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,
There is a two-verse introduction and a two-verse conclusion to Ephesians. We now begin the body of the epistle in verse three.
Ephesians divides into two sections between chapters one to three and chapters four to six: our standing and our state, or, our position and our walk. First comes doctrine then our deed; our belief then our behavior; our creed then our conduct; our principle then our practice; revelation then responsibility.
We must first know what we are. Then we can know what we are worth. We will know how to carry ourselves children of the King.
Verses 3 to 14 form one long sentence. This sentence contains profound and rich truths for the believer. Note some of these blessings:
Chosen, v. 4
Adopted, v. 5
Graced, v. 6
Knowledge of the mystery, v. 9-10
Received an inheritance, v. 11
Sealed with the Spirit, vv. 13-14
3 Blessed be the God and Father
There is something for which Christians are to bless or praise God the Father. The word “bless” carries the idea of speaking well of or praising. God is the Father of believers. The Holy Spirit puts this phrase first to emphasize what God the Father has done for us as a provider.
“Blessed” means prosperous. This is the same word for the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-11. God exists in a state of prosperity, a state of blessedness. Out of that state He makes provisions for Christians.
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The word “our” demonstrates that the Lord Jesus Christ is the possession of believers. We belong to Him as well.
who has blessed us
We bless God because He has done something. God the Father is to be praised because He “blessed us.” We bless God because He blessed us bountifully. First we bless God, then God blesses us. Our blessing is in word, but God’s blessing is in act.
Note that these blessings are not future to the believer. God “has blessed” us. These blessings are not those that we will receive when we get to heaven but blessings He has already given us. We have every blessing in Christ. God is not trying to bless us; He has already blessed us.
Notice the repetition of the word “us” throughout this section of Ephesians. Every verse in verses three to six uses the word “us.” God has a great interest in the believer.
The Christian has many operating assets from God for the present.
God calls on us to appreciate and appropriate what He gave us. We have much deposited to our account. We cannot live the Christian life without knowing what we have in Christ. It is like having a vehicle without fuel. We are spiritual billionaires. Why do we live with such low expectation?
We need to take possession of what God provided for us at the initial point of salvation. God gives these blessings unconditionally at the point of our belief in Christ. These blessings are eternal. Although God gives these blessings to us eternally, we can utilize them in time. We know more than we live.
Throughout the book of Joshua, God told Joshua that He had “given” the land to Israel. Israel needed to claim that blessing. Christians are to claim blessings from God as well. God gave many promises to Joshua. He indicated those promises by the word “give.” Before each campaign God said that he “gave” the result to Joshua. The word “gave” is in the accomplished sense (the Hebrew perfect completed tense).
There are other blessings that we receive by spirituality and maturity; these are conditional and are temporal blessings. Our passage speaks only of unconditional or positional blessings.
The two divisions of the book of Ephesians also reflect the initial greeting of grace and peace. When you reflect on who you are in Christ, you are studying about grace. When you reflect on how to respond to all the grace you have received, you are studying how to bring God’s peace and reconciliation into every relationship in concrete, practical ways.
So it is significant that God is the Father of our Lord. To experience the richness of all God’s blessings, we must submit to Christ’s lordship as a community of believers. (It is our Lord, not just an individual Lord). That is our first gift, our first possession: Christ’s lordship. In Him, together, we can experience the loving paternity of the Father.