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… And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:3, 22-23, ESV).
Although the words are different, there is a great similarity between the opening and closing verses of Ephesians chapter one. Paul begins by declaring that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing; he concludes by affirming that we are the fullness of Christ. (That’s right!)
Preachers sometimes rightly talk about identification with Christ. We probably should begin by thinking about his identification with us. Though he was equal with God, says the apostle elsewhere, he humbled himself and took on human form. He became one with us.
Christ took our sins upon himself, even becoming sin for us—in other words, taking all the corruption, ugliness and wickedness of sin and absorbing it all into his own body to the extent that he even felt cut off from God (Matt 27:46).
In a similar way, through identifying with Christ, the opposite happens. We take all God’s blessings into our lives and we become like him. He became sin; we become righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). This is an astonishing concept. But it’s true.
An old song says, ‘When God looks at me, he sees not what I used to be, but he sees Jesus.’ And that’s it! And that is why the Bible uses the phrase ‘in Christ’ over and over again. When we put our faith in Jesus, we are found in him. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3),
A young woman told me how she used to hear evil voices in her head and was powerless to stop them. Was it just her mind? Was it the devil? Either way, she was seriously distressed. As she left my office, I urged her to read Ephesians chapter one every day for a week and to write her name in at every point where she could. When she returned she was really excited. The voices had stopped. She was free! I asked her if she had done the Bible reading. ‘Oh, yes,’ she replied. Then she proceeded to recite the whole chapter by heart! No wonder she broke through.
It was claiming those many blessings by faith and seeing herself in Christ that turned things around for her. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened by the Holy Spirit too. May you see the invisible and do the impossible through the power of the risen Christ.
1. Read aloud through Ephesians chapter one regularly, starting right now, referring to yourself every time there is a personal pronoun that could apply to you. For example, ‘In him have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon ’ (Eph 1:7-8).
2. Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and to give you wisdom and revelation in your own life.