Claim Your Spiritual Blessings
Key Verse: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”
ALL GOD’S INTELLIGENT creatures can be thankful for many blessings. Life itself is a blessing from God. Many are disposed to think of their blessings only in a temporal way. Health, prosperity, influence, family and friends are all considered as blessings of life to enjoy, and such they are when used properly. Paul, in our lesson, however, does not identify these or any other temporal blessing. He, rather, talks in the Key Verse about ‘spiritual blessings,’ those which come directly from God. What are such blessings?
In the verses of the Selected Scripture Paul gives us some of the details concerning these spiritual blessings and how to claim them as our own. In Verse 1 he addresses his words to “the saints … and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” This tells us that at the present time these blessings which he details in the ensuing verses are for those who have given themselves fully to God in consecration. Paul continues in verses 4 and 5 by revealing to us the marvelous truth that God determined “before the foundation of the world” that there would be such a class to receive these special blessings, a class of those striving to be holy and embodying within them the grace of love. These he would consider no less than his own children.
In order to have this special relationship with God and receive spiritual blessings requires that we be accepted of him. Of our own selves we cannot meet this qualification. We are all fallen creatures, and sinful to a greater or lesser extent. Verses 6 and 7 of our lesson tell us that our redemption, and hence our acceptance to God, is only through the merit (blood) of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, “according to the riches of his grace.” Once having put our total faith in this ransom price, and then giving our hearts in unreserved consecration to God, only then can he begin to shower us with spiritual blessings. These blessings are shown in verses 8 and 9 as centering in wisdom and the understanding of his will. It is only as we grow in this understanding that we are able to count all life’s experiences as blessings from the Lord. Only then do we realize and appreciate the importance of the scripture, “All things work together for good to them that love God.”—Rom. 8:28
Verse 10 of our lesson presents a wonderful truth. In it Paul says that it is not only God’s purpose to bring this special class of saints into oneness with him in “heaven,” but that his further desire is to bring all mankind, those “which are on earth,” into this same unity of spirit and fellowship in due time. Paul corroborates this elsewhere when he says that Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (I Tim. 2:6) This knowledge is another important spiritual blessing for us to claim.
Paul concludes this lesson by identifying two more spiritual blessings. First, he says we have “obtained an inheritance.” (vs. 11) Second, as a seal or assurance of this inheritance he says that we have received the “Holy Spirit of promise,” (vs. 13) to direct the steps of those who, at the present time, have given themselves to him in full consecration to do his will.