36 POSITIONAL BLESSINGS
At the very moment of salvation God gives to the believer 36 "possessions"
that belong personally to that believer by virtue of the fact that he is
placed into union with Jesus Christ. "In Christ" is the believer's
NEW position, having been delivered from "in Adam" through faith
Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in the heavenlies IN CHRIST
A. Ephesians 1:3, Every spiritual (positional) blessing
1. Blessed = eulogetos; the object of a good word, proclamation or
a. eu = good, beneficial
b. logeo = (from lego) to speak, designate, assign
c. God cannot be blessed - His greatness can only be recognized and praised.
Thus, the translation; "praised be."
2. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
from the perspective of his humanity
a. His God: John 20:17
b. His Father: the incarnation relationship.
John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1John 4:9
3. Who has blessed us: eulogeo - aorist active participle;
The provision of the plan of God designed in eternity past and assigned
at the moment of salvation. The use of the "aorist" tense here
indicates a past action in "a moment of time." It indicates that
everyone of these spiritual blessings were "blessed" upon us
at the moment of trust in Christ as savior.
4. With every: pas = all; indicates a complete package
The parameters of that "package" is to be determined by
what the Bible indicates to belong to the believer through
his "positional" union with Christ.
5. blessing: eulogia = a spoken or designated benefit
6. spiritual: pneumatikos = of the spiritual realm in
contrast with earthly or physical blessings.
7. In the heavenlies: epouranios = plural noun
a. Where these blessings are located - in the third heaven; that is,
in the presence of God.
1. where Christ is seated at the right
hand of God: Ephesians 1:20
2. And we are seated with Him: Eph 2:6
b. In Christ: reference to our position in union
with Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13)
by which every believer at the very moment of his saving faith in Christ
is permanently identified as ONE with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit we have all been placed (immersed or
into one body (the body of Christ)
whether Jews or Greeks (Gentiles)
whether slaves or free
and we have all been made to drink of one Spirit
8. Thus the basis for the term - "positional blessings."
B. There are nine judicial blessings:
These refer to those spiritual blessings which are imputed to the believer
by a "judicial" decree from God's justice based on the fact that
Christ died to pay the penalty for the sins of the world.
1. REMOVAL OF THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:
a. All personal sins were imputed to Christ on the cross.
1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2
b. Therefore everyone's name has been recorded in the book of life from
eternity past as an indication of God's universal grace provision.
c. There is only one sin which removes the name from the book.
Rev. 3:5; not overcoming as per 1 John 5:4-5
d. Thus, all whose name is not in the book will go into the lake of fire.
e. The only sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin of not overcoming the
ie, not trusting in Christ as savior.
f. It is called, blasphemy against the Spirit at Matthew 12:31-32.
This is because during Christ's ministry on the earth it was the Spirit's
ministry to demonstrate to those present that Jesus was indeed the promised
Messiah through the many miracles that Jesus performed through the Spirit.
g. Furthermore, after the promised presence of the Spirit in the church
at the day of Pentecost, it is the Spirit's ministry to convict the world.
John 6:63; 16:8-11
h. When that conviction is ignored, it is rejecting and maligning the Spirit.
i. Mark 3:29, this same sin is called an eternal sin (aionios hamartema)
j. John 9:35-41 - your sin (of unbelief) remains.
k. John 8:21-24 - die in your sin (of unbelief) die in your sins (plural)
refers to full participation in the experiential effects of personal sins
until the day you die physically.
l. So for the one who believes in Christ, there is a permanent deliverance
from the finality of the unpardonable sin.
m. The genuine decision to trust in Christ
removes for all time the potential of being guilty of this eternal sin.
2. UNION WITH CHRIST:
a. 1 Corinthians 1:30 - you are in Christ
1. by Him - God the Father
2. by The Holy Spirit - 1 Cor. 12:13
b. Placed into the same relationship with the
Father as is Christ. Galatians 3:26-27
1. This involves positional equality
between believers. Galatians 3:28
2. Thus, the Father relates to us on the same terms as he relates to Christ.
c. This includes positional identification with His work and glorification.
1. Crucified with Him: Galatians 2:20
2. Identified into his death: Rom. 6:3
3. Buried and raised: Colossians 2:12
4. Seated with Him: Ephesians 2:5-6
3. REDEMPTION FORGIVENESS:
a. Redemption is the payment for and release
from the sin debt of the human race.
