Ephesians 1:3-8. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight…
It’s easy to think of our salvation as simply what we are saved FROM. We are saved from sin. We are saved from death. We are saved from hell. But Paul won’t let us get away with that thinking here in Ephesians 1. Here we are saved UNTO every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, including today’s blessing: all wisdom and insight.
God lavished his grace on us in the form of redemption and forgiveness. He purchased our pardon. He broke the chains. He kicked down the prison door. He changed our legal record. He cleared all the charges against us. And then he patted us on the head, said “good luck,” and sent us on our merry little way……Nope!
God’s grace is so lavish and the life of Christ in us is so full and complete that God gave us all wisdom and insight into the deep realities of Heaven. Because you are in Christ and Christ is in you, you now have access to God’s wisdom. God’s will. God’s plan. Think about what this means. You know everything you need to know for living a life that pleases God. You don’t have to earn this knowledge. You don’t have to experience enough of life in order to gain this wisdom. It’s not just for PhDs and gurus. It’s not just for grandmas and mystics. It’s not just for the super spiritual, the holiest, the pastors and professors, or the “good Christians.”
Everyone who is in Christ (every Christian) has all the wisdom they are ever going to get because they have all of Christ they are ever going to get.
1 Corinthians 2:16. But we have the mind of Christ.
But before we get excited, what does this NOT mean?
- It does not mean that you know everything about every subject in the universe. I still can’t do calculus. I can’t perform a frontal lobotomy. I can’t play the bagpipes. I still have to study God’s word. I have to learn and meditate and pray and discuss and grow.
- It does not mean that you are even accessing all of this spiritual wisdom and insight. It’s yours but most likely you are rarely tapping into it. Why? Because you’re too busy sinning. You rely on your own knowledge, opinions, experiences, and self-righteousness to get you through life. You interpret reality from an earthly perspective rather than a heavenly one. I do too more often than not. This is why, in just a few more verses, Paul will pray that we be given wisdom and understanding (1:17). Spiritual wisdom is “already but not yet.”
The Greatest American Hero: he had everything he needed, just no idea how to use it. Also, best theme song ever.
Ok, so now let’s get excited. Here’s what it DOES mean:
All God’s wisdom and insight are in him (Christ). This means that through Christ we have the answers to every question that this life throws at us – the gospel. We have the paradigm for interpreting all of reality – the cross and resurrection. We literally have the Meaning of life – it’s a person, his name is Jesus. He is the “secret and hidden wisdom of God” made known to all of us who are found in him (1 Cor. 2:7).
So what does this mean? What do we actually know by being in Christ?
- In Christ we know our place in creation under God’s rule – he submitted himself to God’s will.
- In Christ we know God’s deep love for humanity – he became one of us.
- In Christ we know God’s plan to redeem us from sin and death – he died for us.
- In Christ we know what will happen when we die – he rose for us.
- In Christ we understand what restorative justice is – he reconciled us to God.
- In Christ we fear (love + respect) the Lord (the beginning of wisdom) – his death proves God’s holiness and love.
- In Christ we know the end of all things – he will make all things new just as he has made us the New Creation.
- In Christ we know how wicked we are – he HAD to die for us.
- In Christ we know how loved we are – he DID die for us.
- In Christ we know the life changing power of grace – he forgave us and gave us all things needed for life and godliness.
- In Christ we know the true nature of love – he sacrificed unconditionally for his enemies.
- In Christ we know the paradoxical pattern of Godly living – he died to live, he lost to win, he suffered to receive joy, he became a servant to become a king, he was humbled to be exalted, he gave to gain, he was shamed to be glorified.
- In Christ we know how to live – he lives his sacrificial, submissive, incarnational life through us.
“To live is Christ” means we have ALL wisdom and insight. There is no other wisdom to gain and no other wisdom needed beyond Christ and his cross. Every one of the biggest questions of life is answered by the gospel. Who am I? Why am I here? What is meaning? You and I have those answers inside of us. In our hearts. In our minds. In our very lives. In Christ, we are the living embodiment of God’s wisdom and insight. The question is will we trust the paradox of the cross to be our wisdom, or will we choose our own wisdom and call the cross foolishness? May we forever choose the “foolish” wisdom of the cross.