What you ‘may have’ never thought about is:
as THE GOD HE SAYS HE IS
FOR WHAT GOD SAYS HE HAS DONE !
Look Who HE is and What HE HAS DONE
& WORSHIP GOD !
Ever thought of that ?
Look and Read about:
B. The work of the Triune Godhead on behalf of the believer.
In ancient Greek (the language Paul originally wrote in), Ephesians 1:3 through 1:14 form one long sentence. As an opera has an overture, setting the tone for all the melodies that will follow, so Ephesians 1:3-14 sets the tone for the rest of Ephesians.
1. (3-6) The work of God the Father.
“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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
to the Praise of the Glory of His Grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.”
a. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: Paul called for a blessing upon the Father (in the sense of recognizing His glory and honor and goodness), because the Father has already blessed the believer with every spiritual blessing (who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing).
i. Moule wrote that the idea behind blessed is, “Praised with worshipping love.”
b. Who has blessed us: This blessing is ours. God’s resources are there for us always. This speaks of an attitude of certainty and assurance.
i. “We are not sitting here, and groaning, and crying, and fretting, and worrying, and questioning our own salvation. He has blessed us; and therefore we will bless Him. If you think little of what God has done for you, you will do very little for Him; but if you have a great notion of His Great Mercy to you, you will be greatly grateful to you Gracious God.” (Spurgeon)
ii. The “us” includes both Jews and Gentiles in the church at Ephesus and the Lord’s churches beyond. It was important to point out that these blessings are for both Jewish and Gentile believers. First century Jews had a strong sense of being blessed, called and predestined – Paul shows that these things are now given to Christians, be they Jew or Gentile.
c. With every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: This describes both the kind of blessings and the location of those blessings. These are spiritual blessings, which are far better than material blessings. These blessings are ours in the heavenly places in Christ, they are Higher, Better, and More Secure than earthly blessings.
i. “Our thanks are due to God for all temporal blessings; they are more than we deserve. But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings. A new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of God is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. To have God for our portion is blessed, infinitely more blessed than to own broad acres of land. God hath blessed us with spiritual blessings. These are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value.” (Spurgeon)
ii. If we have no appreciation for spiritual blessing, then we live at the level of animals. Animals live only to eat, sleep, entertain themselves, and to reproduce. We are made in the image of God and He has something much higher for us, yet many choose to live at the level of animals. God wants us know every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
iii. We also note that this includes every spiritual blessing.
- This means that every blessing we receive, we receive in Christ.
- This means that God wants to bless us with every blessing available to us.
d. Just as He chose us in Him:
Our possession of every spiritual blessing is as certain as our being chosen by Him, and chosen before the foundation of the world.
i. We dare not diminish what Paul writes here. Believers are chosen by God, and they are chosen before they have done anything or have been anything for God. “It is the infinite Free-Will of God, (even more sacred than the free-will of man;) a purpose and a plan older than the oceans and the skies.” (Moule) The great light of this truth casts some shadows – namely, in trying to reconcile human responsibility with divine sovereignty. But the purpose of light is not to cast shadows but to guide our steps. The light of God’s selection gives us assurance to the permanence of His plan and His love towards us.
ii. The reasons for God’s choosing are not capricious, nor are they random. Though they are past our finding out, we know that they are altogether wise and good, but the reasons are all in Him, not in us. His choosing is according to the Good Pleasure of His Will (Ephesians 1:5).
iii. We are chosen in Him. “For if we are chosen in Christ, it is outside ourselves. It is not from the sight of our deserving, but because our heavenly Father has en-grafted us, through the Blessing of Adoption, into the Family of God. In short, the name of Christ excludes all merit,
and everything which men have of themselves.” (Calvin)
e. That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: We are chosen not only for salvation, but also for holiness. Any understanding of God’s sovereign choosing that diminishes our personal responsibility for personal holiness and sanctification falls far short of the whole counsel of God.
i. “The words [holy and without blame] are a metaphor taken from the perfect and immaculate sacrifices which the law required the people to bring to the altar of God.” (Clarke)
ii. We cannot forget the words in love. Holiness and blamelessness are nothing without love. “But as love is the fulfilling of the law, and love the fountain whence their salvation flowed,
therefore love must fill their hearts towards God and each other.” (Clarke)
f. Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself: This is the Father’s destiny for His chosen – that they would enjoy adoption as sons. God’s unfolding plan for us not only includes salvation and personal transformation,
but also a warm, confident relationship with the Father.
i. In Roman law, “When the adoption was complete it was complete indeed. The person who had been adopted had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family and completely lost all rights in his old family. In the eyes of the law he was a new person. So new was he that even all debts and obligations connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed.” (Barclay)
ii. Gaebelein takes the thought even further: “Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not adopted into the family of God; they are born into the family. The Greek has only one word ‘Sonplace.’ We are placed into the position of Sons.”
iii. This high position in the family of God gives us something in Jesus that Adam never had. “When people ask us the speculative question why God went ahead with the creation when He knew that it would be followed by the fall, one answer we can tentatively give is that He destined us for a higher dignity than even creation would bestow on us.” (Stott)
g. To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved: The relational aspect is emphasized again as Paul describes the status of accepted (charito, “highly favored” or “full of grace” as in Luke 1:28) that is granted to every believer because of God’s grace.
i. Jesus was completely accepted by the Father. All His character, all His words, all His work was acceptable to God the Father.
And now we are accepted in the Beloved.
ii. Paul realized this plan gave Glory to the Grace of God. “By the giving of the Law, God’s justice and holiness were rendered most glorious; by the giving of the Gospel, His Grace and Mercy are made Equally Glorious.” (Clarke) God’s plan in the gospel is often rejected because it glorifies God and His Grace, not the effort or achievement of man.
iii. “So that He may receive from His adoring creatures the ‘praise’ due to His ‘glory,’ His own manifested Character, manifested in this form of entrancing beauty, His ‘grace.’ “ (Moule)
iv. Bruce on the idea of being accepted by God on the standing of grace: “God’s Grace has extended to his people and enfolded them: He has ‘be-graced’ them, says Paul (using a verb derived from the Greek word for ‘grace’).”
v. Chrysostom, speaking of the work by which
God makes us accepted in the Beloved:
“It is as if one were to take a leper and change him into a lovely youth.”
© 2006 David Guzik