Spiritual Blessings

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Doctrine of Spiritual Blessings

 

  1. Definition.  Spiritual blessings are the non-physical God-given assets for the Christian way of life (wealth, resources and benefits).  God designed them in eternity past and then freely gives them to every church age believer in Jesus Christ.  God gives them so that every believer may live on earth in a way that is compatible with his union with Christ, who is now in heaven (Ephesians 1:3-8; 2 Peter 2:2-4; Revelation 2:9).
  2. Central Bible References.

a.       Ephesians 1:3-8.

i.         The persons directly mentioned are God the Father (who blesses), and believers (who are blessed).

ii.       The verb “has blessed” (eulogesas, aorist active participle use as a noun, from eulogew, BAG 322) means to speak well of, to praise, to extol, to call down God’s gracious power.  When God is the subject it means that He gave His benefits.  God is the subject here.

iii.     “With every spiritual blessing” (en pase eulogia pneumatikos).  “Every” (Pas) refers to both individual and the whole, and so to each and every blessing.  “Spiritual” (pneumatikos, BAG 678) refers to something that has to do with the Holy Spirit, human spirit, spirit-like, or evil spirits.  Here it refers to benefits that are from God (spirit) through the Holy Spirit.  They are spiritual because they come from God and are for God's kind of life in the believer.  They are apart from mankind's physical efforts or plans.  “Blessing” (eulogia, BAG 322) refers to blessings as benefits given by God.

iv.     “In the heavenlies” (en tois epouraniois, Ephesians 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12) has the meaning of sphere or place.  The blessings come from heaven where Christ is now seated.  They are heaven like.

v.       “In Christ” (en Christw).  This is a prepositional phrase, dative of sphere.  This speaks of union, relationship with Christ (who is now seated in heaven at the Father's right hand).  Christ is the person in whom and through whom believers have the benefits.  Without being related to Christ, no spiritual blessings will come.

vi.     The spiritual blessings are part of the Plan of God for the church age believer.  “He chose us… He predestined us… according to His will… He freely bestowed” (Ephesians 1:4-6).

    1. Revelation 2:9.  “But you are rich” refers to the spiritual wealth (spiritual blessings) that believers have even though they may be materially poor.
    2. 2 Peter 1:3-4.  God the Father by His divine attributes freely gave each believer everything that is necessary for eternal life and for godlikeness now.  Believers know and use these benefits by a true knowledge about God and His Plan.
  1. Categories of Spiritual Blessings in Christ.

a.       In the Plan of God.

i.               Eternal Plan:  The decrees and will of God before time began and after time ends (John 1:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-6; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 2:10).

ii.             Historical Plan:   The movement of events in time as part of the angelic conflict, theocratic kingdom, and dispensations (Job 1:6-11; 2:1-6; Ephesians 6:10-12; Genesis 12:1-3; Acts 1:6-7; Ephesians 1:7-12; 3:1-6; Colossians 1:24-27).

iii.           Daily Plan:  The mission, preparation, practice, and environment for each believer in his day to day life with the Lord (John 13-17; Ephesians 1:13-19; James 1:21-25;
2 Peter 1:2-4).

b.       Solution to the sin problem.

i.               Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:21).

ii.             Redemption (Ephesians 1:7).

iii.           Unlimited atonement (1 John 2:2);

iv.           Substitution (John 1:29).

v.             Regeneration (1 Peter 1:2-3).

vi.           Propitiation (1 John 2:2).

vii.         Imputation (Philippians 3:9).

viii.       Justification (Romans 5:1).

ix.           Forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32).

c.        New home and citizenship.

i.               In God's kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

ii.             Heavenly citizens (Philippians 1:27; 3:20).

iii.           Fellow citizens and God's household (Ephesians 2:19).

iv.           Delivered from Satan's kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

d.       New relationship.

i.               Adopted (Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:5).

ii.             Children of God (1 John 3:1-2).

iii.           Sons of God (Galatians 4:6-7).

iv.           Heirs (Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:4).

v.             Oneness (John 17:21, 23; Ephesians 4:3).

e.        A new position or status.

i.               A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

ii.             Alive (Ephesians 2:5; 1 John 5:11-12).

iii.           Circumcised (Colossians 2:11).

iv.           Complete (Colossians 2:10).

v.             Dead to sin (Romans 6:1-11).

vi.           Free from the law (Romans 6:14).

vii.         God's people (1 Peter 2:9-10).

viii.       Light (Ephesians 5:8).

ix.           Qualified (Colossians 1:12)

x.             Resurrected (Ephesians 2:6).

xi.           Righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).

xii.         Royal priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9).

xiii.       Sanctified (1 Corinthians 1:30).

xiv.        Seated (Ephesians 2:6).

f.         God's provision for living the Christian way of life (CWL) now.  These include all the resources God has designed and freely given to believers in the church.  The provision includes:

i.               The Daily Plan of God with the mission, preparation, practice, environment (2 Peter 2:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 3:5-10).

ii.             A leader to follow, Christ (Occupation with Christ, Hebrews 12:1-2).

iii.           Instructions in writing (Word of God, Colossians 2:7;
2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 3:18).

iv.           God's promises which believers can rely on and rest (faith rest, Romans 8:28-32; Colossians 2:6; 1 Peter 5:7).

v.             Fellowship with God through confession of sin
(1 John 1:1-10).

vi.           The Holy Spirit to indwell and control believers (walk by the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 3:16; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18).

vii.         The right to talk with God the Father through prayer (John 15:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

viii.       The opportunity to serve God (ministry,
Colossians 3:17, 23; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

ix.           All the Bible principles for the believer's life
(1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Colossians 2:2-3;
2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 5:11-14).

g.       A future.

i.               Resurrection and eternal residence with the Lord (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 21:1-7).

  1. The spiritual blessings form the believer’s spiritual position of strength.  This means that believers live life from a strong, reliable base that will support, protect, and provide continued momentum for the Christian way of life.  The outline for the position of strength includes the plan of God (eternal, historical, daily), union with Christ/family of God, God's blessings (spiritual and physical), and heavenly citizenship with (spiritual base, mission, confidence).
  2. Application:  Believers have everything necessary (spiritual blessings) to live the Christian way of life and therefore to fulfill God's purpose, to enjoy stability, contentment, and happiness, to live as winners in time on earth.  Since this is a fact, believers should know what the blessings are and fully use them.