by Ong Eng Boon
In the Chinese culture in particular, the word “福” is synonymous with blessings and happiness. It is more so during festive seasons or happy occasions that the word “ 福” is being mentioned over and over again. Even during death, if the deceased is aged, the phrase “福寿全归” is being used in the obituary, meaning “what a blessing to die at such an old age.”
I am sure many of you enjoy Chinese food. Normally when you are invited to attend a Chinese eight course dinner, the very first dish is called “五福临门” which literally means “five blessings arrive at your door step.” We take our chopsticks and finish the dish as quickly as possible not because we want the five blessings to be upon us but because we are famished as Chinese wedding dinner always start an hour late.
What are the five blessings OR 5 福 that the Chinese or for that matter, the world seek for?
5)善终 – Good end to life
But it is not enough just to seek the five blessings with the last being a good end to our earthly life. The word of God reminds us to seek things which are above while we are still alive and it is insufficient just to hope for a good end to our earthly life. What about our spiritual life when this earthly life is over? As such, we have been reminded to set our minds on things above.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.” (Col. 3:2)
Why are we to seek things which are above? Because things which can be seen with our eyes are only temporary. Things which are above i.e. spiritual things are eternal in nature.
“While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18)
Brethren, let’s not forget that as Christians, we have more than five blessings, in fact we have ALL spiritual blessings which are in Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3)
What sort of spiritual blessings do we have in Christ?
Read Ephesians 1:3–23 to see the blessings that are made available to those who are part of Christ’s body, the church. The Christian enjoy the following:
- heavenly blessings that far surpass
- earthly blessings (v. 3)
- the blessing of being God’s chosen possession of great value and worth (v. 4)
- the blessing of being an adopted child of God (vv. 5, 6)
- the blessing of having redemption from sins—complete forgiveness (v. 7)
- the blessing of possessing wisdom and understanding of spiritual truths (vv. 8, 17, 18)
- the blessing of possessing the revelation of God’s plan for fellowship with other
- Christians (vv. 9, 10)
- the blessing of the inheritance of heaven’s riches (vv. 11, 12)
- the blessing of being able to hear the truth i.e. the gospel which results in the salvation of our soul and eternal redemption (vv. 13,14)
- the blessing of being able to have fellowship with brethren of like faith and also being remembered by concerned brethren through prayers (vv. 15, 16)
- the blessing of spiritual strength from God the Father (v. 19)
- the blessing of having the resurrected saviour, Jesus Christ who now sits in heavenly places and not earthly places! (vv. 20.23)
Therefore, let us not lose sight of the spiritual blessings which are in Christ as all these take place after one has learnt the truth of God’s gospel, believes that truth, confesses his or her willingness to submit to the Lord’s commands, is immersed for the remission of sins, and continues to walk faithfully and truthfully as a Christian.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 Jn. 2). Have a blessed and prosperous year ahead!