What Spiritual Blessings Belong to God’s People in Christ? (Part 2)
This is the second part of a five-part blog series.
Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians (after he greets them, of course) with these words: “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” (1:3).
God’s blessings are not primarily material but spiritual, Paul says, and he tells the Ephesians (and all followers of Christ) that in Christ they have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. But what are those blessings? Paul describes at least five in Ephesians 1:3-14.
Blessing #2: Adoption into God’s Family
I said earlier that God chose us for holiness. But he has also chosen us for another purpose: to be in an intimate, loving, familial relationship with us. He chose us for himself so that he could be a Father to us! So maybe the example I used earlier of picking groceries off the shelf isn’t the best analogy. What would be even better is to think of God as visiting an orphanage in order to choose an abandoned child to come home with him so that he could be a Father to them.
No matter what kind of earthly father you’ve had—good, bad, or absent—he points you to your need for a better Father. The failings of your earthly father should awaken in you a desire to be adopted by God, who is perfect in love, power, and wisdom.
Was your father absent from your life altogether? Psalms 68:5 says, “Father of the fatherless . . . is God in his holy habitation.” Go ahead and add “Father to the fatherless” to your list of titles for God. If someone asks you, “Who is God,” you may answer, “He is Father to the fatherless” just as surely as you can answer, “He is the Creator of the universe.” Both are true of him! This is how he reveals himself to us in the Bible.
Did your father consistently fail you? Psalms 27:10 says, “My father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.” God does not have any unloved or uncared-for children. Bad fathers should make us long for our heavenly Father, not turn away from him because our experience with our earthly father was so poor. God is the perfect Father who will never fail his children!
Did you have a “good” father? Even if you weren’t fatherless as a child, and even if you had the best dad of anyone you know, your earthly father still failed you in 1,001 ways. Jesus asked the crowds in the Sermon on the Mount, “Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? . . . If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matt. 7:9-11). God says that even good dads who give their children good gifts are evil. Only God is good. And he is the good father we desperately need!
Next: Blessing #3—Redemption / Forgiveness