Spiritual Blessings in the Heavenly

Understanding John 3:5
September 5, 2019
Holiness
September 5, 2019

Paul said we should worship and honor God because He has blessed us. When Paul said this, he wasn’t referring to anything exclusive to the churches in Ephesus. He wasn’t referring to the accomplishment of their land or building project. He was saying that believers in general are blessed of the Father.

Ephesians 1:3      

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

I heard a fellow say that the meaning of this blessing is “to speak well of”.  Although he might have reasons to think that way especially because of the Greek word Paul used here but that is not the only meaning that the word has. The same word also means to “bestow a gift on someone” and really the context reveals that was what Paul meant here. But let’s try to fit his interpretation into the context and see if it will work. Are we going to say God has spoken well of us with all spiritual words in the heavenly? What will that mean? It might mean something to somebody but to me, it is nothing.

But what has God blessed us with? “Spiritual blessing in the heavenly”, he said.

The fact that the blessing is spiritual means it is nothing physical, it cannot be detected by the senses and heavenly, means it is not material.  That is, this blessing is not house, car, job, position, spouse, children, money, promotion, grade and every other material or physical blessings. It is simply spiritual.

I have seen believers quote this part and use it for material blessings. They completely missed what Paul was saying. Paul wasn’t making a confession; he was stating a fact; a reality in Christ.

Someone might think but Paul said “all blessings” doesn’t that include material things? Actually he didn’t say that. He said “all spiritual blessing” and there is nothing physical in the spiritual blessings of Paul.

This term refers to a system of interrelated benefits that we have received from the father through our faith in Christ such as adoption, God’s love, being accepted by God, redemption, forgiveness of sins and the glorification of the saints as related by Paul in later verses of this chapter.

These terms are really related though they describe different aspects of the manifestations of God’s grace towards humanity. Hence one can say Paul was referring to the grace of God that He made available to us in Christ: that despite the depravity of man, God can love man that much to sacrifice His son for the sins of man, and adopt man who deserves condemnation into His family thereby making man a joint heir with Christ. Moreover, that the humanity who has not only done nothing to deserve the love, grace and mercy of God but has also done everything to be disqualified  from obtaining all these is now  reconciled back to God freely, without being punished for  sins and, through the merits of Jesus, has become one with God.

And now we who were the enemies of God can now serve God with our spirits freely, without fear, shame or guilt but with boldness approaching God with good and pure conscience.

These are the things Paul meant when he said we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly in Christ. That is, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing that God can give.

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