Eph 1:3-14 the longest greeting
Jun 13, 2021 // By:Dave // No Comment
3 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,
the translation uses the word blessed/blessing three times in this verse (but the greek reveals differences which reveals truth)
It speaks of what the Father has done for us through Jesus Christ and given us in Jesus Christ.
this first verse could have stood alone as his greeting and eulogy for the book.
I say eulogy for a purpose
Blessed εὐλογητός, eulogētos, worthy of being praised, blessed, or commended
what follows is a slightly expanded version of the eulogy to the Father in verses 4-14
which is followed by 2 1/2 chapters of greater expansion and detail of these two things:
- What the Father has done through Christ
- what the Father gives in Christ
also note the phrase “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”
blessed εὐλογέω, eulogeō, to praise, give thanks to, speak well of, extol; (pass.) to be blessed, receive blessing; in some contexts, to give a blessing is to act kindly and impart benefits to the one being blessed
blessing εὐλογία, eulogia, n. [2292 + 3306]. blessing, praise, thanksgiving, the extolling of another; in some contexts, excessive praise is improper: flattery; by extention, generosity and (giving of) gifts
The OT concept of blessing. The word in Hebrew is barak, “to kneel” or “to bless.”
occur 415 times in the OT,
meaning of kneeling found only 3 times!
According to Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
bless means “to endue with power for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity, etc.” In essence, the one who is blessed is given a rich and abundant life.
The NT concept of blessing. Two word groups are translated “bless” and “blessed” in the NT.
eulogia, which means “to speak well of,” “to bless,” or “to praise.” Over forty of the sixty-eight occurrences of this word group in the NT are used in the sense of praise.
Eulogia and its derivatives are used in the Septuagint to translate barak.
makarios. It means “blessed,” “happy,” or “fortunate.” It is used in the Greek translation of the OT to render a Hebrew word group that means “happiness” or “well-being,” but it is not used to translate barak.
- the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-11; Lk 6:20-22) use makarios (“happy”), which is not used by the LXX to translate the OT barak. The barak of the OT was a straightforward blessing. The makarios of the NT is a divine paradox: an experience of the kingdom’s inner riches amid external poverty and trial.
Blessed with all spiritual blessings”. Eph 1:3 announces it. God has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Because our blessing is found in personal relationship with Jesus and because that relationship is so intimate and real, we have in Jesus himself the abundant life for which we yearn and which God has ever yearned to give straying mankind.
this is new convenant (a spiritual covenant with spiritual focus)
is it any wonder that the blessing of the Father to His children should also be spiritual in nature ?
makarios blessed means happy as a result of choices/actions
eulogia blessed means a pronouncement/provision of benefits from a relationship (with one having the authority to make such pronouncements/provisions)
the blessings are spiritual “pneumatikos” and are secured for us (past tense)
in the heavenly places
“in the heavenly realms” (en tois epouraniois,
Eph. 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph. 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to com
Eph. 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Eph. 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the 1boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph. 3:10 so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Peter refers to our heavenly blessings (our spiritual inheritance)
1Pet. 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pet. 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pet. 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Israelites (called jews by name) were promised physical blessings (conditional upon their obedience) by old covenant
health, prosperity, land, physical healing
these things are perishable or can be taken away (they dont even have a temple anymore
NT believers (called jews by heart in Rom 2:29)) are promised spiritual blessings (conditional upon Christ’s obedience, enabled by our faith in Him) through a new, spiritual covenant
and are in inheritance that will not perish or be overrun by neighboring countries
also good to remember that we should not take things promised to old covenant recipients and assume that they are promised to us as well (mixing covenants is usually a path to deception)
The value (of these blessings) is measured by the price that was paid to obtain them when on the cross the Son of God fought satanic opponents and disarmed them
Col. 2:13 And when you were dead in your wrongdoings and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our wrongdoings,
Col. 2:14 having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Col. 2:15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
many of us simply do not know how disarmed the enemy is because of this covenant of grace obtained by Christ.
A man was driving a car with his family inside when a bee got sucked into the window and began buzzing about angrily inside. The children immediately began to scream and panic in fear. The father quickly caught the bee in his hand and held it tightly as He continued to drive. When he opened his hand, the bee struggled to pull itself free but having stung the father’s hand, had to leave it’s stinger behind, stuck in the hand, as it finally moved off and flew back into the car.
The children began to scream again, but even when the father showed the children the stinger still stuck in his hand, they continued to act in fear of the now powerless bee.
Satan, the bee, spent his stinger on Christ. He has no second stinger and the one he used left him defeated.
we still look at the bee like it has a stinger. We let our fear distract us in the Father’s car from seeing all that He wants us to see while on the ride.
we don’t understand our authority or recognize it, therefore fail to exercise it
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I have given you authority to walk on snakes and scorpions, and authority over all the power of the enemy…”
we don’t understand how these blessings even operate down here
we only know a few verses (promises of God) to call upon in times of trouble
and our shield of faith (built by promises to trust in) is small
learn more promises and believe them and our shields get bigger and can block more darts from the enemy
in the armor of the Lord in Eph 6
- belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of gospel of peace
- shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit
all follow “stand firm therefore” indicating we stand firm against the enemy because of what follows
the six items of the armor of the Lord
which we have “in the Lord”
because each is a description of the Lord Himself
We don’t know our inheritance, blessings, gifts from the Father
(and go through our daily lives like spiritual homeless people who have a fortune in the bank untouched)
What is your “go to promise” from God ?
Do you have different promises for different situations ?
Do you have a big shield or a little shield ?
- a big shield provides better protection under attack and you can “stand firm” better
- even allowing you to help another to stand under attack
- a little shield allows many darts to get through and distract or discourage you
- perhaps allowing you to be used to pull others down around you
These promises are unconditional
He promises to give us wisdom if we ask (James 1:5).
He promises to provide a way out of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
He promises that our salvation is secure, no matter what (John 10:28–29).
He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
He promises to finish the good work he has begun in us (Phil. 1:6).
He promises to come back (Luke 12:40)
these next two verses run parallel in theme but are like two witnesses from different angles describing the same scene:
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
5 He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
just as He chose our destiny, before the world was formed, to be adopted as His Holy sons and daughters, standing blamelessly before Him in Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will and satisfaction of His love.
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved.
praise ἔπαινος, epainos, commendation
Praise takes first place in the vocabulary of worship, as God comes first in the life and thoughts of believers. We need to understand praise and to practice it. For God is worthy of our praise. Nothing so deepens our awareness of his power and presence in our lives as to praise him.
glory δόξα, doxa, splendor, brilliance,
from the base meaning of the awesome light that radiates from God’s presence and is
associated with his acts of power; honor, praise, speaking of words of excellence and assigning highest status to God
grace χάρις, charis, n.  the state of kindness and favor toward someone, often with a focus on a benefit given to the object; by extension: gift, benefit; credit; words of kindness and benefit: thanks, blessing
to the commendation of the splendor of His kindness
most commentaries describe praise as what people do in recognition of who God is but seem to miss this remarkable verse …
God Himself commends Himself for the splendor of His own kindness !
and why not ? Why shouldn’t a perfect God commend His own perfection ?
Why shouldn’t He be the greatest praiser of His own splendor, His own grace ?
He knows how good He is (and just wants us to join Him in celebrating it)
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace
8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight
9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He set forth in Him,
10 regarding His plan of the fullness of the times, to bring all things together in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.
11 In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will,
12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in the Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise,
14 who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.