Vol. 30 Num. 16
First Published: May 8, 1997
But there is yet more gold to be mined in this glorious prayer. For instance, we may note that the prayer is Christ-centered (that is, the integral role of the Son’s redemptive work is accentuated). Over and over Paul brings us back to thoughts of the centrality of Christ in every aspect of God’s saving work.
Paul emphasizes that every Spiritual blessing is enjoyed IN CHRIST. This means, among other things, that all God’s benefits are experienced only in a vital faith relation to Christ. Many today (even in the evangelical world) are toying with the idea that salvation can be experienced apart from a saving faith relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul utterly rejects such an idea, insisting that all those and only those who are “in Christ” are the beneficiaries of His redemption.
But Paul’s emphasis on every Spiritual blessing being enjoyed “in Christ” also reminds us that all the benefits of God are obtained when one has been united to Christ in faith. Thus Paul , as He catalogs his list of God’s lavish blessings stresses that they are experienced “in Christ” (that is, in covenantal relationship to Him). According to Paul, God blessed us IN CHRIST (3); chose us IN HIM (4); predestined us THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (5); bestowed grace on us IN THE BELOVED (6); lavished grace on us (8), made known his plan to us (9), and purposed his whole divine plan IN HIM (9, 7a & 10b) and sealed us IN HIM (13).
Furthermore, our every blessing is based on Christ’s work. For we have REDEMPTION through his blood (7); and our INHERITANCE is solely in Him (10b-11).
As William Guthrie said so long ago: “Less would not satisfy. More is not to be desired.” Have your prayers been characterized by such a Christ-centered focus in adoration? May God refresh us with such a thirst for Christ, that our focus of praise falls directly upon Him.