Ephesians 1:3 KJVS
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Most Christians fail to understand what the blessings in Jesus Christ are in the New Testament. The blessings are largely spiritual rather than material blessings, 1 Ti 6:5-11. Perhaps this is due to the Old Testament influence on modern Christian theology. A couple verses in Acts makes the nature of New Testament blessings in Christ more apparent.
Acts 3:25-26 KJVS
 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
A person might wonder exactly how this “being turned away from our iniquities” comes about in our lives? It comes about through the Spirit of God working in our lives, the Spirit that makes holy.
Galatians 3:14 KJVS
 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
It is not at all surprising, that the above verse is from the epistle of Galatians. Apostle Paul wrote that epistle to counteract the teachings of some Jews that came to that church, teaching that Gentile Christians had to be circumcised and observe the law of Moses in order to be justified. Paul in the second chapter sets the record straight.
Galatians 2:16 KJVS
 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians covers a lot of theological ground that most Christians fail to understand. There are two aspects to be understood in regards to receiving the Holy Spirit. Receiving the Holy Spirit places you into the body of Christ, Ga 3:16&29, and makes you heir of the promises God made to Abraham. The blessings of Abraham, is receiving the Holy Spirit which turns us away from our iniquities throughout a life of faith. If I were asked to sum up the book of Galatians, using one scripture verse from that epistle, it would be this verse.
Galatians 3:3 KJVS
 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Notice the word “begin” in the above verse. The inherent weakness of the flesh, gives sin the power over us in our lives, Ro 7:19&20, Ro 8:3, and it is only through the agency of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost that we are justified by grace, Ro 3:24. how we are justified by grace is two fold. God changes our heart and inner natures by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost, Titus 3:5-7. Plus by God teaching/disciplining/chastising us, Titus 2:11&12, He 10:6. This is judgments by God aimed at correcting our behavior.
1 Corinthians 11:31-32 KJVS
 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Chastisements are judgment by God, and are a function of grace working in our lives. This is all part and parcel of the spiritual blessings we receive in Christ. Four times in the epistle of Ephesians the phrase “heavenly places” is used. There is a popular Christian pop song where the phrase is used in a future tense. Possibly giving lip service to a doctrine circling the Internet regarding these “heavenly places”in Christ. In short it suggests that after the Kingdom of God is established in this earth, the Gentile members of the body of Christ will sit in heavenly places in Christ, and the work they do in the thousand year kingdom of God will be in involved in the heavenly places. At least that is what I think the doctrine suggests. This group also makes the claim there are two gospels, one for the Hebrews and one for the Gentiles. I looked into the two gospel doctrine closely and found it flew in the face of NT scriptures. I wrote a previous post dealing with this doctrine in light of NT scriptures. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=202. In regards to the “heavenly places” interpretation, the phrase heavenly places appears only four times in the NT, all the verses are in the epistle of Ephesians. We see that Christ sits at the right hand of God in heavenly places, Eph 1:20. And that as a member of the body of Christ, we presently sit in heavenly places “in Christ”. It is always good to read scripture in context.
Ephesians 2:5-9 KJVS
 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
As you can clearly see we presently sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and this allows us access to the throne of grace. There are positive and negative aspect associated with sitting in the heavenly places in Christ. We can come before the throne of grace and ask for mercy and grace to help us in times of need, He 4:16. The negative aspects associated with sitting in the heavenly places in Christ, as I briefly mentioned before, are that we can be judged if we do not ask for forgiveness and walk after the flesh, Ro 8:1. Largely because we are viewed as dead in Christ.
Romans 6:3 KJVS
 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Hebrews 9:27-28 KJVS
 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
1 Peter 4:17 KJVS
 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
It is important that we realize we are subject to judgment by the Lord in order to eradicate sin in our lives and bring about holiness. This judgment can and does take place if we don’t judge ourselves.
1 Corinthians 11:28-32 KJVS
 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
As you can see, being chastened by God is a result of being judged by God and is aimed towards amending our behavior in order to instill fruit of the Spirit and holiness.
Hebrews 12:6-7,10-11 KJVS
 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Another aspect directly related to sitting in heavenly places in Christ and being judged, is that Satan can accuse the members of the body of Christ of sinful behavior. Notice these verses in Revelation.
Revelation 12:10 KJVS
 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Satan is known as the adversary and it is a role I suspect that God assigned to him, based on chance, before the world began. Investigate the day of atonement ceremony that took place once a year during the law of Moses. Two sacrificial lambs were taken and due to the drawing of colored stones, it was determined which one was the sin sacrifice lamb and which one was led off into the wilderness. Satan or the devil serves a necessary function in the plan and purpose of God.
1 Peter 5:8 KJVS
 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
The following is the Strong’s Concordance definition for the Greek word translated into the English word adversary.
Parts of Speech
From G473 and G1349; an opponent (in a lawsuit); specifically Satan (as the arch enemy): – adversary.
an opponent in a suit of law
an adversary, enemy
Did not the Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil? In the Lord’s Prayer do we not pray to God to lead us not into temptation? Read the first two chapters of the book of Job sometime and observe the interplay between God and the devil. The following scriptures in Luke, with a little mental extrapolation, offers keen insight into what takes place at the throne of grace.
Luke 12:57-58 KJVS
 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?  When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.
The throne of grace is also the judgment seat, imagine Jesus sitting on this throne. The adversary, the devil, accuses you of sin, sin that you have not asked forgiveness for, and too stubborn or full of pride to give up. Satan, rightfully so, levels a charge against you and forces the Lord’s hand to judge you. For that reason I try and remember to pray the perfect prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, once a day for this reason. Satan may be even given leave to torment you, or even make you sick or take your life if you do not seek mercy and grace at the throne of grace.
1 Corinthians 11:30-32 KJVS
 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Although the above verse is directly related to eating and drinking the body of Christ unworthily, by offending another member of the body of Christ. The spiritual president holds true towards long term unconfessed sin and sin in general. Because God chastises and scourges the sons he loves, He 12:6.