(From an 1898 book In Christ Jesus by Arthur T. Pierson)
The very first verse contains the expression, "faithful in Christ Jesus," and the third verse furnishes the key to this epistle in one short sentence, comprising the sum of all its exalted teaching: "Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ."
This letter to the Ephesians lifts us to the very summit, the third heaven of privilege, and is especially rich in that phrase which we are now devoutly tracing throughout the New Testament. We find here at least ten separate uses or combinations of the words in Christ or in Him, as applied to the present estate of the believer, and as exhibiting His possible heavenly life even while on earth; and there is one besides which refers to coming blessing. These features of this epistle we shall find singularly true also of the companion Epistle to the Colossians.
In this epistle we are declared to be, in Christ, chosen, predestinated to the adoption of children, accepted; to have redemption and forgiveness, to be quickened or made alive, raised, seated in the heavenlies; to have been sealed and to have obtained an inheritance: these are the ten present blessings, and the one, yet future, is that in Him we are to be gathered together in one, with all saints, at His coming.
The peculiar truth thus introduced to our view in this epistle is, therefore, the heavenly nature and divine fulness of this sphere of the new life. When by faith we enter into Christ, the life we are introduced into, is not earthly, but essentially heavenly. It is not to be confounded with joys and privileges which are of this world, however pure and lawful. In Christ we are lifted above the level even of saintly communion as such. Our human ties and relations with God's own people are very precious, but that of which the Spirit here treats is something higher than the human relation which disciples sustain here to each other.
We ascend in thought above the Church on earth, with its assemblies of saints, its sacraments, ordinances, and fellowship; here we are viewed as one with Christ and one in Christ. He, indeed, in heaven, and we on earth; yet our life in Him a heavenly life because it is in Him who is in heaven. Hence the word "places," supplied by the translators, may mislead, for we are not as yet in heavenly places but in earthly places, though we may and ought to be in heavenly states of mind, heart, and experience. The difference is not a mere verbal distinction. A devout woman whom I once visited, to condole with her on the recent departure of an aged and most saintly mother, said to me with a smile: "For forty years, my dear mother's mind has been in heaven."
From the forthcoming book "In Christ Classics (Expanded Edition)".
Blessing believers all over the world
Exploring the myth of a capricious God and releasing the potential of every believer! The paperback book contains 20 chapters in three parts:
* God's Principles -- 9 chapters
* Let's Think -- 7 chapters
* Let's Talk -- 4 chapters
Part Two, "Let's Think", covers in considerable depth the principle of Renewing Your Mind (expanding on chapter 8), and Part Three, "Let's Talk", discusses the biblical truths of how to use your power of speech in releasing your potential (expanding on chapter 9).
These 208 pages are really at the heart of all our ministry, covering our philosophy of ministry, our approach to the Word of God, and our positive outlook on living the abundant Christian life.
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