Our Spiritual Blessings in Christ (1:3-14)
Welcome to Week 1 of your Ephesians Bible Study.
Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to complete the suggested assignments in our Ephesians Bible Study Orientation.
In this first lesson, we’ll be talking about some very special spiritual blessings.
The Joy of Gifts
Everyone loves to receive gifts!
As children, opening those Christmas presents was perhaps the most exciting time of the year! (Yes, somewhere down inside if we were Christian we knew Jesus was the most important part of Christmas, but boy were those toys hard to beat.)
And as for birthdays, well that was almost more special since we were the guest of honor and didn’t need to share our gifts with others. (Though mom always insisted we did!)
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
In this first week of our Ephesians Bible Study we are treated to a lavish list of gifts that belong to every believer in Christ.
The list itself is quite overwhelming and forms part of an extended praise by Paul for how richly God has blessed each of us.
Believe it or not, Ephesians 1:3-14 represents one single glorious sentence in the original Greek!
Read Ephesians 1:1-14
Paul begins this section by praising God the Father for giving his children “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” These blessings represent divine resources and privileges for God’s people.
- List out each of the spiritual blessings that are yours in Christ according to Ephesians 1:3-14. They all begin with a verb in the past tense, indicating that these things have already happened as a result of your faith in Jesus.
- How many spiritual blessings do you count? What impact does this list have on your faith? Is there one blessing that means more to you at this point in your spiritual journey? Explain.
Ephesians 1:4-5, 11 indicate that “God chose us before the foundation of the world” and that “he predestined us to be adopted as sons (and daughters) and to an inheritance…” This has been understood as either God foreknowing or foreseeing that he would save you or that God pre-ordained your salvation ahead of time. In other words, he purposely chooses some for salvation and not others.
- How do each of these perspectives challenge your understanding of your own salvation, your Christian faith, evangelism, etc.?
- Can you think of other places in Scripture where these perspectives are represented? Where do you fall? And on what basis?
- What does it mean to be a son or daughter of God? How do you (or don’t you) live out that identity in your daily walk with God?
The word “redemption” in 1:7 means to release someone based on a payment of ransom. The verse goes on to say that Christ paid a ransom to forgive your sins “through his blood.”
- Do you see your salvation principally in these terms? Why or why not? What impact does reflecting on Christ’s ransom for you have on your faith? Love for God? Love for others? Service?
Ephesians 1:13 states that we have been “sealed” by the Holy Spirit which guarantees our inheritance. The word suggests a type of stamp that authenticates that believer will receive his / her eternal salvation and rewards.
- Do you live with that type of assurance regarding your salvation? Why or why not? How does that impact your day-to-day decisions?