Ephesians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”
Ephesians 1:2 “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
Hello readers, I’ve been sick (again!), so new blogs in short supply of late. But I’m back, and for my next series of blogs, I’m hoping to go through the book of Ephesians. It won’t be exhaustive, but I’ve been reading the book again and again of late, and I’ve gotten a lot out of it. Mostly these blogs will be brief, and I will usually just focus on key phrases in this book which can be really helpful to think about, for me anyway, but hopefully for you. Some of Paul’s epistles can be very deep, and I’ve always found Ephesians to be so, which is why I’ve just kept reading it again and again, so that instead of flying by, some things actually sink down into my ears as Jesus once said to his disciples.
I particularly thought about “my heavenly place”, because we all have a heavenly place in Christ. You can have a heavenly place also. Is there a place for you? Sure is. There was a place in the ark, and there’s a place in Christ… in heaven… for you! It can be a bit mind boggling at the start, but the Bible clearly teaches that in Christ, we are seated in heaven… yep that’s right. The Bible teaches that because he’s in heaven, having ascended there and being there right now, ever living to make intercession for us… we’re there with him. So even though we are here in this world and on this planet, spiritually we are there. It’s our little heaven on earth. It’s our kingdom of heaven. It’s our heavenly place. You’ll only know it when you get saved. Because there’s only a place for you in Christ. When you get saved, you get your heavenly place. And man, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense, and I realized I’ve been missing my heaven on earth. We that have believed on Jesus Christ already have a heavenly place, knowing and having received love, joy, truth, light, forgiveness, mercy, grace, knowledge, wisdom, peace, hope… these are all heavenly things. They’re my heaven on earth in the hell of this world.
This letter to the church at Ephesus is to believers, it is to the saints, it is to the faithful “in Christ Jesus”. It’s going to pay to be faithful. Because it already does. Can you see it yet? But take note of that phrase unlocks this whole book, because the whole of Ephesians is about being “in Christ”, going on to explain to us how it’s possible, what that means, if we can even begin to grasp it. Can we even begin to grasp what great things he hath done for us and to us? But the stark contrast, dear reader, is that right now, if you are not saved, if you are not born again, if you are not in Christ, you have nothing. You have none of the blessedness that comes from being in Christ. And because everything God has given us in Christ, if you don’t have Christ, you have none of what God has given us. Because everything is “in Christ”. God has made it that way. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your story is, rich or poor, big or small, fat or skinny, whatever… to get anything, and everything, you must get in Christ. That’s why everything in the Bible points to Christ, like in John, he’s the wine, he’s the water, he’s the bread. Do we get it? He’s everything. I AM thy exceeding great reward.
Let’s roll back to Genesis to help us understand being “in Christ”. Because we are all “in” someone else to start with. We are all born “in Adam” to start with. The problem is, in Adam all die. Adam sinned, the curse came upon him, we were plunged into this world of good and evil, being born in our sins. So we are all in Adam, in sin, in death, and in darkness. Horrible and hopeless. But not in God’s “too hard” basket. Unbelievably so. Because before all that, before of all our “in Adam” stuff up… God had already decided by himself without our help that “in Christ” he would save us from “in Adam”. And he made it pretty simple. To become in Christ, you must believe in Christ. Just trust me, says your gracious Creator. When you believe in Christ, you in Christ, baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit, born into the family of God, and thus made a partaker of everything he is and does and will yet do. You don’t do it, he does it, it’s the “operation” of God. You know how faithful God is? If you believe on him, he will save you. He won’t go oops, missed one over here.
And it’s mind boggling how gracious God has been to us in Christ. You know how everyone fights over inheritances? Well the only inheritance there is is in Christ, because he is the heir of all things. If you are not in Christ, you have no inheritance in the world to come and eternity. There’s no inheritance for you in heaven if you are not saved. There’s no place for you. And that’s sad. That’s heartbreaking. The place could have been made in Christ… but instead in the day of judgment, when you could’ve had your day of redemption, there will be found no place for you. Man, get in Christ! And so everything is Christ, and everything is “in Christ” both the good things now that we have been given, and the good things that are to come… they’re all in Christ. That is why at the end of the day, quite literally, they all cast their crowns before him saying “worthy is the Lamb!”
So believe in Jesus Christ. He’s not a hope, he is the hope. He’s not a truth, he is the truth. He’s not a life, he is the life. We have quickly established as per what the Bible clearly teaches that if you do not believe in Christ, then he is not in you, and you are not in him. And if you do not have Christ, you do not have anything. So you could be the world’s richest man or woman, but if you do not have Christ, you have nothing. So why search anywhere else for anything that you think can fill you and fulfil your life? It won’t! Only he can fill you, because in him all fulness dwells. Only God can complete you. Adultery won’t. Drugs won’t. A raise won’t. A car won’t. A life full of fun experiences won’t. It is “in Christ” or it’s “bust”. Life? Found in Christ. Mercy? Found in Christ. Forgiveness? Found in Christ. Reconciliation? Found in Christ. Peace? Found in Christ. Promises? In Christ. Inheritance? In Christ. Future? In Christ. There is no future for you if you are not in Christ.
