Lent Devotional: Ephesians 1:3-4
by Jonathan Haefs
Today’s devotional is authored by Brad Brown
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 before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Ephesians 1:3-14 is a feast for the believer’s hungry soul. It speaks to the only thing that ultimately matters for the church in life and in death. That is…You and I belong to Jesus Christ.
Marcus Peter Johnson beautifully articulates the blessing or the gifts given to those who are now and forever “in Christ”. I think its worth reading his words at length:
“…Jesus Christ does not bestow his benefits in the abstract; he bestows himself to us, that we might enjoy who he is for us in all his saving graces….
Jesus Christ is an inexhaustible fountain of blessing to us. When he gives himself to us that we might enjoy him, he is not only our justification— the One through whom we experience the forgiveness of sins and the fellowship of his righteousness— he is also our sanctification— the One through whom we are made holy and are transformed into his image.
Yet he is the source of yet another blessing, one so amazing that it would be blasphemous to suggest if it were not true. In our union with Christ, the only begotten Son of God, we participate in what is most precious to him: his relationship with his Father. We are, in union with Christ, adopted into the family of God; we become the children, the sons and daughters, of the Most High God.
To say that our union with Christ is Trinitarian means that by virtue of being incorporated into the life of Jesus Christ, we participate in the life, love, and fellowship of the Trinity. Because the Son is one with the Father, our being joined to the Son means we are joined to the Father. And because the Spirit exists as the bond of communion between the “Father and Son, he brings us into that communion by uniting us to Christ.
There can be no union of greater personal intimacy than that which exists between God the Father and God the Son. But…Jesus (in John 17) tells us that we are incorporated into that relationship as he dwells in us, and the Father in him. Our union with Jesus Christ is a participation in the most personal and intimate union that has ever, and will ever, exist…”
You may want to go back and read through that a few more times very slowly ( I certainly had to…). I think it’s well worth our time to think deeply about the lavish gifts given by our heavenly Father. I think it’s worth our time to ponder the rich communion we have with the God that spoke creation into existence and hung on the cross for our sin. I think its worth the effort to ponder the riches of our salvation. To belong to Jesus is to receive so much more than a ticket out of hell.
The salvation of Christ is the greatest gift of all, not just because of what it saves us from but because of what it offers: God. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It offers the One our hearts were made for…Hallelujah. All I have is Christ!
*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.