"Every Spiritual Blessing"
The letter Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus is an inspired
treatment of subjects essential to our knowledge and daily response to God. In
my study, I have found it helpful to use this "table of contents."
Chapter one - spiritual blessings in Christ
Chapter two - raised and reconciled in Christ
Chapter three - wisdom and knowledge in Christ
Chapter four - unity in Christ
Chapter five - walking in Christ
Chapter six - wearing the full armor of God, as a soldier of Christ
This "table of contents" should immediately capture the interests of every child of God, and should cause every Bible student to read carefully and make the text personal.
The keynote verse in chapter one is verse three: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." This is about blessings from God; the blessings here are spiritual; God supplies every one of them, and He provides these good things in Christ. Focus on these details:
These Blessings Are From God
He is the object of the praise expressed by Paul in this verse. Whatever blessings we learn about in this verse and in this chapter - God is the ultimate cause; the source. He is the giver, the provider of what we need to receive and keep.
This is emphasized all through Ephesians one. God is the source, the cause, the giver of what we have received (as Christians), or need to urgently accept (if non-Christians). Notice through the chapter: "He chose us... He predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ... To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved... the riches of His grace... to the praise of His glory," (4,5,6,7,14). Paul could not write this powerful, moving passage about what we have in Christ, without these repeated punctuations of praise to God. (See also 2 Cor. 1:3-4).
The book of Ephesians is filled with praise for God, who loved us and sent His Son; and who now calls upon all accountable human beings to respond, by following His simple instructions. Have you made this personal, by obeying the gospel? Have you been baptized into Christ - where all these blessings are located?
These are Spiritual Blessings
There are earthly blessings we need and want. And God is the Great Dispenser of those according to His will. But there are things better and higher than material blessings. God wants us to have those better things that last.
The satisfaction of knowing your sin is forgiven is a spiritual blessing. The enlightenment whereby we can get out of darkness and into the light - a spiritual blessing! Sonship and inheritance; the quality of life that is grounded in fellowship with Deity; being raised unto eternal life, and the beautiful mansions of heaven. God wants us to have these rich spiritual blessings, and this Omni-benevolent love for man caused Him to originate the gospel of Christ. It is the message from God for all men that calls for your response. In Christ God offers to give us spiritual blessings and crown us with glory and honor.
God Provides "Every" Spiritual Blessing
God delivers perfectly and fully everything we need for our spiritual well being. God has never done a half-way job of anything. All through the Bible, there is this trail of distinctive evidence: God does what He says . . . delivers what He promises . . . establishing His sufficiency and power to supply everything we need.
This is not about God giving you a few things to get you started. This is not like just pointing you in the right direction. This is not just a matter of giving you a few pieces of the puzzle and leaving you alone to figure it out. Look at the text again: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing." Everything you need for your salvation from sin, spiritual nourishment, instruction for life and preparation for death - God supplies in Christ. Every provision; every instruction; every motivation; every reason; every promise - "Every spiritual blessing" is provided by God in Christ.
Where? In Christ!
Note with care that little preposition "in." It carries great meaning. In some passages, that little word "in" pertains to physical or geographic location (see Eph. 1:1, "in Ephesus"). But here in verse 3, consider this in terms of spiritual location: "in Christ." This is where God put every spiritual blessing. In order to participate in these blessings (receive them, use them, have them) -- I need to be in this place, in this relationship: "in Christ."
Galatians 3:26,27 fits well here: "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." God provides all I need in Christ. Not in Abraham; not in Moses; not in John the Baptist or Paul. God is to be praised, for sending His Son to save us. Today, in response to the cross of Christ, when my faith becomes active, I am baptized into Christ.
The love of God finds full and perfect expression in Christ; in the provisions for our spiritual welfare. What are you doing about this today?
By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 9.5; May 2003