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Sunday: We Are Blessed in Christ — 10 Comments

  1. While the word "bless" is used outside of religious circles, its use nowadays typically means to be favoured by God. Its etymology is interesting. The term is derived from the Germanic group of languages where the original word meant consecrated by blood. It stemmed from the practice of marking an individual or object with blood to ward off evil. Although this usage is recorded from around the 11th century it is easy to see that the practice may have connections with Christ's sacrifice for us.

    Nowadays we use the term in non-religious ways to indicate happiness, favour, satisfaction, well-being, and so on. And in Christian circles, they mean much the same but with religious overtones.

    I like to think of the word, "bless" as a "pipeline" verb. If we are blessed by God through the actions and ministrations of Jesus, then, for the blessing to be effective, we in turn must be a blessing to others. It does not stop with us.

    There are some lakes that have an inflow and an outflow while others only have an inflow. We can all name lakes with no outflow, the Dead Sea, Lake Eyre are just a couple of examples. They are very salty and inhospitable to life. On the other hand, Those lakes that have both an inflow and an outflow support life abundantly.

    Paul's letter to the Ephesians is essentially a pipeline message. Paul had been "blessed" by his relationship with God and he in turn is providing a blessing to the Ephesians and inviting them to pass the blessing to others.

    • Hmm. I like that. The inflow of Jesus waters our Spirit; and through the outflow, Jesus waters others.

      "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." (John 7:37-39)
      (Isaiah 55:1)

  2. “Think about what that means. Chosen in Him before the world existed! What great hope should this offer you in regard to God’s desire for you to be saved?”

    This means that I’m neither a random act of nature nor a happy accident of my parents (although I know they intended to have children). Instead, I am a chosen child of God, the creator and ruler of our universe. He knew me before “I was knit together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
    In fact, He planned for my life and salvation before the 1st day of creation and has a purpose for me! (Ephesians 1:4-6).

    Thinking about this puts my salvation into perspective and makes me feel grateful in a very practical way.

  3. We have no reason to be discouraged because we have every reason to be happy in the Lord. He chose us before we were born. He nutures us if we choose Him, in prayer and supplication, fellowship, meditation on Him, and a daily relationship.

    I take it that the author is talking of our relationship with Christ when he says, "being on a mountain top". Yes we want to be on a mountain top in our relationship with Him. However we want to be in the valley in our interaction with the people. Many who we are to come in contact with are not on the mountain top of joy, peace, and thanksgiving found in a relationship with Christ. We have an opertunity to feed Christ sheep in the valley, on the mountain side and even those on the mountain top, who need the rich current of Christ love that flows through our souls.

    Even if we have no mountain top to stand on we are promised peace found in Christ. Isaiah 54:10. Also Even though the world passes away, as well as everything that people crave, those of us who abide in Christ will live forever. 1 John 2:17.

    So you see, we have not only the assurance that Christ chose us before the foundation of the world, we know that our abiding in Him gives a lot of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

  4. ‘We are blessed when being found in Christ’ because all that is found in Him – 'all things, both “in heaven”, and “on earth” will be gathered or united in Christ, when God’s Plan for “the fullness of time” will be fulfilled.”' We ought to understand that all that which constitutes life is found only in Christ!

    Our Salvation-blessing is not like a membership in an exclusive club affording special priviledges to its members. To reveal and teach His Truth, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of our heavenly Father, has left His heavenly abode and came down to be with man – John 1:1-10. All who believe that He is the Son of God will receive a new nature fit for inclusion in the great 'unification' of all things in Him - this is our blessing.

    I do not understand what the lesson writer means by stating that: “We find ourselves on ‘another steep climb’ as he points us upward to the risen, ascended, exalted Christ, who rules over every imaginable power for all time”? Being found in Christ by faith, are we not therefore within Him at all times, so eliminating all ‘work’ toward perfection?

    I consider myself like the unborn child living in its mother's womb again. I cannot do anything on my own, everything pertaining to life is provided and facilitated by Jesus Christ. Him who formed me now sustains my life outside the womb. Our new nature is 'born-again' and found and sustained in Christ - John 3:3-5.
    The only aspect which could be considered to be my responsibility is to remain faithful to my Maker who promised to forever increase my love for Him and my sisters and brothers in the human family and His creation at large.

    • I took the metaphor of climbing in a different way. In Australia we don't have a lot of moutains. Even our tallest mountain is like a little pimple. I have been there. But, there are some mountains that are steep. Last time I went to Tasmania I climbed to the top in my Troopy. The road was steep and you essentially climb by driving across a cliff-face on a very narrow road. But the views are spectacular. The city of Hobart spread out along the Derwent River and the serried hills fading in the distance is one of the the great views. And as you get higher the views get better and better.

      That is like Christianity; the more you climb spiritually, the more you appreciate the relationship.

      • Yes, Maurice - climbing spiritually commences with/in allowing our Creator to increase His love in us which decreases our human limitations - "... for His Mercy endureth forever! Psalm 136. We cannot climb the mountain - the mountain - Jesus Christ - has come down to us!

  5. What hope does Ephesians 1:4 give me, to know I was chosen before the creation of the world? When I read this passage this morning, suddenly I remembered joining an American football Junior high school team. I wanted to try out for quarterback but was severely disappointed when I realized the coach had already chosen a quarterback before tryouts or practices even began. At the time that seemed very unfair to me. Years later I realized it did make sense as the quarterback is a very important position to a football team, so the coach would need to already have someone chosen and trained for that position before tryouts even began. I had never put this experience together with Ephesians 1:4 until now. I realize just as the coaches had already chosen someone else before practices ever began, so God had already chosen me to be in Christ before the world ever began. I may have been overlooked by the coaches, but I was chosen by God before the world even began. That makes me feel very secure in Christ. I am not overlooked by God. I am chosen.

  6. "...the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Ephesians 1:23). That's the peak of Paul's message. No matter what we're going through, Jesus is the missing link for us to be and feel complete/whole!

  7. I love verse 7 of Chapter "One" in Ephesians. God via His Son blessed us before He even made this earth with redemption and also forgiveness of sin. Amen and Amen to this very blessing for us before God even made this earth and all life being plants, animals, and even humans in His own image!!!!


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