As Paul starts his letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us that we who follow Jesus Christ have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. Notice that we have been blessed in “the heavenly realms” – there is blessing for following Jesus here today – but it is where God is that we have received every blessing. There can be no greater spiritual blessing than being united with Christ. There is no higher attainment.
Of course, it’s not that God has only lately decided to bless us. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. That is, God decided in advance to adopt us into his family by bringing us to himself through Christ. Why? Because he wanted to!
Now, that sounds a lot like predestination. What about those who don’t become Christians? Did God decided to not love them and choose them and adopt them? It’s a very complicated issue. I don’t know who God decided in advance to adopt as his children. I certainly don’t pretend to know exactly how election works. The Bible does seem to support the argument that it is God’s chose. But it also supports the argument that we too have free will and a choice to make. Somehow the two are both active…
Paul’s point here is to those who are Christians, though.We should praise God that we are his. He has done so much for us, he has saved us by the blood of his son… he forgave us, showered us with kindness and wisdom and understanding. All along God had planned to bring everything under the authority of Christ – and he has done exactly that in the death and resurrection of Christ .
Paul’s prayer at the end of this chapter is fantastic: That we would grow in spiritual wisdom and insight so that we might grow in our knowledge of God. Paul prays that God will enable us to understand our confident hope and the greatness of GOd’s power for us. Will I understand all of the mysteries of whom God saves, and why some are saved and some aren’t? No. But I can know God more.
Please, Lord, help me to know you more. Fill me more and more with the “confident hope” and joy of your salvation.