Ephesians is another letter by Paul which commends grace and peace to his readers. It begins, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He then sends blessings to God who has blessed us, “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.” Believers have been blessed with “every spiritual blessing.” Not physical blessings! The Old Testament promised physical blessings for obedience. Deuteronomy 28 – 32 lays out the Mosaic covenant well. If you obey my commands, you will have fruitful wombs, plentiful crops, fat & prolific flocks, bread to eat, respect in the eyes of your neighbors, and every kind of prosperity. Physical blessings are the result of our hard work. And this rule applies to believers and non-believers alike.  You follow my principles, and I will bless you physically, says the Lord Our God.

It’s hard in a world of nearly 8 billion people to see our individual value. We’re just one of the multitudes. Only the famous have value.  Especially in a world of idolatry! A world in which we take ordinary flesh & blood people and let Hollywood make idols of them. We pay them millions of dollars. In comparison, the world does not value the contribution of teachers, policemen, firemen, or soldiers at all. We are misled to believe as ordinary people, we’re not worth very much. But that’s in the world’s system – the natural, physical realm, not the spiritual realm. This is the place of Christ’s throne! In “heavenly places” believers have every possible blessing. We often pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The last will become first and the first will become last.

Now if I were to take the gender of this phrase to heart as a couple of good translators do, it might mean something a little different. It is masculine in gender, not neuter. Places & things are usually identified with neuters. People & beings are identified by masculine & feminine nouns. This phrase is masculine and might be translated, as “blessed us with every spiritual blessing with or among the heavenly beings.” But God is telling us here that even in that place “the heavenlies” where dwell dominions, powers, and authorities, we have every spiritual blessing. We are better & greater than Satan, than all of the angels, and all the powers, etc…  Not because of anything in us, but because of the little, teeny prepositional phrase, “In Christ.”

The Bible says that in our natural, human state we are all sinners. It doesn’t matter how famous, popular, or wealthy we might be. Our rap sheets contain every sinful thought, attitude, or action we have ever committed. No amount of self-cleansing can make us pure enough to warrant forgiveness and a relationship with a holy God. When we accept His sacrifice on our behalf, He switches accounts with us. He exchanges our list of sins for His perfect account that is totally pleasing to God. A Divine Exchange takes place at the foot of the cross: our old sin nature for His perfect one! To be “in Christ” means that God no longer sees our imperfections; He sees the righteousness of His own Son. Only “in Christ” is our sin debt canceled, our relationship with God restored, and our eternity secured.