Every Spiritual Blessing

Every Spiritual Blessing

Daily Reading: (Ephesians 1:3):

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

Normally what I do to help bring clarity to a text is to look at a verse’s context but in this instance all we have that comes before it is Paul’s address to the Ephesians. What this means is that the very first thing that Paul wants the Ephesians to know after his address to them is that God has blessed them in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ and then from this starting point, he will go on to explain what that means for them and for us.

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that there is not a single spiritual blessing that isn’t yours right now in Christ.

“Has blessed us”

It is a done deal, in Christ you are blessed. You didn’t earn your salvation it was a gift of His grace, in the same way, you don’t work for forgiveness, holiness, righteousness, peace, or any blessing. God who freely gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? Everything we need for life and godliness has already been provided for you in Jesus (2 Peter 1:3).

 “Blesses us” comes from the Greek word eulogeō[1]  which means to bestow blessing on, to be favored of God. In Christ this is what you are, you are immensely blessed. No matter what happens to you, the good, the bad, the ugly, God’s favor goes with you through your life. You have been blessed in your past, and you are being blessed now in your present, and your future contains His blessings over you.

Now when you put the “He has blessed us in the heavenly realms” together people can misinterpret this as being that my blessings are all waiting for me on the other side of eternity, in the heavenly realms. Maybe you have heard a pastor say, “just grin and bear whatever comes your way because you have an eternal reward waiting for you one day.” Is that what this means here? No, it’s not. Paul would say in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” While it’s true that even the bad things we experience are working together for our good (Romans 8:28), and that we have God’s favor upon us even during momentary troubles, that is not the point of Ephesians 1:3.

The Word for heavenly realms “epouranios” is an adjective meaning existing in Heaven or things that take place in Heaven.[2]  The blessings that exist in Heaven belong to us now on Earth in Christ. This makes sense when you read later in the same letter to the Ephesians, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Ephesians 2:6 is describing your present position in Christ which reinforces the point that we are blessed with what takes place in Heaven “every spiritual blessing”.

The context of Ephesians 1:3 begins to shine as you work through the chapter. Paul doesn’t give a nice-sounding phrase, ”spiritual blessings” and then leaves us to figure out what those are. The rest of the chapter is all about what those spiritual blessings are and what they mean for us who are living on Earth. There are 15 spiritual blessings that Paul lists directly after Ephesians 1:3:

Blessing #1: Chosen Before the Foundation of the World (v.4)

Blessing #2: You are Holy and Blameless (v.4)

Blessing #3: In His Love (v.4)

Blessing #4: Predestined to Adoption (v.5)

Blessing #5: Accepted in the Beloved (v.6)

Blessing #6: Redemption through His Blood (v.7)

Blessing #7: Forgiveness of Sins (v.7)

Blessing #8: Riches of His Grace Abound To You (v.7-8)

Blessing #9: Made Known to You the Mystery of His Will (v.9)

Blessing #10: Obtained An Eternal Inheritance (v.11)

Blessing #11: Heard the Word of Truth (v.13)

Blessing #12: Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise (v.13)

Blessing #13: You Know the Hope of His Calling (v.18)

Blessing #14: You are the Riches of His Inheritance (v.18)

Blessing #15: The Exceeding Greatness of His Power (v.19-20)

[1] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g2127/niv/mgnt/0-1/

[2] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g2032/kjv/tr/0-1/

Royal By Blood

Royal By Blood

Daily Reading: (Ephesians 1:5): “He predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

Some Bibles will include a footnote that says that the Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture. We have been adopted into God’s family with full legal standing as a child of God. This means that you are royal by (Jesus’)blood (Ephesians 1:5). Christ shed blood brought you into the family of God. What this should do is elevate our minds to see the kind of love God has for us, and our new God-given identity we have in Christ changes the way we behave- because those who are in Christ are now royal.

Because of who you became in Jesus, a member of the royal family, every spiritual blessing is yours (Ephesians 1:3).Your old life could not compare in any way to your new royal life. Your blood bought adoption right means that any and all spiritual blessings are ours.

Thanks to Jesus’ half-brother James he writes that generally speaking many times we don’t have what we ask for because of one of two reasons. James writes in James 4:2 “You do not have because you do not ask God.” You might not ask God because perhaps you don’t even know what is available to you as your spiritual inheritance (Ephesians 1:11).

