Ephesians 1:1-6 Chosen and blessed forever
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Paul writes this letter to the churches in Ephesus in A.D. 60 while in a Roman prison. The purpose of this letter is to instruct believers how they could experience God’s blessings and obtain their heavenly inheritance. That blessing of the highest order is predestined for man if he reconciles with God through Christ’s sacrifice and fulfill God’s calling for his life. In the above passage, Paul reveals the heavenly blessings that transcend the temporal riches of the earth and urge believers to be reconciled with God through Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Paul begins his letter by praising God firstly because of His infinite generosity and grace. God has plans to bless every wayward man and woman, and He has determined to do so even at the cost of His Son’s suffering and death. The word “every” covers every good blessing that existed in the universe that will be made available to man. The words “spiritual blessings” denotes the way in which blessings can be obtained; that is by way of the Holy Spirit. These blessings include perpetual joy, wisdom, glory as sons, power to bless others, mansions in heaven, and a resurrection body. Every person can experience the manifold blessings of God when he walks in harmony and in obedience with God’s Spirit. “The heavenly places” refers to a transcendent realm of eternity where things do not grow old or be stolen by the enemy. It also refers to a heavenly account that corresponds to every believer. The reward that is accumulated in this account through his works of love will never expire or be taken away from him. Therefore, every person can obtain every blessing and enjoy them forever as long as he learns to walk in harmony and in obedience with the Holy Spirit.
Even as he (God) chose us in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him (God).
Before the earth was created, God has made up His mind that no man should be separated from Him. And if any man should sin, he must be restored to the position as sons and being found like Him in character and power. The word “chose” expresses God’s determination to save and to bless humanity. “Holy and blameless” represents man’s position as God’s son and being like Him in His attributes and character. God has long determined and will not change His mind that every man and woman will be called His sons forever.
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
God has “predestined” (to decide beforehand) man to be restored as sons through Christ’s sacrifice. The grace where God is prepared to forgive every rebellious human being that ever lived is beyond human comprehension. This can only speak of God’s infinite love and grace, for He withholds punishment even towards those who continually deny Him as God, and patiently waits for all to repent and to receive His blessings. The inherent condition for men to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ is to acknowledge Christ as Lord over every area of their lives.
1. Bearing in mind that God has blessed us with “every spiritual blessing”, it is always God’s intention to bless not sparingly, but abundantly. Hence, we must expect to live blessed lives during our tenure on earth. Even though the world is corrupted with untold suffering and poverty, the sons of God can transcend the most difficult circumstances to live abundantly. Even as every son is given the right over these blessings, it is nevertheless acquired through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. “Spiritual blessing” connotes the Spirit as the fitting conduit to these blessings. Firstly, the indwelling Spirit empowers the sons to believe that these blessings are already given. Secondly, the blessings are gifts and fruit that are hidden in the Spirit, and He empowers the sons to them live out. Thirdly, the Spirit resurrects the sons into the heavenly realm and given resurrection bodies.
2. There is a difference between earthly resources and heavenly blessings. Heavenly blessings comes from the Spirit; “spiritual blessings” and they are enduring and cannot be stolen. Resources on the other hand are things that are earthly and temporal. For example, money, the praises of men and earthly pleasures etc. Physical resources if used correctly will result in blessings for all. Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35). Hence, heavenly blessing is the goal and earthly resources are the means. Jesus frequently made that distinction in His teachings and urge believers to seek the treasures of heaven and not the resources on earth,
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
Therefore, we must use our earthly and transient resources to bless others. In doing so, we accumulate treasures and blessings in heaven that will never be taken from us.
3. It is God’s desire that every man and woman be saved and blessed. However, God cannot force every person to acknowledge Him as God and to be reconciled with Him. Even though He predestines all man for adoption, but not everyone agrees to be adopted as His son. Jesus says to His disciples, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” (John 6:70). Judas, despite being chosen, defected to the devil and betrayed Jesus. The crux of the issue is not the validity of Christ’s saving work on the cross, but the willingness to acknowledge God as Lord and Master.
1. List down your current challenges that you may have at work or in your family. After spending some time relating to God concerning these challenges, write down the impressions that the Spirit is giving you on the possible outcomes these challenges.
2. Spend some time with God and ask Him to reveal to you the some of the Spiritual blessings that He has prepared for you.
Dear God, I thank You for calling me and reinstating me as Your son. Open my eyes and reveal to me the Spiritual blessings that You have in stored for me. I remove my preconceived limitations that I have concerning Your willingness to bless. I release my worries into Your hands trusting that You have already made plans to bless me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.