1. The debt: Romans 6:23a; 4:4
2. Forgiveness: Ephesians 1:7
b. The payment price was Christ's spiritual
sacrifice on the cross which accomplished an "unlimited atonement."
1. 1 Peter 1:18-19
2. Isaiah 53:10, soul as a guilt offering
3. Titus 2:14
c. The payment provided an unlimited and
universal covering for sin.
1. 1 Timothy 2:5-6
2. 1 John. 2:2; Titus 2:11
d. But only those who trust in Christ will benefit from the covering.
e. Redemption thus, results FROM atonement and propitiation, and results
IN justification and reconciliation.
1. Acts 10:43
2. 1 Timothy 4:10
3. Romans 3:24-25
4. John 8:24
a. The blessing of the Father's satisfaction with Christ's work and
the resultant satisfaction with the believer concerning the debt of sin.
b. Christ's work on the cross was the public act of satisfying God's justice.
c. That act was for the whole world and thus accomplished an "unlimited
atonement," which results in God being satisfied (propitiated) concerning
everyone's debt of sin. 1 John 2:2
d. But only the believer directly benefits. The Father can only "release"
from debt those who trust in Christ as savior. Only then is He able to
impute to that believer Divine righteousness. Romans 3:25-26
a. Justification is imputation of God's
righteousness to the believer. 2 Corinthians 5:21
b. Human righteousness is unacceptable to God. Isaiah 64:6
c. Even the most rigid of religious righteousness is inadequate. Matthew
d. Thus it must be the righteousness of God which is imputed to the believer
that makes him acceptable in God's sight. Rm.3:21
e. And this is acquired simply through faith. Romans 3:22
f. The act of imputation is described at Rom. 3:24
1. by being justified: dikaioo - present passive participle
2. freely: dorean - as a gift
3. by his grace: charis-God's resources independent of human assistance.
4. through the redemption: apolutrosis - release from sins.
5. which is in Christ Jesus: positional union with Him.
g. Justification is based on Christ's payment for sins (atonement)
h. But it is accomplished only when man accepts by faith, the redemption
provided by Christ's death on the cross.
a. The blessing of being reunited to God as a
member of his spiritual household Ephesians 2:19
b. It is called access to the Father at Eph. 2:18
c. Reconciliation is the direct result of the cross blessings of atonement,
propitiation, redemption and justification. Ephesians 2:16; Romans 5:1
7. NAME SEALED IN THE BOOK OF LIFE:
a. The book of life is God's record in heaven which contains the names
of all who have trusted in Christ as savior by the end of the kingdom.
1. in heaven: Luke 10:20 (might be the new name of Rev. 2:17)
2. Psalm 69:28 - recorded with the righteous
b. Some observations about the book.
1. Believers are in the book. Psalm 69:28; Phil. 4:3
2. Believers are not erased: Rev. 3:5
3. Unbelievers are blotted out. Ex. 32:33; Psalm 69:28
4. Dead unbelievers are not in the book Rev. 20:15
1. All people begin life with their
name in the book.
a. Actually the names were put there from the foundation of the world
based on Divine foreknowledge. Rev. 17:8
b. This does not violate the principle of reserved
judgment as found at John 3:18 and Hebrews 9:27
c. But it simply recognizes grace and God's desire for
all men to be saved. 2Peter 3:9; 1Tim.2:4; Titus 2:11
d. Nor does it violate the principle of free will as all men still have
the responsibility to keep their name there or have it erased.
2. If a person becomes a believer his name is sealed in the book. Rev.
3. If a person dies an unbeliever, his name is erased and he is judged
on that basis. Revelation 20:15
4. So, although all people begin life with there name in the book, only
believers are said to have their name written from the foundation of the
world. Revelation 17:8 - perfect passive participle
d. Rev. 17:8 further indicates that acceptance of
the mark of the beast during the 70th week,
functions the same as physical death and his name is erased.
e. Only those who have their name in the book of life will have part in
the new Jerusalem throughout the kingdom and eternity. Revelation 21:27
f. At the last judgment, all who are not in the book will be cast into
the lake of fire for all eternity. Revelation 20:15
g. The believer should not become overly occupied with the supernatural
way of life
provided for him in time, but should rejoice that primarily his name is
recorded in heaven (book of life) Lk.10:20.
h. Book of remembrance is for believer's works to determine reward. Malachi
3:16-17 with Nehemiah 3:14
i. Just prior to Christ's descent to the earth at the end of the Day of
the Lord judgments, the book of life and probably the book of remembrance
will be opened to determine who will live through the final physical judgments.
