“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ.”(Ephesians 1:3)
There is a sense in which the letter of Paul to the Ephesians is the “Joshua” of the New Testament because the theme is the same: possess your possessions. In Joshua 1:3, the possessions were one square foot of the Promised Land of Canaan at a time. In Ephesians, the blessings are spiritual blessings not to be found in a land like Canaan but “in heavenly places, in Christ.”
By “heavenly places” Paul means the spiritual dimension of life. He uses that expression six times in this letter. He uses the expression “in Christ” nearly 100 times in his letters. By this second expression he means that it’s possible for us to be in a relationship with the risen Christ the way a branch is in relationship to a vine from which it draws its sustenance and nourishment.
“In heavenly places in Christ” there are all kinds of wonderful spiritual blessings God wants to give us. But we have to come into that spiritual dimension and into relationship with Christ to get those blessings. In other words, “heavenly places in Christ” is the location of our spiritual Promised Land.
Make a list of all the spiritual blessings you think Paul is referring to in this verse like prayer, the Scriptures, worship and fellowship with other believers. Then apply them and possess your spiritual possessions!
Dick Woodward, 01 May 2009