We Have Every Spiritual Blessing
We who are rooted in Christ also have every spiritual blessing in him in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3). We need not fear because we already have every blessing. Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that before the world was even formed, God the Father chose us, adopted us as his children, and lavished every spiritual blessing on us (Eph. 1:3–5).
First, what a relief that we were chosen before we were even born—before the earth was even formed. You and I did exactly nothing to receive our salvation in Christ. God did it all. Second, not only are we adopted, but we also have every spiritual blessing in him. Our Father owns every spiritually good thing, and he’s given them all to us.
These spiritual blessings come to us through the Holy Spirit, who lives in us (1 Cor. 3:16). On the night before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).
Not only is the Holy Spirit our Helper and teacher, he’s also our peace giver. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus knew that trying times were ahead for his disciples: persecution, rejection, martyrdom. But he did not leave them—or us—without help and hope.
Spiritual blessings in heavenly places point us toward our real home: heaven itself. Our natural bodies will one day be raised spiritual bodies (1 Cor. 15:44). We will be imperishable (1 Cor. 15:52) and have ultimate victory through Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 15:57). We will enjoy the gifts of heaven for eternity. We will live in a holy city with our God and “he will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more” (Rev. 21:4).
Between now and heaven we have the Holy Spirit in us who gives us power (Acts 1:8), helps us (John 15:26), prays for us (Rom. 8:26), gives us spiritual gifts for serving the church (1 Cor. 12:4–11), provides us with peace (John 14:27), produces spiritual fruit in our lives such as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23), and more. Indeed, we have the Helper that Jesus promised.
We Are People of Hope
Christian, we are different. We don’t have to live like those who wonder if everything will be okay. We don’t need to tie ourselves up in knots with worry about tomorrow. You don’t have to worry about the unconditional acceptance of your family, the promotions at work, your baby’s health, what college to go to, what city to live in, what life insurance policy to buy. While you and I will indeed still make those choices as active participants in our lives, our decisions don’t dictate our futures. We can rest because our choices don’t actually have the final say in any sphere—God has the final say. Remember, all things are through him and for him (Col. 1:16). All things.
We are people of hope. We have one—and only one— hope.
We are people of hope. We have one—and only one— hope. But it’s a huge hope, and it changes everything. It’s the truth that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and we will too. We are people of the resurrection. Rooted, built up, and established in Christ—this is our identity.
Peter, a disciple and intimate friend of Jesus, denied Jesus on the night he was betrayed, witnessed the resurrection, preached Jesus at Pentecost, became a leader of the early church, was imprisoned for Christ, and was ultimately martyred for his faith. During great persecution, Peter wrote, “According to [God’s] great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3–4).
Peter rehearses the truth of his one and only hope in Jesus—the same hope he wanted the Christians who were dispersed by persecution to remember. He wanted those scattered for their faith to remember that they were people of hope. They were the people of the resurrection of Jesus. They were born again into his kingdom, and their inheritance was waiting—imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. They had every spiritual blessing then and in heaven.
Christians in the context of early Rome faced great threats, verbal abuse, physical mistreatment, and even death. So Peter told them to prepare their minds for action: “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13). In other words, Jesus conquered death and he’s coming back, and then we will receive our inheritance. Peter said to press on, friends! Put your hope in King Jesus. Commit your ways to him. Stay the course. We are a people of true, unfading hope.
This article is adapted from Enough about Me: Finding Lasting Joy in the Age of Self.
Many of us believe that Christian discipleship is synonymous with self-improvement. But true Christian discipleship is a call to die, not to improve.
Having self-esteem doesn't solve all of our problems, because underneath it, we know our weaknesses and we know our sin.
In the rare moments when we catch broad attention from our social media presence—whether through our images or tweets or memes—we become the star.
For Calvin, self-denial was not a special requirement for the few but a norm for all believers, and we deny self because we have been united with God, not because we want to achieve such a union.