19. Ephesians 1:1-6 Introduction~The Blessings of Redemption XIX. IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST

November 30, 2017

Ephesians 1: 1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful IN CHRIST JESUS: 2 GRACE to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST, 4 just as He chose us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons THROUGH JESUS CHRIST to Himself, ACCORDING TO the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His GRACE, which He freely bestowed on us IN THE BELOVED.” (NASB)

We have been blessed (past tense) with every spiritual blessing God has for the faithful IN CHRIST. Their place of origin is from the spiritual realm, a place our eyes cannot see. Paul highlighted this by using the term IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST. We should always keep in mind where we came from. The entire universe was given birth by things unseen. Everything we see, feel, hear taste, and smell came from the realm of the spirit. Human beings, because of the fall, have a twisted sense of reality. The Bible says Jesus Christ is Reality, in other words He is what’s “Real”. Jesus gave the disciples a lot of information, which at the time went straight over their heads. Nevertheless, I believe He did this intentionally, knowing that when The Comforter came He would open the minds and hearts of those who would be faithful IN CHRIST JESUS. If you would read ahead to verses 13-20 in this chapter, you will see that Paul was convinced of the same. In the verses below, Christ had this conversation with Didymus, better known as Thomas meaning twin (Doubting Thomas). Therefore, by that definition, we must assume he had a twin brother, but his brother was never mentioned in The Gospels, nor is there any other record of him as a follower of Christ.

John 14:3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” After the Resurrection He appeared to the twelve while they were all together. Previously Jesus had shown Himself to eleven of the disciples, Thomas was absent at the time. When Thomas did arrive, they told him that Christ was back from the dead but Thomas had his doubts:

In another place John wrote: 1st John 1: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”

When Christ walked with His disciples and the rest of His followers, they only knew Him through sense knowledge. Many of them were witnesses of His miraculous power. I’ve heard Believers say things like “I wish I could have known Jesus the way Peter, James and John knew Him”. I don’t say anything to them; however, in my mind I am thinking, “You really don’t know what you’re wishing for”. Jesus said they believed because they had sense knowledge of Him. It’s easy to believe when you are eyeball to eyeball with The Man. On the other hand, how blessed are we to be in a living relationship with The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. In addition, we know His power from within. Those who are faithful have CHRIST LIVING IN THEM, our hope of Glory. I must write these verses because some people will not pick up a Bible and read them even though I’ve encouraged you to do so. The Apostle Paul prayed this for the Ephesians:

1: 17 “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the RICHES of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are IN ACCORDANCE with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about IN CHRIST, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES, 21 far above all RULE AND AUTHORITY AND POWER AND DOMINION, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to THE CHURCH, 23 which is HIS BODY, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Meditate in these verses, speak them under your breath, pray them, and talk to each other about them. These are just a small portion of the spiritual blessings we have IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST. The men who walked with Jesus did not have this; they didn’t have a clue until The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). So be very thankful to be one of those men and women who believe in spite of sense knowledge, AMEN. To be continued…

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