Daniel 7:10; 12:1; Isaiah 4:3
8. FREEDOM FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW:
a. The law of God as revealed to Israel is holy, just and good. Romans
b. It provides a righteous standard to expose man's sinfulness. Romans
c. It reveals the deceit and rebellion of the sin nature. Rm.7:7-14
d. It serves therefore as a guidepost or tutor to lead us to the solution
to our sinfulness.
e. But the law itself is unable to provide a solution. Galatians 3:21-22
f. In fact, the perfection of the law places man under a curse. Galatians
g. Thus, the perfection of the law showcases man's helplessness to relate
to God through
human works. Galatians 2:16
h. So Christ removed our helplessness by the work of redemption. Galatians
i. Thus, the curse of helplessness and inadequacy is carried by Christ
and the blessing is received at the moment of salvation. Galatians 3:4
9. FREEDOM FROM JUDGMENT:
a. The penalty for sin (Rom. 6:23)
is spiritual separation from God.
b. It is called perish at John 3:16
c. It is called judged at John 3:17-18
d. It is called wrath of God at John 3:36
e. Described in 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
f. But the believer is saved from this -
2 Thessalonians 2:13
g. Therefore Rom. 8:1, no condemnation for those IN Christ Jesus.
C. 14 Relationship blessings: Those that directly relate to our new
"family" relationship with God through Christ.
1. NEW BIRTH: The imputation of spiritual life with
emphasis on relationship.
a. The need: John 3:3-7
1. Dead in sins: Ephesians 2:1
2. Child of the devil: John 8:44
b. God's sovereign plan: James 1:18
c. God's love: 1 John 3:1
d. Administered by the Word: James 1:18
1. 1 Peter 1:23
2. John 3:5 with 4:14
e. Imputed by the Holy Spirit: Titus 3:5 with John 3:5 & 6:63
f. Initiated by faith alone: John 1:12-13
g. Summary: 1 Peter 1:3
h. Now we are children of God. 1 John 3:1-2
i. The imputation of spiritual life is the doorway to possessing God's
quality of life which is eternal
2.ETERNAL LIFE: The possession of God's quality of life
which is both eternal and dynamic.
a. Spiritual life is not inherently "eternal."
1. Angels before their fall.
2. Adam and Eve before their fall.
b. Eternal life is a gift provided by God based on a creature's volitional
acceptance of the gift. Romans 6:23b
c. Eternal life is the perpetuation of spiritual life for all eternity.
d. At the moment that spiritual life is imputed through the new birth,
eternal life is assigned through union with Christ. 1John 5:11-13
e. Eternal life is personally assigned by Christ himself:
John 10:27-30; 17:2
f. The dynamic of eternal life is the capacity to
enter into an experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ. John 17:3
3. A GIFT FROM THE FATHER TO CHRIST: Heb. 2:13b
4. TRANSFER FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT:
a. When Adam fell from his spiritual relationship with God, he lost
his rulership over the earth to Satan. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Luke 4:6
b. Satan having previously become the adversary of God, represents all
that is contrary and opposite to God.
1. God is light: 1 John 1:5a
2. And in him is no darkness: 1 Jn 1:5b
3. Therefore Satan represents darkness and evil
c. Thus, his rulership is called "this darkness." Eph. 6:12
d. All who are born into the human race are under Satan's darkness kingdom.
1. 1 John 5:19
2. Ephesians 2:1-2
3. John 8:44 - child of the devil
e. Jesus came to provide transfer from darkness into light.
1. Luke 1:78-79
2. John 8:12; 12:36, 46
f. That's the message of the gospel. Acts 26:14-18
g. This transfer is entrance into the kingdom of
God's son. Colossians 1:12-13
h. The believer is now called a son of light and a son of day. 1 Thessalonians
i. And at Ephesians 5:8 he is called light in the Lord.
j. The basis for the doctrine of separation from unbelievers is this transfer
from darkness to light.
2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:7-8
k. The application of this new position to our Christian way of life requires
constant vigilance and dedication through the filling of the Holy Spirit
and Truth in the soul.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8; Rom. 13:12-14; 1 Jn 1:5-7
5. CITIZENSHIP IN GOD'S KINGDOM
a. Colossians 1:13, delivered from
darkness/transferred to the kingdom of His Son.
b. Philippians 3:20, citizenship in heaven
c. Sons of light: 1 Thessalonians 5:5
d. Light in the Lord: Ephesians 5:8
6. SANCTIFICATION: 1 Corinthians 1:30
a. Hagiosune - set apart as special and unique
b. Based on Christ's work on the cross: Heb 10:10
c. Administered by the Holy Spirit:
2 Thessalonians 2:13
d. New title: Saint - Ephesians 1:1; Philip 1:1; Col. 1:2
Saint simply means one who is sanctified.
