Scripture Summary: Paul opens a letter to the saints in Ephesus by conveying gratitude and thankfulness for the spiritual blessings we have in Christ.
The key point Paul is making in this chapter is summarized in verse 3 “Praise be to God… who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”. Paul then begins to detail some of those spiritual blessings and pray for the saints at Ephesus to experience them. I’ve read this and even memorized some of it before, but what I am really noticing today is that it is EVERY spiritual blessing. When Paul later says in verse 4 that “he chose us” and in verse 5 that he “predestined us to be adopted as sons”, He intended that we receive the entirety of spiritual blessings, the whole enchilada! Be encouraged and grateful because our Father has withheld nothing from his “adopted” sons and daughters.
Here are spiritual blessings for which Paul praises God and prays for the Ephesus saints to experience:
· V4 “Chosen to holy and blameless in his sight”. Christ is our righteousness!
· V5 “predestined us to be adopted”. We inherit the rights of fully being his children!
· V6 “redemption through his blood”. Our sins are forgiven and forgotten in Christ!
· V8 “all wisdom and understanding”. Gods send his Spirit, the Counselor, to live in us!
· V9 “made known to us the mystery of his will”. The Holy Spirit enables us to understand it!
· V11 “ we were chosen… in order that we might be for the praise of his glory”. We who have hope in Christ (yes us) are a source of praise for God and for his glory. We actually have something we can give God back which is praise for his glory!
· V13-14 “marked with a seal… guaranteeing our inheritance”. Our current relationship with God is secured through the Holy Spirit in us, which is also the GUARANTEE of our future and eternal relationship. Our hope is actually a 100% guarantee!
· V17 “Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better”. The Holy Spirit in us also reveals God himself to us so we might know not just know truth and wisdom, but know Him as well!
· V18 “eyes enlightened… to know the hope to which he has called you”. Not only does God bestow these glorious blessings on us, but He wants us to see it, to be confident and sure of it!
· V19 “incomparably great power for us... working of his mighty strength”. God equips us with the same unequalled power that raised Jesus from the dead, that places Christ above all other power or dominion or authority. This is true now and in eternity!
· V22 “appointed him [Christ] to be head over everything for the church.. his body”. The final blessing Paul lists is that the church is the body of Christ, his physical presence in this time… we get the blessing and privilege all together to stand in His place as his body, the Church!
Sorry folks for the super-long observations, but I believe Paul wanted us in Chapter 1 to realize the utter silliness of the enormity of the spiritual blessings God has given us in Christ. The other element of application is shown in a phrase Paul repeats several times – “to the praise of his glory”. My application can only be one thing at this point – truly and honestly and continually praising God for His glory.
Dear God, was it your intent here to guide Paul’s writing such that we would be thoroughly overwhelmed with a sense of humble gratitude for what is an almost-unbelievable set of spiritual blessings we receive in Christ? If so, you have succeeded with me. God, my desire is to recall this and praise you for it daily – even multiple times daily - this week. As we study the rest of this Ephesians letter, would you not let us forget where Paul began (giving you the praise you deserve for your glory)? I am encouraged and energized, God, by reflecting on these spiritual blessings. Help me, through your Spirit, to praise you continually this week. In Jesus name through whom all these blessings come, Amen.
Posted on Thu, June 11, 2015
by joel king