Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
I love this section of Ephesisans.
It’s just Paul getting so enthusiastic about all the different facets of what God has done for us. He’s saying God is amazing because he’s done this and he’s done this and because of this he’s done this and then hi also done this which means this and this and this.
… all these amazing things God has done FOR US and he’s so excited… He’s throwing everything into the pot. He is not going for British reserve or understatement. He is not being academic. He is going for mega bling theology and saying woah this is brilliant.
It’s theology and doctrine that is full of life and meaning. Theology and doctrine can be made to sound dry and boring and lots of long complicated words that we don’t understand. Paul is like – bring it on – glorious truth upon glorious truth.
The linguistic experts say it’s hard to unpack the grammar, Paul has gone beyond the grammar! A lot of paul’s letters were dictated by him and someone else did the writing down and I can imagine the poor scribe trying to keep up as Paul gets carried away
It’s all in there and it’s like how do we begin to unpack all that?
I’m going to have a stab at verse 3.
NIV and others say Praise be.
It loses some of the meaning. Blessed be God who has blessed us. It’s the same Greek word. There’s almost symmetry, poetic
I want to dissect this word blessed. It’s a word that is trivialised by Christians because it has become mere jargon. “Bless you brother.” When you trivialise something you lose the meaning. When I first became a Christian….
Say what you mean – if you mean happy say happy
It’s a bible word that we have turned into jargon. Let’s get to the root.
The Gk word is eulogeo. To speak a good word. Eulogy at a funeral – you say good words about the deceased.
May God be spoken well of, who has spoken good things over us.
Spoken well of = praised (not just singing)
Now Paul is not talking about some random “I’m feeling blessed today”
So, to bless can mean to praise – “Bless the lord oh my soul” – say good things about God
When God blesses us it is a different idea . It’s an impartation but also has a kind legal status. It’s saying good words that impart or confer privilege and status.
Let’s think of Jacob and Esau. Esau was the older brother, you would expect him to inherit from his father. His father eyesight was failing and by dressing up as his brother he tricked his dad into giving him the blessing that was intended for his brother Esau.
What was the blessing? Not that he would feel blessed! It was that he would inherit. That his father’s land and riches and possessions would come to him.
The blessing couldn’t be taken back.
Jacob didn’t deserve the blessing but he got it. We didn’t deserve the blessing but we get it.
It’s the blessing of the firstborn. It’s the blessing to inherit.
The rest of this section describes the blessing. Not just general favour but specific favour.
The key words are in the middle “in Christ”. This is not a filler phrase. This is the key phrase. We have all these blessings not just because of Christ but IN christ. In some way we are so intimately united with Christ we are described as IN him. So every benefit, every blessing that Christ has as the father’s son, we have too. I hear a lot about the cross, the cross, the cross. That’s not where we live. We are no more at the cross than Jesus is. We are in him. Wherever he is we are. Where is he?
Eph 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
All the blessings due to Christ as the first born are also our inheritance. Every blessing in Christ. Enormous – you and I have every heavenly blessing due to us.
Mind blowing. EVERY
God speaks blessing – not general airy fairy feelings but tangible benefits that affect our lives in a real way.
Every kind of spiritual blessing. Again don’t allow the word spiritual to make you think it’s kind of vague or imaginary. It’s every blessing of life in the spirit.. It’s every kind of spiritual gift, every kind of leading of the spirit, every kind of answered prayer, every kind of provision for our needs. It’s not spiritual as against material or secular or worldly or natural. It’s spiritual in that it comes through the spirit
He has blessed us with that. That is our birthright. That is our inheritance. We don’t have to beg him for it any more than Jesus does!
Now you may look at “in the heavenly realms” and say aha that’s not for the here and now, this is all future. But nothing is further from the truth. As we see later he has raised us up with him in the heavenly places.
Paul then goes on to describe some of these blessings over the next few verses – election, redemption, forgiveness, acceptance, adoption as sons, God’s purposes, the gift of the holy Spirit etc etc
So to sum up…
- Bless him because he has blessed us
- We have every blessing in Christ – it’s because of him
- Blessing is not about feelings – although it will result in feelings
- What blessing do you need to live in the good of today?