Spiritual Blessings in Christ (II)
C. W. Scott
In a previous article the writer sought to emphasize the fact of "Spiritual Blessings In Christ." Special attention is now to be given to the truth of God's promise to Christians of "All Spiritual Blessings."
There is both quantity and quality identified with the blessings promised to those in Christ Jesus. How many? It is "all spiritual blessings." There are absolutely no spiritual blessings that a person ;n Christ can seek or feel a need for than those to be' enjoyed in Christ. In Christ are all spiritual blessings. The saints of Colosse were assured, "Ye are complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:10). Let us look unto Jesus "the author and finisher of our faith" for spiritual completeness through all spiritual blessings. We are saved by Christ and in Christ, and we share the benefits of the atonement. Out of Him no one is chosen to spiritual life and no one out of Christ can enjoy salvation either in time or eternity.
The blessings to be found only in Jesus Christ are spiritual blessings. They are accommodated to our spiritual wants and desire; they come down to us from heaven, prepare us for heaven, and will be completed in our admission to heaven. The blessings are in quality both spiritual and eternal. The Samaritan woman was instructed by Jesus, (John 4:14), "Whosoever drinketh the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
The quality of the blessings in Christ can be recognized further in that they are said to be heavenly in nature. Nicodemus was informed by Jesus, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things" (John 3:12). It was a most comforting and inspiring heavenly blessing that Jesus promised his weary disciples. It was while hearts were heavy and saddened that Jesus appealed to them, "Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions . . . I go and prepare a place for you" (John 14:1,2). Jesus finally said on this occasion, "I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am (that is, in heaven), there ye may be also." Just think of it! Christians enjoy the promise of "All 'spiritual blessings in heavenly places!" How wonderful the thought! And that is not all! Jesus "hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Rev. 1:7). Arid let us consider another blessing, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." That is the promise of Romans 8:16,17 and addressed to Christians or those in Christ.
Some Specific Blessings
Let us be more direct and specific as to some of the blessings that may be enjoyed by those in Christ. Surely, none of us can afford to be without a single blessing offered. However, to remain out of Christ, to refuse to accept the grace of God, a failure to appropriate them through heeding the voice and will of the Son of God, and a refusal to act in harmony with the teachings of the New Testament, will most certainly deprive one of every blessing to be enjoyed now and eternally.
What a privilege it is that our prayers unto God may be heard and our praise, thanksgivings, petitions and supplications will be heard if we be in Christ. John 15:7 reveals the words of Jesus, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Again, the Holy Spirit-guided Paul admonished in Col. 3:17, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." What a privilege and blessing to enjoy! Prayer with God in Jesus' name enables God to hear us! Indeed, what a blessing there is in prayer-a blessed hour of prayer!
And how blessed it is also to know, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1). Paul thus states there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus as certainly as there is no salvation or pardon from past sins to those that are not in Christ.
Then there is the blessing of "The newness of life." 2 Cor. 5:17 teaches, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." "Even so, we should also walk in newness of life . . . being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6:4, 17).
Redemption and forgiveness are other spiritual blessings to be had only in Christ. Ephesians 1:7 states that in Jesus "we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Every blessing bestowed on sinners is by grace but the blessing of forgiveness is according to the riches, the exceeding, unsearchable riches of Christ's grace. Actually, there is a twofold redemption to be experienced in Jesus Christ. First, there is the redemption of the soul from the guilt of sin by pardon. Second, there is to be the redemption of the body from the power of the grave by the resurrection at the last day. Do you enjoy hope for these blessings? Do you entertain the hope of such a promise? You can be the partaker of these great blessings but it must be remembered that only those who live and die in Christ can possess them. One must get into Christ to embrace such excellent and eternal benefits.
It is in Christ Jesus alone that men have the promise of an eternal inheritance. In Ephesians 1:11 it is written, "In whom" (that is, Christ), "also we have obtained an inheritance . . . . That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Salvation is another spiritual blessing to be enjoyed in Christ. The apostle Peter reminds us in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." In Gal. 3:26,27 one reads, "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." There should be no surprise then that Jesus himself declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). There is absolutely no other way! Salvation is to be had in Christ only and not out of Christ. Those who refuse to believe-those who refuse to put Christ on in baptism are not saved and will not be saved from their sins. Salvation comes only through a holy and spiritual union with the Saviour of men. Only then can they have sweet rest and peace in death according to the promise in Rev. 14:13, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord . . . they may rest from their labors and their works do follow then."
The believing, penitent Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:22) that was admonished by the preacher Ananias, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord." Sinners can afford to do likewise and in genuine faith in God and Jesus Christ, renounce a life of sin, confess their faith in the Son of God and be buried with the Saviour in baptism (Rom. 6:3,4). Having put on Christ we must remain in Christ by walking in His steps and obeying or observing all that He has commanded of his followers in his last will and testament. John records many wonderful and glorious promises belong to Christians in Revelation. "Blessed are they who do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates in to the city (heavenly Jerusalem)" (Rev. 22:14).
It will be a sad and mournful day and a most horrible eternity for those not in Christ or those who have not remained faithful and true in their allegiance unto Christ. The apostle Peter warns erring Christians, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them" (2 Pet. 4:20,21).
Our desire and prayer is that you may dwell in Christ's presence and where there is a fulness of joy forever.
"A hope so great and so divine,
May trials well endure;
And purge the soul of lust and sin,
As Christ himself is pure."
Truth Magazine XXI: 16, pp. 247-248