The Truth about you: (Knowing your Identity in Christ: Ephesians 1)

William Shakespeare famously wrote, “We know what we are, but not what we may be.” I can understand the gist of that, but is it really true? 

The Bible has another take on it. You are a spiritual being and were designed to live in relationship with God. Without that relationship you can never be fully alive, fully yourself. But within that relationship you expand to become all that God intended you to be, like a balloon slowly filling and filling -with no explosion in sight!

Here’s how Paul expresses it in Ephesians 1:

“Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One, who grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms where we live in the Anointed—not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us.  God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him. He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. This was His pleasure and His will for us. Ultimately God is the one worthy of praise for showing us His grace; He is merciful and marvelous, freely giving us these gifts in His Beloved. Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free! We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, which He has poured all over us. With all wisdom and insight, He has enlightened us to the great mystery at the center of His will. With immense pleasure, He laid out His intentions through Jesus, a plan that will climax when the time is right as He returns to create order and unity—both in heaven and on earth—when all things are brought together under the Anointed’s royal rule. In Him  we stand to inherit even more. As His heirs, we are predestined to play a key role in His unfolding purpose that is energizing everything to conform to His will. As a result, we—the first to place our hope in the Anointed One—will live in a way to bring Him glory and praise. because you, too, have heard the word of truth—the good news of your salvation—and because you believed in the One who is truth, your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit who was promised  as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when He frees and rescues all who belong to Him. To God be all praise and glory!”

The passage begins with  thanksgiving offered to God. Paul celebrates all the spiritual “blessings” available to all believers in Jesus, the Anointed One. This means that He is the one through whom God has acted to rescue the world. But more than that, He is the Lord to whom we belong and the spiritual place where all believers are presently located. In God’s purpose, heaven has come down to where we live so that we now occupy this wonderful realm where salvation is at work, where God’s truth and beauty are a reality, and where we wait as the rest of His plan is worked out.

So here’s the expanding truth of your true identity in Christ.Why not just read and reflect and let’s see what the Lord is saying to us through this passage?  

He grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms where we live in the Anointed. BLESSED

God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world. CHOSEN

He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him. BLAMELESS

He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. ADOPTED

We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, which He has poured all over us. FORGIVEN

With all wisdom and insight, He has enlightened us to the great mystery at the center of His will.  ENLIGHTENED

In Him  we stand to inherit even more. As His heirs, we are predestined to play a key role in His unfolding purpose that is energizing everything to conform to His will. INHERITORS

Your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit who was promised  as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when He frees and rescues all who belong to Him. SPIRIT-SEALED

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