7. PARTAKERS OF A HEAVENLY ELECTION: Heb. 3:1
a. Jesus Christ is the elect one of God.
Isaiah 42:1; 1 Peter 2:4, 6
b. Christ's election is his participation in the plan of God as the Messiah
Savior. Isaiah 42:1-4
c. It encompasses his eternal inheritance. Heb 1:2
d. The believer is made a partner with Christ
through union with him and shares his election. Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter
e. Thus, election is the believer's participation in the plan of God from
1. Privilege: grace is basis for entrance into the plan.
No one earns or merits it.
2. Rank: a royal family and priesthood
3. Function: priesthood and ambassadorship
f. Entrance into election is through salvation. 2Thes. 2:13
g. So election is the present possession of every
believer. Colossians 3:12; Romans 1:6
8. AN ELECT RACE: 1 Peter 2:9
a. No Jew or Gentile: 1 Corinthians 12:13
b. A newly created race separate from all others: 1Cor. 10:32
9. A HOLY NATION: 1 Peter 2:9
a. holy: hagios - set apart as special and unique
b. nation: ethnos -a spiritual society with spiritual laws and customs.
10. A PROTECTED PEOPLE: 1 Peter 2:9
a. protected: peripoiesis - make a circle around something which indicates
both ownership and protection.
b. The ownership issue is based on redemption. 1 Cor. 6:19
c. Thus we are here to serve the one who owns us.
1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 2:9
d. And we are under special protection from God. Romans 8:31-39
11. IN THE BODY: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
a. Branch in the vine: John 15:5 (speaks of production)
b. Stone in the building: 1 Peter 2:5 (context of priesthood)
c. Sheep in the flock: John 10:27-29 (speaks of protection)
12. SONSHIP RANK: Adoption
Possessing all the privileges of an adult son.
a. Galatians 4:1-7
b. Romans 8:15
c. Ephesians 1:5
13. ETERNAL INHERITANCE: Galatians 4:7
a. Romans 8:17 - joint heirs with Christ
b. Christ's inheritance - Hebrews 1:2; Psalm 2:8
14. SEALED: Ephesians 1:13-14
The Holy Spirit's presence serves as a down payment that God will complete
what He has promised based on the initial faith commitment of the believer.
(Philippians 1:6) Thus, the sealing of the Spirit is the guarantee that
once one enters into the family of God through a genuine trust in Christ
as savior, that person is secured by God's very own integrity for all eternity.
D. 9 Service Blessings: These are the blessings provided for our fulfillment
of our purpose for remaining on earth as children of God in an "antagonistic"
enviroment with the forces of darkness set up in array against us.
1. INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: 1 Cor. 6:19-20
a. For teaching: 1 Corinthians 2:12
b. For character growth: 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22-23
c. For witnessing power: Acts 1:8
d. Distinguish between the positional indwelling
of the H.S. and the functional filling.
1. Ephesians 5:18
2. 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Eph. 4:30
3. Galatians 5:16, 25
2. INDWELLING OF CHRIST: Galatians 2:20
a. Rom 8:10, (if Christ be in you) 1st class condition "if"
clause = since
1. The body is dead because of sin: The physical body is spiritually
dead through the presence of the sin nature.
2. But the spirit is life: reference to the human spirit which is given
spiritual life at the point of salvation.
3. prior to salvation the spirit has no capacity to relate to God on God's
4. After salvation, spiritual life is the capacity to relate to God on
his terms and participate in his eternal life plan.
5. because of righteousness: the doctrine of justification which assigns
to the believer God's own righteousness and provides the capacity for positional
compatibility and rapport.
b. Colos. 1:27: Christ in you the confidence
(elpis) of glory.
The positional indwelling of Christ assures the
believer of his future resurrection glory.
(There is a secondary application to experiential confidence.)
c. Distinguish between the positional indwelling
and the functional. The experiential indwelling of Christ is when HIS character
is produced in the life of the believer through knowledge and
application of the WORD.
