“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” (Ephesians 1:3).
Blessed, blessed, blessed! Ephesians 1:3-14 is one long sentence in the original language. Notice how in verse 3 Paul deals with the source of real blessing – The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Note the sphere or realm of blessing – in Christ. Consider next the extent of blessing – every. There is nothing one really lacks when they are in Christ! Consider also the theme of the passage – spiritual blessing. Finally, see the nature of these blessings – in the heavenly places. The blessings Paul is speaking of are the richest, most important and from heaven itself! Then the apostle unpacks a truckload of truth as it concerns the vocabulary of victory and salvation. He indicates what God has done “in Christ” (notice how often this phrase is repeated) for us to be saved.
God has “chosen” (vs. 4), “predestined” and “adopted” us (vs. 5) and extended to us “glorious grace” (vs. 6). In Christ, there is “redemption” by His “blood,” allowing us to experience “the riches of his grace” (vs. 7-8). In Christ God has “made known” the “mystery” of His counsel and “will” regarding man’s salvation – along with how “all things” can be united (vs. 9-10). In Christ, an “inheritance” can be obtained, “hope” has been given, the good news of the “gospel” is made known, the “word of truth” has come and the Spirit has been given as a “seal” (vs. 11-13). Now, that is being blessed!
Even more, this passage speaks of the involvement of the Trinity in blessing. The Father (vs. 3-6), the Son (1:7ff) and the Holy Spirit (1:13) all are mentioned. What an amazing thought to realize that there is a God in Heaven, and that God Himself wants to have a rich and eternal relationship with us! But more – think of His plans and actions in making such a relationship possible in Christ!
This passage overflows with theology; it is absolutely breathtaking as it speaks of God and the things of God concerning salvation. True biblical theology is not dull and lifeless, but inspires greater love, devotion and application in our lives. Theology should inform our minds, inflame our hearts and instill within us a passionate desire to speak to others of our glorious God. Three times in this passage, Paul bursts into praise (vs. 6, 12, 14). Theology should lead to doxology; the study of doctrine should lead to praise and to worship. If your study of God’s word does not lead you to worship and praise, there is something terribly wrong with your approach to study!—Mike Vestal