Union with Christ
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,... (Ephesians 1:3)
In Paul’s theology, he places a tremendous amount of importance on our union with Christ. One of the best and clearest examples of this is from Ephesians 1:3-14, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him [in Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved [in Christ]. In him [in Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him [in Christ], things in heaven and things on earth. In him [in Christ] we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him [in Christ] you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him [in Christ], were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (emphasis and brackets added). Paul’s point is that all the spiritual blessings we receive as believers are not due to effort, but to position. Our sanctification and our salvation are not about Law keeping, but about location. Remaining inside the covenant community of God is not conditional, but positional. At the moment God sovereignly calls us and saves us, the Holy Spirit “who is the guarantee of our inheritance” brings us into union with Christ and seals us into Christ until the day of his return. There is a lot of comfort and assurance in knowing that.
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