In the Heavenlies
v. 3 is the key verse of this book. It is summarized in three words: "all spiritual blessings". Then vv. 4-14 give the detail of what 'all' means.
We are rich and famous in things that really matter. Rich as joint heirs w/ Christ, and famous for having our names written in heaven, and being cheered on by the heavenly host. Rich in things that matter, not to this world, but to the next!
1. The Source of all spiritual blessings.
v. 3 God the Father. He is not a miser, playing keep a way with blessings. Don't get the mistaken idea that the Father is the mean judge who demands a payment for sin and Jesus is the loving Savior who talked Him into letting Him come down to die for us. In truth, the salvation plan was born in the heart of the Father, who loves and longs for the return of His created children.
1 John 4:10
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
We are fortunate that our Father is wealthy in the things we need most.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
In Christ, our Father has deposited unbelievable wealth on our account. And so I love preaching, because I get to help 'disperse' the riches all around, from the Word of God!
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
The Father is the source of all spiritual blessings!
2. The Scope of all spiritual blessings.
v. 3 says 'all' spiritual blessings...no limits.
3:8 says 'unsearchable riches'
They are truly a well which will never run dry. An ocean that can never be emptied. To attempt to exhaust the riches of God would be like trying to count the grains of sand on the beaches of the world.
ill.--in the Great Depression banks would actually regulate the dispersal of funds [YOUR MONEY!] I'm so glad that there's never a recession in heaven, no economic downturns, and no fiscal cliff! You can make a withdrawal of 'all' spiritual blessings and unsearchable riches anytime you want...as much as you want!
Notice it doesn't say He IS GOING to give us all things, but that He ALREADY HAS!
ill.--a tongue tied preacher with a lisp always talked about the 'thecond blething' [2nd blessing!] He believed you don't get all God's blessings at salvation, but that there's a second work of grace to pursue. Another pastor criticized and said, "I'm tired of hearing about your thecond blething, thecond blething. I've had 3rd, 4th, 5th, even hundreds of blessings!" The lisping preacher said, "Thir, if you've had that many you thouldn't mind me having two!"
Scope? Innumerable! Source? The Father!
3. The Sphere of these blessings.
v. 3b 'places' is italicized in our KJV. This means it is not in the original text...it was added for clarity. It literally reads: "all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies."
This phrase is used only in Ephesians, and 5 times! "In the heavenlies"
The heavenlies is one of two spheres [realms] in which you and I may choose to walk during this life. The heavenly and the earthly. You don't have to go to heaven to be 'in the heavenlies.' In God's mind we are already there if saved!
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Out of necessity, you and I walk every day to some degree in the earthly realm...it can't be avoided. You can be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good. But let's be clear: That's not our real problem! We are much the opposite!
Even at church--we try to focus on the spiritual realm, and yet someone has to pay the light bill. And when lights go out or clock batteries die, someone must replace them. This place doesn't clean itself. If we tried to be spiritual enough to cause it to be clean we would have what you call a 'holy mess!'
Many times we walk out of here after a service feeling like we are floating above the ground...in the heavenlies...because we have been lifted up to the heavenlies! But after we march out, someone else marches in and picks up what we left in the pews, on the carpet, and in the restrooms. [Hopefully they don't pick THAT up!]
Sad truth: For the lost, the earthly realm is all they know anything of!
Another sad truth: For many Christians who don't walk with God, the very same is true.
Paul says we have access to all blessings, but not here...we will find them in the heavenlies! And he's not talking about us going to heaven someday, but rather heaven coming down to us, and glory filling our soul because we make room!
In the heavenlies is where the battles are.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [the heavenlies!]
The devil will not yield ONE blessing without a fight. Spiritual battles in the air are far more serious than we've ever imagined. The unseen spirit world is more real than the temporary things we see w/ our eyes. Our enemy is not wicked people, or terrorists, or the meanie in our workplace, or the President. Our enemy is Satan himself, and his hosts.
Principalities=demons who have oversight over nations.
Powers=demons who have power over individuals.
Rulers of darkness=demons of hell in charge of Satan's world affairs.
Spiritual wickedness=demons in charge of religion, which sends more to hell than anything else!
Don't think of me as spooky here, but there is an unseen world with a great spiritual battle taking place.
Daniel prayed for God's help for 3 weeks w/ no answer once, and finally an angel came to him and helped him. Daniel must have wondered what took so long.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me...
This is not an allegory, this is a true life experience! Here's an angel delivering an answered prayer to a believer being resisted by a demonic power to the point that he cannot break through and has to call for reinforcements!
So, how will you and I win spiritual battles? Only with spiritual weapons. Your flesh doesn't have the strength to win. We must put on the whole armour of God!
This is yet another reason how we know that what happens in the church house is much more important than what happens in the White House!
Numbers in the church: offerings, attendance, baptisms...these are visible results. We want those, but may we not forget about the unseen battles we must strive to win. Is there a spirit of unity? Love? Cooperation? Discipleship? Forsaking self? Praying in our spirit?
In the heavenlies is where the battles are.
And in the heavenlies is where the blessings are.
Most NT books have an OT counterpart. For example, it's hard to understand Hebrews w/out Exodus and Leviticus. And for Ephesians, we must look back to Joshua. In Joshua, God's people are trying to claim and possess a land which was already given to them. All they had to do was march in and claim it. At Jericho all they had to do was walk. And to claim God's best blessings all we must do is walk...in the Spirit...in the heavenlies...not the earthly.
ill.--at a Christian's funeral we say they have gone on to heaven. In truth, their heart had already been there for years, and the rest of their person is now rejoining their heart!
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
If in God's mind we who are saved are already in heaven, how should we change our mind about things of earth.
v. 3 The last 2 words are 'in Christ'. This makes the difference between the earthly and the heavenly. Be saved and walk in a new realm. It's where the real battles are, and it's where the real blessings are! Don't accept less than God's best in your life.
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