"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 a statement of praise directed toward God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The word "blessed" in this context means to praise or speak well of. So Paul is praising God; he is speaking well of the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why? Because God has provided for mankind every spiritual blessing in Christ. God is worthy of praise; God, the Father, is to be blessed because everything man needs spiritually is provided in Christ.
In the next phrase, the word "blessed" is used again. This time it has a somewhat different meaning: God "has blessed us." In this use of the word, it means that God has blessed us in providing for our every spiritual need. The complete thought is, God is to be praised; God is to be blessed because -- He has blessed us by providing all we need in Christ.
Everything heaven has to offer to man; everything we need to be right morally; everything we need to enjoy fellowship with God; everything we need to anticipate something better beyond the grave ... EVERYTHING is provided by the Father in Jesus Christ. "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."
It should be emphasized, the subject here is SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. Of course, God does supply man with physical blessings - air to breathe; food, water and shelter. Matthew 5:45 says that God "...makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Likewise, "He gives to all life, breath, and all things," (Acts 17:25). So there are physical blessings from the hand of God for mankind; and we should be thankful for those every day.
But the subject of Ephesians 1:3 is SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. Not only do we need physical things, we need spiritual things. Not only must the outer man be fed and cared for, the inner man must be fed and cared for! Ephesians 1:3 teaches, everything the inner man needs, God has supplied. But there is a vital question.
WHERE DOES GOD PROVIDE THESE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS? In Christ. This is so profound, yet simple to understand. Look at this from a grammatical
standpoint. This little word "in" is translated from a Greek term, which is a definitive preposition describing location. An example of this is Matthew 1:1,2, where we read that Jesus was born IN BETHLEHEM, and the start appeared IN THE EAST. This little word "in" in these contexts is a definitive preposition describing location. Now, where (what location?); where does God provide every spiritual blessing? THESE BLESSINGS FOR MAN ARE LOCATED IN A SINGLE RELATIONSHIP OR HEAVENLY PLACE, IN CHRIST.
Suppose you are considering employment with some firm or company, and you come to consider the fringe benefits. You look over the list of benefits: so many weeks vacation, health insurance, dental plan, etc. As you survey these benefits you understand these good things are available only in this company! If you are not located (employed) in this company, you cannot claim these benefits.
It's the same way with these good things (spiritual blessings) we are talking about in Ephesians 1:3. These spiritual blessings God offers to man ARE LOCATED IN JESUS CHRIST (in relationship with Him). You cannot claim these benefits unless you are IN CHRIST. Galatians 3:26,27 teaches - you are baptized into Him.
Forgiveness of sin; fellowship with God; life in Christ; hope of eternal bliss ... these and other spiritual blessings are available only in this relationship: IN CHRIST. Have you been baptized into Christ. Here's a summary of the text for your evaluation and examination:
It begins with Paul's statement of praise toward God: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." WHY PRAISE GOD? Because He has blessed us? HOW HAS HE BLESSED US? With "Every spiritual blessing." WHERE ARE THESE BLESSINGS LOCATED? In Christ. Any questions?
By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 1.7; July, 1994