Five Immune Treasures in Heaven

10 04 2020

As the coronavirus spreads across the earth through human bodies, we can have hope because, by believing and following Christ, our most significant realities remain permanent with God.

Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians cites five specific truths which are immune from disease because they reside “in the heavenly places” (which is an accurate translation of Greek, en tois epouranious).

1. In the heavenly places, all the spiritual blessings of the believer are currently and permanently reserved.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3)

We can get anxious about the future of our retirement savings. In some parts of our world today, residents do not have any food for this day. How good to know that God has reserved for believers an inheritance in Christ. We are accepted in the Beloved. We have redemption through the blood of Christ.

I find this virtually impossible to grasp, but I believe it is true.

2. In the heavenly places, Jesus Christ, having been raised from the dead, is seated at the right hand of God.

“which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” (1:20-21)

Importantly, Jesus’ seat has authority over every other seat or place in heaven. No principality, power, might, or dominion excels Christ. He looks down on them all, not just barely, but from “far above.”

Nothing can shake this hierarchy of heavenly powers. There can be no coup. The universe of spirits is established. 

3. In the heavenly places, we who follow Christ are raised and seated together with Him.

“and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (2:6)

This is a metaphysical mystery to me. While we walk bodily on this earth for a few decades, our souls are positioned in heaven with our Savior. In this sense, heaven is not far removed from us. No wonder Paul prayed that the believers would have a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (1:17).

Sickness and death cannot separate you from your true, everlasting life which you already possess as God’s gracious gift (“for by grace you have been saved through faith” 2:8)

4. In the heavenly places, the wisdom of God is put on full display by the church to all other powers.

“to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” (3:10)

This is wild. The service and worship of the Church is witnessing to heavenly forces and beings. The context would suggest that it is the peace between Jew and Gentile, made possible through the cross, which especially declares God’s wisdom in heaven.

Where the Church and local churches overcome divisiveness and dwell together in unity, God’s power is proclaimed.

Right now, our Asian-American neighbors are experiencing ugly racism. Some people are taunting and ridiculing those of Asian ethnicity due to association with the virus. We believers must counter this attitude, and show the love of Christ where the world shows animosity. This is a perfect time to use that smile, and order Chinese takeout!

5. In the heavenly places, we stand strong in the full armor of God against spiritual hosts of wickedness.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (6:12)

On one level, our current struggle is against the Covid-19 virus. But Paul, even though confined as “an ambassador in chains” (6:20), knew our ultimate prayer-focus is not on flesh and blood.

And so we are given the whole, victorious armor of the risen Jesus Christ:

  • His truth as a belt
  • His righteousness as a breastplate
  • His gospel of peace as sandals
  • His faith as a shield
  • His salvation as a helmet
  • His word as a sword

Steady yourself. Most of what is true about you is established securely in heaven. Dwell in the peace that is yours in Christ

Pray in confidence that He knows and hears you.
God has heaven well-organized and fully under control.