“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”
I’ve always thought this verse sounded pretty cool – the concept that God has “blessed me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” sounded pretty amazing and thus, I gave mental assent. I would thank God for this verse and even pray it for myself and other people. However I never paused to stop and be honest about the fact that I had no idea what this meant. It is amazing how much rich truth lies dormant in our lives because it stays locked away in the room of nebulous concepts – undefined, unquestioned, and therefore, not unlocked. Christ Himself is truth (Jn. 14:6) and He desires to reveal Himself. It’s been interesting to notice that whenever God wants to take me into a deeper knowing of Him, the first thing He will often do is take a term or concept that I’ve known my whole life and show me what it really means. And that’s what He did for me with this verse.
One day I heard someone preach a message on this verse. And I didn’t like what I heard – it “ruined” the verse for me! I decided to look into it for myself. What I discovered was that my concept of what this meant was wrong – I was wrong and found myself having to agree with God. But when I did, wow! I felt like I had been standing in a dark room, stumbling over unidentified objects. Then the light came on, and I saw that I had been standing in a treasure trove!
The Greek word for “blessed” (the one referring to the fact that God has “blessed us with all spiritual blessings…”) is “eulogeo.” It is related to our concept of eulogy. It literally means “to speak well of.” Initially this wasn’t exciting to me at all! You see, if anyone would have asked me what it meant before, I would have probably said it was referring to measureable blessings – salvation, love, provision, good things God gives us, etc. Thus the fact that this meant “to speak well of” was quite a different story. But think about it and let the true meaning sink in.
Have you ever considered the fact that God speaks well of you? Imagine the Throne Room of heaven. There God sits on the throne – all the ears of the entire spiritual realm can hear Him. Christ can hear Him; the angels can hear Him; the Devil and all his demonic forces can hear Him. They all know your name and they know what the Father thinks of you: He speaks well of you.
Why does this carry so much meaning? This was huge for me because I always thought that any time my name was mentioned in the spiritual realm it would look something like this:
Father to Jesus, “How’s Becky doing?” Jesus to the Father, “Well, she’s doing ok. She’s been struggling with this and that. She’s still not surrendering such and such. I don’t know if she ever get over that problem. But she is really trying. We will keep working on her.” Father to Jesus, “Ok, let me know when she’s fixed, then I’ll accept her.” I subconsciously imagined that God was probably always slightly frustrated with me and who was waiting for the day when I would finally “get it right.”
My inner world shifted when I realized that this is not the voice of Father God, nor the voice of Christ. This is the voice of the Accuser of the Brethren – the voice of the Devil himself (see Revelation 12:10). He condemns me before the Father – he nitpicks and exposes and accuses me. And all too often, in my heart of hearts I agree with the Accuser. He’s right – I have problems and sins and issues and struggles! He’s right in exposing this! Yet, he doesn’t reveal the solution. He presents partial truth as full truth; and that is a lie. Christ, my Advocate with the Father, also sees my sin, my struggles, my failures. He does not hide or excuse it! He exposes me for who I am, but He also exposes the solution. He presents the full truth – He exposes me as a sinner AND He reveals Himself as the Savior (see 1 John 2:1).
You see, if I live under the words of the Accuser of the Brethren, I must fix myself. I must be my own savior and save myself from my sin. I must try harder to overcome my bad habits and failures. I must try to be like God with the hope that one day I will “get my act together” and be able to present myself to God so that He will accept me. This all looks so good and spiritual, but it is living in bondage to the Devil and his lies.
But if I live under the words of my Advocate, then I must come into agreement of my great need of the Savior whose blood covers me. Oh how great is our need for a Savior! And how wonderful – we have one: Jesus Christ! We never have to live a day without Him! Every day He stands as our Advocate with the Father. A.W. Tozer speaks of living this way: “We please Him most not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections and believing that He understands everything and still loves us.”
The reason all of this can be true has to do with the blood of Christ. When God sees me, He sees the blood of His Son, and accepts me into fellowship. (Just like the Israelites on the Passover – if the blood was on the doorposts of their house, God passed over them and did not destroy.) The blood was for God. He sees the blood and He says it is enough. When I see problems in my life, get frustrated, try to fix myself, try to cleanse myself, I am not agreeing with God. I am saying the blood was not enough. But when I humble myself, stop trying to fix myself, and come up under the blood – I honor Christ and I honor God greatly. I am agreeing with God. The truth will never change – on my worst day, the blood is what makes me right with the Father; and on my best day, the blood is what makes me right with the Father. I will never come to the place where I don’t need a Savior.
Look at the scene again. There God sits on the throne – all the ears of the entire spiritual realm can hear Him. Christ can hear Him; the angels can hear Him; the Devil and all his demonic forces can hear Him. They all know your name and they know what the Father thinks of you: He speaks well of you. You are accepted in the beloved (Eph.1:6). There is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1).
Charles Spurgeon said it this way, “My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, HE is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me. Hallelujah!”
In this context, the words of the following song burst full of meaning:
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea;
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there, the Risen Lamb!
My perfect, spotless Righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself, I cannot die;
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God.