BY Stan Brown
Ephesians 1:3 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
Verses three through fourteen constitute a single sentence in the Greek. Hoehner says “Some scholars consider this to be the most cumbersome sentence in the Greek language”. God, the One who is blessed, has chosen to bless us. This single sentence extolls the spiritual blessings with which God has blessed us as believers. They are ours to possess as He has already bestowed them on us. God does bestow physical blessings on us as well but they are not the subject of this passage. Because we live in a physical world, the associated benefits are often on our minds to a greater degree than the spiritual blessings. Yet, it is the spiritual blessings that Paul extols here.
The adjective blessed is used twelve times in the New Testament and in every instance, it is attributed to God. He truly is the One to be praised forever. Paul uses three forms of the word blessed here to make His point. Robertson says “Paul lovingly plays with the idea.” It is the only One who may be described as blessed (adjective) who blesses (verb) us with every possible spiritual blessing (noun). The One who alone may be called Blessed, indeed the One who alone may be praised has bestowed His blessings on us. We are united with the Father as He shares His blessings with us, His children.
Paul also speaks of the relationship we have with both the Father and the Son as we are forever bonded together with them. In verse two, God is called our Father. Here, He is called the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are united together in the Family of God. The Father is ours and Jesus is ours. They belong to us and we belong to them.
God has given to us as members of His family everything that we need in order to prosper. The sphere in which these blessings are given is described as the heavenlies. After all, this is the place where our citizenship lies. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20). In ending this verse with the words in Christ, Paul emphasizes that these blessings are intimately associated with the One who rules in the sphere of the heavenlies. Although we are citizens of heaven these blessings certainly have great impact upon the natural world in which we live. In the remainder of this long sentence Paul will describe these tremendous blessings.