“You do not receive” (lambanō) lay hold of, to take what is one’s own, claim for one’s self. “Because you ask with (kakos) improperly, wrong motives so that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures” (hēdonē) it is where we get our word hedonism from. The heart of what James is writing is that we should in prayer, claim what Christ has purchased for us to have through faith (James 4:2-3).

“An adopted child received a new identity. Any prior commitments, responsibilities and debts were erased. New rights and responsibilities were taken on. Also, in ancient Rome, the concept of inheritance was part of life, not something that began at death. Being adopted made someone an heir to their father, joint-sharers in all his possessions and fully united to him.”[1]  Adoption is a constant reminder that we are fully desired, fully loved; that we have taken on a new identity through Jesus; that we were created for Heaven, but even now, are heirs to God, “co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

[1] Ellen Mady. https://aleteia.org/2017/09/12/how-the-roman-practice-of-adoption-sheds-light-on-what-st-paul-was-talking-about/ September 12, 2017.

In Christ

Daily Reading: (Ephesians 1:1-3):

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

Paul will write in the first thirteen verses of Ephesians chapter 1, either “in Him” or “in Christ” nine different times!

  • Verse 1) To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
  • Verse 3) who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
  • Verse 4) For he chose us in him
  • Verse 7) In him we have redemption through his blood
  • Verse 9) made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ
  • Verse 11)In him we were also chosen, having been predestined…
  • Verse 12) who were the first to put our hope in Christ
  • Verse 13) And you also were included in Christ
  • Verse 13) you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

I think it is safe to say that Paul wants the church at Ephesus to know above all else that believers are in Jesus and that is a permanent position.

  • To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

An egregious error has been made when someone will take this statement and read it as if this is only for those who somehow maintain their club membership status, “the faithful”. The thought is that my holiness is connected to my faithfulness. But remember we are in Christ and so our holiness is connected to Jesus’ faithfulness. That’s why Paul would write to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:13- “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” His faithfulness and His righteousness has been given to us.

The New Covenant was struck between God the Father and God the Son and those by faith are beneficiaries of the Will or Testament fulfilled by the finished work of Jesus. We are holy because Jesus the Holy One has made us holy imputing His righteousness to us.

 “..who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

  • You may know that you are blessed in your new life, but you may not know that all of your blessings come as the result of being one with Christ (Ephesians 1:3). The ultimate purpose of union (of being in Christ) is to share in His life. Why did God make us? It was so we could participate in the abundant and overflowing life found within the Trinity. We were created to love, be loved and to enjoy fellowship with the One who made us.



It’s Not Complicated

Daily Reading: Ephesians 1:4-5:

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

The love that John has in view in 1 John 3:1 is not the love that merely takes care of paper work and adopts. That would be amazing to simply be adopted into God’s family as Paul describes. However, God does not only adopt you. He moves in, by his Spirit, and imparts something of Himself to us, so that we take on a family resemblance (1 John 3:9). If you are a child of God Paul is right, you are so by adoption, but more than adoption, by new birth (1 John 5:1).

God chose you to be in Christ so that you are holy and without fault in His eyes (Ephesians 1:4). God is in relationship with you as your Father forever so your relationship status with God is not complicated.

Jesus came to this earth to reveal just one name about God, Father (John 17:6). There is power in relating to God as your Father. Because knowing God as your daddy changes the dynamic and your perspective on things you encounter in this life.

This is huge- because the way you relate to God makes a big difference. An old covenant emphasis on rules will cause you to view God as a bookkeeper recording all your sins and a judge condemning your failures. But Jesus says, “God is not like that! He’s your heavenly Father who loves you and holds nothing against you. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God.

The enemy wants you to doubt God’s love for you. The enemy wants you to believe that God might abandoned you based upon sin. Or that God might punish you to get you to straighten up and fly right. Sin has consequences. Sin harms us and has a negative impact on others, but God’s righteous judgment and His wrath for our sins was satisfied at the cross.

The point of the parable of Luke 11 is see God for who He is in relationship to you which is that He is our Father. Because Father is the theme that permeates Luke 11. So, when you think of a good dad who would never do anything to harm the children He loves, how much more will the perfect Heavenly Father give perfectly to us.