Ephesians 1:3-7 – “In Christ”
It is a wonderful privilege to be a child of God. In the early portion of the letter Paul wrote to the saints in Ephesus, he points out a number of blessings which Christians have “in Christ.”
In Ephesians 1:3, it is written, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Where is every spiritual blessing found? The Bible says all these blessings are “in Christ.” Who came up with that plan? God did!
As we continue reading past verse three, what other blessings do we see that are available in the Christ? In Him, Christians are chosen (1:4), predestinated (1:5), adopted sons (1:5), accepted (1:6), redeemed (1:7), and forgiven (1:7).
Let it be clear that, though we are the recipients of such wonderful blessings, they are not bestowed on us because of any goodness on our part. No, they are available because of “the riches of His grace” (1:7).
The text indicates that in the Christ, we are chosen (1:4). The chosen of God are the same as “the elect of God” (Colossians 3:12). When did the Lord choose us? The Bible says it was before the foundation of the world (1:4). So, God had a plan that predated the creation of the universe. God’s plan was not to select individuals arbitrarily. No, the plan was this: anyone who chose to become part of His family by being born again of water and the Spirit (John 3:3,5) would be added to His church (Acts 2:47) and thereby become part of His chosen people.
Do not be afraid of the Bible truth that Christians were “predestined” in the Christ (1:5). The Greek word for “predestined” simply means to “decide beforehand” [Thayer, word no. 4309 via e-Sword]. Again, this does not mean that God selected anyone against his will or regardless of his conduct. Rather, He decided beforehand that those who hear, believe, and obey the gospel will be added to the Lord.
What else? In Jesus, we are “accepted” (1:6). If a person wants God to accept and justify him, he must be in His Son. Yes, being in the Christ is important!
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (1:7). To be redeemed is to be bought back/ ransomed out of slavery to sin. To be forgiven means our sin debt has been removed/pardoned. How? By the blood of Jesus.
Do not miss this truth: as we receive all of these great blessings in the Christ, our God expects each one of us to be holy and blameless (1:4). Think about it.
Adapted from Roger D. Campbell