The Spiritual Blessings Available in Jesus Christ | Ephesians 1:3-14
Paul begins the Epistle to the Ephesians with praise to God for the spiritual blessings he bestows in Jesus Christ.
One of the major themes in these verses is praise.
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v 3).
- “To the praise of his glorious grace” (v 6).
- “Live for the praise of his glory” (v 12).
- “To the praise of his glory” (v 14).
What are some of the ways we can praise God?
What are some ways to make our praise of God better as a church? As individuals?
Paul describes God’s Work
God’s work is further divided into two parts—(1) his blessings for his children and (2) the accomplishing of his will.
Blessings for God’s Children
Gave every spiritual blessing in Christ (v 3).
This is not every blessing; instead, Paul mentioned every spiritual blessing. God gives physical blessings to all (cf. Matt 5:45; Acts 14:17). Spiritual blessings only come to those in Christ. As God gives every spiritual blessing, no blessing is left out.
Chose us in Christ (v 4).
Some might use this passage to teach predestination (i.e., God has determined whom he would save and whom he would damn). A careful reading of the text does not allow such an interpretation. “He chose us in Christ . . . to be holy and blameless before him in love.” God chose to make Christians holy and blameless before him.
God chose us “before the foundation of the world.” God’s plan for Christians to be holy and blameless is his eternal will.
Destined us for adoption (v 4).
Again, we find the idea that God predestined Christians to be his special people. We are the sons of God. We are also destined according to God’s purpose (v 11).
Bestowed grace (vv 6-8).
Paul pictured God as bestowing grace after grace upon the Christian. God has bestowed all spiritual blessings on the Christian because of his grace.
Redeemed Christians through the blood of Jesus (v 7).
Redemption is the price paid to buy someone from slavery; the image is that we are enslaved to sin and Jesus stepped forward to buy us. The cost was high—his blood.
Forgave of our trespasses (v 7).
Paul defined redemption as the forgiveness of our trespasses. As the redemption price would wipe out the debt of a slave, the redemption of Jesus’s blood wipes out the debt of our sins.
Made known the mystery of his will (v 9).
Biblically speaking a mystery is something that was hidden which was later made known. That’s evident from this passage, for the mystery was made known to us “with all wisdom and insight” (v 8).
Gave us an inheritance (v 11).
The inheritance would be eternal life (in the previous sentence Paul said God’s plan was “go gather up all things in him.”) The giving of an inheritance was destined according to God’s will (God destined to give Christians an inheritance in Christ).
Marked us with the Holy Spirit (v 13).
The Spirit is the seal, the pledge, of our inheritance. Pledge was a down payment; in other words, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the promise that we shall obtain eternal life.
Promised the Holy Spirit (v 13).
The Holy Spirit was promised to the people of God. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him” (Acts 2:38-39).
Accomplishing of God’s Will
Set forth the good pleasure of his will in Christ (v 9).
Plan to gather up all things in Christ (v 10). Notice that “all things” will be gathered up in Christ—animate and inanimate objects. Colossians 1:20.
Accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will (v 11). God’s will cannot be thwarted. Whatever God wills to do, he will do.
This passage shows Trinitarian thought
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (v 3).
The Son is mentioned throughout this passage. E.g., Our Lord Jesus Christ (v 3); Jesus Christ (v 5); and The Beloved (v 6).
You “were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit” (v 13).