You Can Know You Have Eternal Life
730 – The ‘In Him’ Blessings Revealed (2)

by Jim Mettenbrink

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     Last week we began considering the apostle Paul’s opening in his letter to the Ephesians, “
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3)?  The key to these blessings is to be in Christ?  And what are these blessings, which are all part of the mystery revealed in Jesus and subsequently to us in the New Testament?

     Paul continued, “
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7)?  In sum, forgiveness of sins is a blessing in Christ?  Forgiveness is pardon, meaning once pardon is granted, it is as if sins were not committed in the first place.

     If I go to prison, it is to pay the penalty of a crime?  When released, the stain of my crime is still on record?  Governors and presidents often grant “pardons” for crimes committed, meaning there is no record of that person having paid the penalty or having the stain of sin?  It is just-as-if-I never committed the crime?  No crime on my record!  Innocent!

     Forgiveness is the first and primary “in Him” blessing, by which all other spiritual blessings follow?  Why?  Sin breaks the fellowship between a person and God?  Recall this was emphasized in the Mosaic Covenant in the tabernacle, which had two parts?  The first was where the priests served?  The inner part (the Most holy place) was God’s dwelling on earth among the Israelites?  No one could enter therein because God could have no fellowship with sin, nor sinners?  All of the law, all of it, commands a person separate himself from sin.

     That a person sinned once, brought an irreconcilable dilemma?  Only the high priest could enter the God’s dwelling, and then only one day a year to offer the blood of the animal sacrifice for the unwitting sins of the nation?  But no forgiveness, only a roll back for a year?  The “
in Him” forgiveness resulting from Jesus shed blood on the cross is granted to each person who will submit to the New Testament (covenant) given by Jesus?  To be forgiven with a clean record is “just-as-if-I had never sinned.”  Justified!  Paul wrote, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23, 24)?  Forgiveness, thus justification, is an “in Him” blessing.

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      © Jim Mettenbrink; used by permission. rev.170514
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