If you have believed on Jesus Christ, you have a seat at his table, like Mephibosheth at David’s table, recipients of such grace and kindness of God it will literally take us eternity to find out. Your seat is reserved in heaven… your seat is there. Not will be there. It currently is there. And there are “ages” to come people. It will take us literally “ages” to appreciate who Christ is and what he has done for us. But we struggle with that heavenly view don’t we. We struggle to live life from that birdseye view from above. We don’t live life from our heavenly place because we get so tangled up in the death and darkness down here. We need a heavenly view. Take that view Christian. Take that view that lets us see beyond our mortal lives and sufferings right now. Ephesians is written so we can see and know and be sure, it is God peeling back the curtains of glory as we look into that which we cannot grasp. A light so bright for us seemingly so swallowed up in this present darkness. We have such a finite view of things at the moment, we do see through a glass darkly, and it is by faith… but there is a day of redemption coming for every single person who’s life has been bought back to God by the precious blood of Christ. One day that redemption already purchased will be completed, and in that day, indescribable and undeniable glory.
So I learnt from Ephesians that I have a heavenly place, and my heavenly place is a blessed place, because I have a privileged place in life in Christ. White privilege? How about “Christ privilege”. I was thinking about “spiritual blessings”. And man, who cares, so what? Big deal? Is it all the Bible cracks it up to be? Isn’t it making a big deal about not much? Surely money would be better? Health? Surely material blessings would be better. But where this world consists of materialism, God places emphasis on that very last. Orders of importance people. Because you can have everything materialistic, and yet have nothing. What is material possession without possession of your own soul? What is material possession being possessed by the devil? I looked up that word spiritual in the Webster’s dictionary and the primary definition was “Consisting of spirit; not material; incorporeal; as a spiritual substance or being. The soul of man is spiritual” And the spirit world is immaterial, yet it is more real. In Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” The first thing in our journey of faith in Hebrews 11 is spiritual sight, and an understanding that the spiritual realm is where God’s primary emphasis is. How could these heroes of the faith make it through everything they did without that in place? We see trees, birds, dirt, grass, concrete, money, skin… but God cares about truth, mercy, judgment, righteousness and holiness.
But so I don’t get lost in trying to explain things which I cannot even understand that well, I want to think about “spiritual blessings” and what they are according to the Bible. I thought about truth. After all, we have received the “Spirit of truth”. He is and that is a spiritual blessing to me. To have been given all truth, to know the truth, to have been made free by the truth… that is worth more than all the bank notes in the world. And truth is in Christ… he is the truth. So get in Christ and you get truth. So note, in all these spiritual blessings, they all are inescapably found and only found “in Christ”. What about the spiritual blessing of being reconciled to God? Is it not a blessing to know who God is, to be made right with him, to have a relationship and true fellowship with him? All possible and only possible “in Christ”!
What about just a life, a type of life, a quality of life, a manner of life that can be lived in the light? Light is a spiritual blessing. To have the light of life, and true living in a world that spends its days cutting itself among the tombs. Think about how people are self harming themselves with sin, death by a thousand cuts, when they can have peace with God and comfort of the Holy Ghost? Make no mistake, this world is full of death, with no solution to death, which tries to spray deodorant over death but cannot hide the smell of it’s corruption. But Christ saw no corruption and in Christ is our life. Nothing stinks about him. Oh no, his sacrifice was very sweet smelling to God. A sweet smell or a putrid stench… which one do you think is blessed to live with in your nostrils? It would really be a good exercise if you are saved to start thinking about all the blessings you have right now in Christ. Yeah life’s rough isn’t it, but these are no small things we have, and life now cannot diminish the ever brightening glow of the place we hold forever in Christ, with an eternal purpose, think about that for a second. Thing about these things that we have that this world does not have. Peace. Joy. Comfort. Truth. Real, true, grounded and founded hope in the future. That’s blessing. And they’re just the start, because we are just at the start of our salvation really. There’s a lot of good stuff ahead.
The Bible says in 1 Peter to arm our minds, and in Ephesians 6, it’s going to talk about spiritual armory. Why? Because Satan does not want us to live life in a heavenly place. He doesn’t want us to have our kingdom of heaven while we walk in the kingdom of his darkness. He doesn’t want that for you. He wants to blind you and block you from those blessings… all of which you have in Christ. So lets arm ourselves in the mind, lets gird up some things that need to be girded up, lets lay aside some things that need to be laid aside, lets cast down some things that need to be cast down… and lets run this race with a heavenly view. Stephen had a heavenly view… and those who looked on him… just before they stoned him, in the midst of all the false accusations, mistreatment, fear of death… he had the face of an angel. That’s what a little heavenly view will do to you.
And as I thought on heavenly places, I did feel better. Because I was being armed in spirit. There is blessedness in Christ, come on just think about it. Heavenly places. Plural! Because there’s a place for you, me and anyone and everyone who believes. We are placed by him. We have our places. Take your place. That’s why dying is no longer the end of our world, because it’s just taking our place, our heavenly place, which we possessed from the moment we were saved. “I go to prepare a place for you”… that’s what Jesus said. He’s prepared my place. If he’s doing the prepping, that place is pretty neat don’t you think? Don’t you think your place in him is heaven? But make sure it’s a heavenly place instead of “no place”. Because Esau found “no place”… and you don’t want to find you have no place in the end, having never had your place in Christ. Please don’t let that be you. If you’ve ever missed out on a place you wanted, that’s but the smallest sample of what will be ultimate tragedy… that did not need to happen. There will be many who have no place. That’s why they weep and cry, because they have no place in heaven. Make no mistake, if you are not in Christ, you have no place. Because it is he who places you, you cannot place yourself. But believe on him, and he will. How about take your place? Take your blessed place in Christ today. And so we are blessed, blessed more than we can ever know, in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Have a great week!
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)