To those who know God, there has come from His heavenly throne the blessing of salvation from sin and salvation for heaven. Now as children of God “by faith in Jesus Christ,” we are no longer aliens but sons and daughters of God because we have “received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father.” No wonder we bless God! Moreover, we have been forgiven of our sins which have been legally dealt with – past, present and future, through the sacrifice of Christ who was substituted in our place. He bore the punishment of our sins so that God is satisfied that justice has been served. Our sin problem has been justly dealt with and we have been “justified freely by His grace.” No wonder we bless God! Since coming to Him by faith in response to His grace, we are forgiven, given insight into the riches of His grace and have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has given gifts to us to use in our lives for God. He has not only convicted us to awaken us to bring us from death to life, but He reveals Christ to us, guides us through the events of life so we can do God’s will, and He even teaches us about the future. No wonder we bless God! We have been empowered to do those good things we could never have done. We live in hope in this life of faith. We are assured of being with Christ forever. We have been given eternal blessings that far exceed the temporal blessings we have been given. No wonder we bless God!
None of this has come to us because we deserve these blessings nor because God is obligated to us in any way. It is all because of that wonderful blessing of being “in Christ.” We are accepted in Him. We live and move and have our being in Him. The emptiness of natural human life has been filled with abundant spiritual blessings because we are “in Christ.” “The God…,” the Source of all things, the Giver of all spiritual blessings, has directed His love to us through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Every “good and perfect gift” is from above. The new birth, our new nature, the new life we have, the new family we are in, the new home in heaven is ours because we are “in Christ. New power has been given to us over sin and to live for God because of being “in Christ.” The new nature we have been given enables us to enjoy what God enjoys because we are “in Christ.” We have a new character that makes us live consciously for eternal things, not just things that are temporary because we are “in Christ.” As a new creation “in Christ Jesus,” we share our life with Him who is our peace, who made peace, who gives us peace. As our Lord, He is the embodiment of our peace. As Jesus, He is the means whereby we have received peace with God. As Christ, He is the Object, the Center of our peace. What great and abundant blessings we have received from heavenly realms because we are “in Christ!”
With the Holy Spirit in us, the Father and the Son with us and the Word of God to teach us; with the saints of God to share with us, the family of God to fellowship with us, the church of God to participate with us – we have “all spiritual blessings.” Though much of what we have is not seen, the reality of it is not lessened in any way. The joy of the Lord, the peace He gives, the power He imparts, the grace He bestows, the light He uses, the truth He teaches – these are “all spiritual blessings.” The scriptures telling of the past, the guidance of the Word of God in life in the present, the prophecies telling of the future – these are “all spiritual blessings.” Thanks be to God!
The reason the impact of the holy scripture is so great, and the commitment to them on the part of Bible-believing Christians is so intense, is we know they are inspired by God. He has breathed out the thoughts of His great heart of love and left them for us in the holy scriptures. When they are read, studied and understood, the truths of the scripture are what we mold our lives by and what we live by. God speaks to us in this remarkable way and we can review, reread and remember them throughout our whole lifetime. The results of the holy scriptures learned, known and practiced, won’t really be seen until a future day, “When the words that I have spoken, the same will judge you at the last day.” Its doctrine gives us the truth of God to equip us for every need we have. It brings conviction and rebuke when we need reproof. It sets right what may have been wrong and instructs us to being what we should be before God.
A whole new vista opens up to our eyes because of the work of reconciliation that our Lord accomplished. “Now” – now beyond the broken down barriers; now that we are made “one new man; now that peace has been made – everything is different. Now God has established His own new household. He has made something entirely new that was not seen nor understood before. His household is the church for which Christ died. That church is not a motley gathering of people who come and go at their own whim. It is composed of citizens of the kingdom of God. It began when our Lord Jesus Christ was here and established its position by being the Chief Corner Stone. It is compared to a temple, a dwelling place for God, in which holiness, righteousness, peace and all His divine attributes have a place to be displayed and used for the benefits of all parts of the temple. Every one in this temple is a saint – set apart for the Lord. Everyone in the body of Christ is a true believer in Him. Only God Himself knows who they all are. Some may think they are in the habitation of God because they choose to be. Others think they are in the temple because of their religious affiliation. Others because of family ties. This is not like a local gathering of people as a church. There may be those in a local church who are not even saved. They are not children of God. In the universal church – the habitation of God – each one is placed there by the Spirit of God, not by the choice of men.