1. Galatians 4:19
2. Ephesians 3:14-19
3. Revelation 3:14-20
3. DELIVERANCE FROM THE SIN NATURE (OSN):
a. Because of union with Christ, we are identified with what He accomplished
on the cross. Romans 6:6, 8
b. He paid for all the sins of the world through
his spiritual death.
1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:11
c. He also made provision for the neutralization
of the OSN.
1. The OSN is a physical condition
inherited from parents. Psalm 51:5
2. Through the brain, sin nature
influences the soul in 2 major ways. Galatians 5:24 - passions and lusts
(the emotions and self-consciousness)
3. OSN is the master of the
4. OSN must be neutralized before the blessings of eternal life can be
a. In eternity: 1 Cor. 15:50
b. In time: Romans 8:8
d. Through his physical death, Christ made provision for receiving a resurrection
body minus the sin nature. Romans 6:4-5
1. All people shall be resurrected: Dn.12:1-2; Jn.5:28-29
2. Unbelievers will have a body that
will experience the suffering the lake of fire.
3. But because of Christ's death and
resurrection, the believer is promised a body exactly like his.
Philippians 3:21; 1John 3:2
4. Called the redemption of the body at Romans 8:23
(redemption because the sin nature is removed)
5. 1 Cor.15:42-53, no corruption, weakness or dishonor.
e. Because of positional identification with
Christ's death through R.A.P.T (retroactive
positional truth), the believer. is freed from the
OSN. (Romans 6:7,18,22)
Retroactive position IN Christ refers to the fact
that when the believer is placed into union with
Christ at the moment of time that he trusts in
Christ as savior, he is then viewed by the Father as having participated
in everything that Jesus went through to provide salvation. Ie, totally
identified with His death, burial and resurrection.
f. When Christ was crucified, he crucified the
sin nature (OSN), and in Christ, the believer has crucified the OSN. Galatians
g. This occurs at the moment of salvation. Romans 6:17-18
h. Called a spiritual circumcision at Colossians 2:11-12
i. Positional deliverance from the OSN also
involves positional deliverance from the character qualities produced by
the OSN. Colossians 3:1-9
j. Knowledge and application of these truths
exhort the believer to live in the Christian Way
of Life (CWL) as though the OSN was indeed
1. Correlation between Romans 6:6
and verse 11 (conclude)
2. Romans 6:1-2, 12-14, 19, 22
3. Romans 8:1-14
4. DELIVERANCE FROM THE WORLD SYSTEM Galatians 6:14
a. Refers to the religious and philosophical
organization of man which seeks to replace
Divine viewpoint and policy.
b. Colossians 2:20a - principle of R.A.P.T
(retroactive positional truth)
c. Application requires recognition and follow through. Colossians 2:16-23
5. AMBASSADORSHIP: 2 Corinthians 5:20a,
God's representative on earth.
a. Salt of the earth: Matthew 5:13 (Fulfillment - Colossians 4:5-6)
b. Light of the world: Matthew 5:14
(fulfillment-Matthew 5:15-16; Proverbs 4:18; Philippians 2:15)
6. PRIESTHOOD: Representative of self and others to God.
a. 1 Peter 2:9
b. Revelation 1:6
c. Via prayer: 1 Timothy 2:1-8
7. SPIRITUAL GIFT: 1 Peter 4:10
a. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
b. Romans 12:6
8. Christian Way of Life SURVIVAL KIT:
Romans 8:32; 2 Peter 1:3-5
Everything we need to function effectively in this
antagonistic environment in which we live.
9. GUARDIAN ANGELS: Hebrews 1:14; Matthew 18:10
E. 3 Future blessings: These are blessings that have been given
to the believer but will not be actually experienced until Jesus
returns and gathers the church to Himself at the Day of the LORD.
1. GLORIFICATION: Romans 8:30
a. Resurrection body: Philippians 3:21
b. Redemption of the body: Romans 8:23
2. BRIDE OF CHRIST:
a. Salvation is the betrothal: 2 Corinthians 11:2a
b. Learning truth cultivates the relationship: 2Cor.11:2b
c. After the rapture is the wedding: Revelation 19:6-8
d. The millennial kingdom is the marriage feast:
Revelation 19:9; Matthew 25:1-13
3. RULERSHIP REIGNING: Revelation 20:6; 3:21; 5:10
This refers to the "position" of reigning with Christ.
All believers will share Christ's reign for all eternity.
But the "function" of reigning is based on faithfulness
during one's life here on earth and has to do with rewards.