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, (ESV)
As we work through Ephesians, I want us to keep in mind what I said about the first two verses: 1) I believe Paul is addressing Christians in many different churches and not just the church in Ephesus (see this post for reasons for that) and 2) we need to think hard.
With that said lets get into Ephesians 1:3.
After giving a greeting or introduction Paul then jumps into some pretty dense theology. He packs it in and so we’re going to take some time to pull it out. But first things first, let’s talk about the overall drive of the next twelve verses. Paul, in verses 3-14, is going to point out what we have because of Christ. He uses the phrases “we have obtained,” “we have,” and “in Christ,” “through Christ,” which relate to the theme of what Christ has given to us as well as what Christ has done for us. So these next verses are all centered around the work of Christ in the life of a believer.
So, when Paul says, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he is beginning with a praise unto the Father. And it’s interesting to see that it says “God and Father,” meaning Jesus does have a God, and that God is our God. However, just because Jesus has a God doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t God. I don’t want to get into trinitarian theology right here, but I want to point out that if someone tries to use this verse to say that Jesus can’t be God if Jesus has a God, you can safely say that they don’t understand the trinity nor this text. This text makes it plain that it’s all the work of Jesus that has made everything we are possible. Jesus is spoken of in such exalted and high language that it glorifies him. And if the Bible glorifies someone when the Bible says that God doesn’t share His glory with another, then you have to wonder how can God’s word do that without being contradictory.
Anyways, the passage continues “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Paul is telling us something huge, something so glorious that it ought to cause every Christian pause. Paul just told us that God, the Father, has blessed us IN Christ (I want to make sure everyone understands it’s in Christ). Our blessings are received because we are in Christ. It is because of Christ, it is because we are inside Christ that we have received these blessings. I don’t know how many ways I can say this to make it stagger us, but we have obtained something by the work of another. Christ has worked, labored, and we have done nothing and yet we have received something as Christians. The next phrase answers a question of “what has God blessed us in Christ?” The answer is amazing: with EVERY spiritual blessing.
As a Christian, you have been given, in Christ, every spiritual blessing. Every one of them. All of the blessings that are spiritual. But if they’re spiritual that means, as Paul says, they are in the heavenly places. God has blessed us in Christ with every single spiritual blessing that the heavenly places has to offer.
Christian, are you feeling any joy reading this? Is it causing you to rejoice? If it’s not then you need to ask God for forgiveness for not loving Him and His work as you ought to. God, speaking through Paul, is informing you, as a Christian, that He has given you, in Christ, every spiritual blessing that the heavenly places has to offer. Are you a new Christian? He has given you every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Are you a Christian who hasn’t truly loved God with everything? Then repent and believe in Christ, love Him above everything, and believe that he has given you every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Are you a Christian who has been walking in faithfulness for a long time, and have forgotten part of what God has given you? Be reminded that God has blessed you in Christ with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Believe it. Know it. Savor it. It’ll change you as Christ has already begun the work in you.
Now the question is: Okay, so I have been given every spiritual blessing. Great. What are those blessings? Glad you asked. Let’s dive into the next verse and all the following verses to find out.