Paul’s opening to his letter to the Ephesians is a beautifully rich picture of
who we are in Christ
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 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. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
On my wall at work, I have a poster titled “My Identity in Jesus”. It is by one of my favourite hand-lettering artists, and is filled with phrases describing who we are in Christ – beloved, forgiven, co-heir, wonderfully made, adopted… Much like today’s passage.
When I walk away from having read this opening passage in Ephesians, I can’t help but praise God! Paul gives us this amazing picture of who we are in Christ as he lists blessing upon blessing that God has poured out on us.
- We have every spiritual blessing in Christ (v3);
- we are chosen (v4);
- we are adopted as children (v5);
- we have been freely given his grace – he has lavished his grace on us (v6 & 8);
- he has redeemed and forgiven us (v7);
- he has brought unity to all things through Christ (v10);
Even the language that Paul uses – “praise”, “glorious grace”, “riches of his grace”, “lavished”, “fullness” – paints a rich and beautiful picture of everything we have been given in Jesus. Imagine starting every interaction with each other with such a description of who we are in Christ.
Why not take a few minutes at various times throughout today to mediate and wonder at each of these points.
Prayer: My Heavenly Father. Thank you for this beautiful picture of who I am in Christ. Thank you that you have blessed me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Thank you that I am chosen, forgiven, adopted. Help me to find my identity in your son – as a co-heir, as wonderfully made, as whole in Christ. Through the name of your son, and by the power of your spirit, Amen.
A song to listen to: Who You Say I Am
Living Church Creek Road Campus