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Count Your Blessings

Part 21

Blessings
35. FOUNDATION
36. SANCTUARY
37. DWELLING PLACE OF GOD

We have the foundation and become the holy sanctuary, the innermost part of a temple, and God is prepared to dwell in us. Compare with the temple in Jerusalem how we are

built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the keystone, in whom every building, as it is fitted together, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. [Eph 2:20-22]

We have met the indwelling Spirit before (blessing Nr. 5). It still leaves us breath-taken that God should be prepared to come and live in us.

Blessings
38. MEMBERSHIP OF ONE BODY
39. JOINT PARTAKERS OF HIS PROMISE

These are key elements of the mystery:

that the Gentiles should be joint heirs and a joint body, and joint partakers of his promise in Christ through the gospel, That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [Eph 3:6]

We have seen earlier that we have been “made heirs”, but that the Greek does not say “with Israel”. Here the emphasis is not on what the inheritance is, but the fact that we are in close contact with Christ, as we were with the making-alive-with Christ, and raising-with Christ, and seating-with Christ in heavenly realms.

We are also members of one body (Eph 4:4, FAA/AV), and that body is actually Christ's body; for we are members of his body (Eph 5:30, FAA/AV).

The identification with Christ is so complete that we are members of His body! We are also joint partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus. Does “joint” mean you and I and the other believers together? It could go further than this, and the meaning could be together with Christ, because we have the same Greek prefixed preposition, making “partakers-together” just one word, as in the other joint blessings with Christ. Apparently, Christ shares with us in looking forward to what is promised. What is promised? Paul has received a gospel from the Lord to preach; he says

[the gospel] of which I have become a minister by the gift of the grace of God which was given to me by the exertion of his power, to me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given: to preach among the Gentiles the untraceable richness of Christ, and to enlighten everyone as to what the dispensation of the mystery is, which was hidden from the ages in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ, [Eph 3:7-9]

Paul is preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ, and we are partakers in this promise with each other and with Christ Himself.

Blessing 40. ASSURANCE

The Scripture is:

in whom we have assurance and access in confidence through his faithfulness. [Eph 3:12]

We have already seen that we may approach God - the “access” of Eph 2:18. The “assurance” or “boldness” has a basic meaning of “outspokenness” or “plainness of speech”, but the meaning extends to “courage” and “boldness”, especially in the presence of persons of high rank, according to Walter Bauer's Lexicon.

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon wanted certain children of Israel, who were there in exile, in his court and gave instructions to find

children in whom was no blemish, and who were good-looking and insightful in all wisdom, and who were knowledgeable and who understood science, and who had the mettle to stand in the king's palace. [Dan 1:4]

Nebuchadnezzar was looking for people with self-assurance or boldness. He was given Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

In Ephesians, the “Person of high rank” is higher than Nebuchadnezzar. We are talking about approaching God. As we have seen, we need not be at all nervous about approaching God. Christ has made us fit to approach, and this last blessing counted in this booklet tells us we can also confidently speak in the presence of our heavenly Father.

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