Ephesians 1:3-6

As I said yesterday, the material I was teaching through had Ephesians 1:1-14 in one lesson. It was way too much information to cover adequately. So yesterday I covered verses 1 and 2. First we have to realize that verses 3-14 are one big long run-on sentence in the original Greek. But this has been broken up by translators to make it easier to understand today. Today, I will try to cover verses 3 to 6. I say try because there is so much packed into this passage that I can only do it poor justice.

Ephesians 1:3-6

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, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In loveHe predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himselfaccording to thekind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His gracewhich He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

We begin with verse 3, where Paul says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice Paul is saying God is blessed. How can this make sense?

We have to realize that the word translated as blessed is eulogetos. This means “blessed, praised.” The next word translated as blessed is eulogeo. This is a verb, which means:

  1. to praise, celebrate with praises;
  2. to invoke blessings;
  3. to consecrate a thing with solemn prayers;
    1. to ask God’s blessing on a thing;
    2. pray God to bless it to one’s use;
    3. pronounce a consecratory blessing on;
  4. of God
    1. to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on
    2. favoured of God, blessed

The word translated as blessing is Eulogia. This means

  1. praise, laudation, panegyric: of Christ or God
  2. fine discourse, polished language
    1. in a bad sense, language artfully adapted to captivate the hearer: fair speaking, fine speeches
  3. an invocation of blessing, benediction
  4. consecration
  5. a (concrete) blessing, benefit

So how do we bless God? Realize, that as parents, we are blessed by our children’s responses when we bless them. We do things for those we love, and in turn, we receive blessings from those we have blessed. We watch their joy and are warmed by it. We watch them respond in love and are blessed by their responses. In the same way, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven, and has in turn been blessed by our responses to God – which are to be in joy and love. Have YOU realized the importance of what you have been gifted with? Do you respond in love and joy?

So what are these spiritual blessings? One of the first spiritual blessings we have is the fact that Jesus Christ is our Lord. The word translated as Lord is Kurios. This word means:

  1. he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord
  2. the possessor and disposer of a thing
    1. the owner; one who has control of the person, the master
    2. in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor
  3. is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master
  4. this title is given to: God, the Messiah

The fact that Jesus Christ is supposed to be our Lord means He is to be our owner. He has the power to decide about us, to control us. He is our master – in charge of us and our lives. We are to live like it. This is one of the spiritual blessings we have been blessed with. Some might think it a problem – being owned by God. But God created us. God gets to set the rules. When we fight against it, we have no inner peace, nor do we have peace with God. So why fight? Accept what God has done for you and be blessed by it.

Another spiritual blessing is that God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This God is the one who has chosen us before the foundation of the world to be adopted as sons – which is another spiritual blessing. Adoption was well known in the Roman empire as a legal action where a child is taken to be as one’s own and given all the rights of inheritance that a biological child would have. We have been adopted into the family of God. We are brothers and sisters with Christ Jesus and co-heirs with Him.

What’s better is that we were chosen to be adopted before the foundation of the world. This was done in love, and according to the kind intention of God’s will. This was something God wanted, not based upon something we would do, but based solely upon His love. When we were adopted into God’s family, we were made holy and blameless. That is to say, God set us apart for His purpose and called us blameless for our sins.

Although everyone is a creation of God, not everyone is a child of God; we must be made children of God. We can no nothing to become children of God. It is God’s choice, and its one that was made before time began. Oh, I recall distinctly choosing to believe in Christ, and I recall saying to myself when I first heard or read this passage that *I* chose to follow Christ. And its true, I had a responsibility in accepting what God has done for me – I had to change and believe. But I did so because of what God had done – it was all God’s doing, not mine.

Does this mean those who do not believe are not chosen? I think we have to be very careful here to state only what is in scripture. While some people are destined to stumble upon the message of Christ being sent to suffer and die for our sins (1 Peter 2:8), God does not tell us that everyone who does not believe, who are not YET adopted, are destined for wrath. We know that no one can come to Christ unless the Father who sent Christ draws him (John 6:44), and that everyone who has heard and learned from God the Father will come to Christ (John 6:45), and that only those God has specifically granted permission can come to Christ (John 6:65). Indeed, all the Father gives to Christ will come to Him and never be driven away (John 6:37; 17:24).  We certainly know that God works everything out for His own purposes (Proverbs 16:4). But we have no idea who has been chosen or what events have to occur for someone to come to faith, nor when they will come to faith. We do not know that people who do not believe right now will not believe tomorrow, or next week, or upon their death bed. We also dont know how people will respond to God. But we know God has placed a general call to everyone to believe (John 3:16-17).

We must recognize that God does it all – He created us; He chose us; He saved us. Are we responding as we should? Are we loving God? Do we show this love for God in practical ways? We must love God and love others – are you doing so?

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