given a gift, but not everyone accepts 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 - 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 when we receive His gift, He forgives us and 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. We find strength, faith, and grace through God's Holy Spirit to continue in these difficult times. As we abide in Him, He abides in us until finally, when Jesus comes or 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 is unfathomable! His grace is amazing! Praise be to God!