In yesterday’s reading we thought about the fact that believers are no longer under God’s wrath but have been reconciled to him. These are two great blessings to have. Paul also mentions another two blessings that salvation has brought to believers.
The third blessing is the connection believers have with the life that Jesus now has as the risen, exalted Lord. He who died for us now lives for us in the fullness of his life. This blessing is connected to what is called union with Christ. The Bible uses several illustrations to depict it. I once heard a preacher say that the illustration of a head and a body indicates a living union, that the illustration of a bridegroom and a bride indicates a loving union, and that the illustration of a cornerstone and building indicates a lasting union.
To them we can add that the illustration of a vine and branches indicates a fruitful union, that the illustration of a teacher and disciples indicates a learning union, and that the illustration of a shepherd and a sheep indicates a leading or guiding union. The point is that we are united to the risen Saviour if we believe in him, and this union means that wherever I am he is also there in his fullness, out of which I can locate my resources for daily living.
It is not surprising that Paul can then mention the fourth blessing, which is joy in the Father. Paul phrases this joy as involving Jesus – we rejoice through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a reminder, a good and glad reminder, that we always need Jesus in our spiritual experiences and we always have Jesus for them.