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
Do you know that you have been blessed by God?
In reading the first chapter of the letter to the Ephesians, I have realized how much my thinking about what it means to be blessed has been influenced by the world around me. Most of the time when I think of the person who is blessed, I think of the financially successful person who has no troubles in life. When I pray that the Lord blesses me, I am actually praying to be that financially successful person. Don't get me wrong, God does bless people with wealth, but that is scratching the surface of what it means to be truly blessed by God.
In Ephesians Paul praises God for blessing us with every spiritual blessing in Christ(v3). The evidence of this blessing is that "he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" (v4). This means we have been adopted into God's family, redeemed by the blood of Jesus and forgiven of our sins(v5-7). We can stand blameless and holy before God because of what has been done for us on the cross. In Colossians, Paul puts it like this: "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation" (chapter 1 v 21-22). Getting all the wealth in this world pales in comparison to what God has done for us. What we have in Christ has no price tag and cannot be purchased with the world's riches. It cost God the life of His own Son in order that we can have life. This is why Paul can say in Philippians 3:8-9: "What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith".
The danger in recent times is that what we really want is the "all things". We don't see how truly blessed we are because quite frankly we would rather have the car, the house, the job etc. I actually heard a preacher say once that what we really need is earthly blessing and not spiritual blessings. When we stop seeing the need for what God has done for us and how he has blessed us in Christ then we no longer see the need for a Saviour. When we no longer see the need for a Saviour then we are truly lost.
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior. ― D.A. Carson
And He did all this "in accordance with His pleasure and will" and the riches of His grace "that he lavished on us". It was not something we deserved or had any rights to. He did this for His own sake and he did this according to His will and plan which is "to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ." There truly is reason to praise God!!!
My question then is do we sincerely believe that? Do we sincerely believe that as Christians we are blessed beyond measure because we have been chosen by God? When we count our blessings and name them one by one do we include the fact that we have been chosen in Christ to be holy and blameless?
God has set apart His people from before the foundation of the world to be His chosen and peculiar inheritance. We are sanctified in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit when he subdues our corruptions, imparts to us grace, and leads us onward in the divine walk and life of faith. Christian men are not to be used for anything but God. They are a set-apart people; they are vessels of mercy, they are not for the devil’s use, not for their own use, not for the world’s use, but for their Master’s use. He has made them on purpose to be used entirely, solely and wholly for Him. O Christian people, be holy, for Christ is holy. Do not pollute that holy Name wherewith you are named. Let your family life, your personal life, your business life, be as holy as Christ your Lord would have it to be. Shall saints be shams when sinners are so real?― Charles Haddon Spurgeon