Ephesians 1:3-6

Ok, as the title of the blog says, we’ll be in Ephesians 1:3-6 today.

Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV

[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.

In verse 3, we see the English word “blessed” twice. We see it once as Paul brings praise to God as he opens the verse, and again as he says that God has blessed us. It is important to note here that the two instances of this word are slightly different in the Greek. In the first instance, the word used is a word used only in relation to God, and denotes more of an “ascribing an attribute which one already possesses” type of meaning. In other words, Paul is not saying that he is actually blessing God in the sense of bettering God, but that he is more speaking well of God for already being better. It would seem that the word would be better pronounced “bless-ed” than “blessed” in this instance. The second instance of the word, however, does mean that God has actually prospered and invoked blessings upon us. The first use is an acknowledgment of an attribute, the second is a verb indicating causality: God caused us to be blessed.

When we look at verses three and four, we see three key sections, separated by commas.

1.) 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,
2.) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world,
3.) that we should be holy and blameless before him.

I’m separating these out in an attempt to help avoid some of the confusion of Paul’s legendary run-on sentences. When we look at these verses, we see in the first section God’s action: God has blessed us in Christ. In the third section, we see the God’s purpose: that we should be holy and blameless before Him. It’s important for us to note that while God blesses us in a variety of ways, His purpose for those blessings is to enable us to be holy and blameless in His sight. In the second section, we see God’s TIMING for these spiritual blessings: before the foundation of the world. This means that those who would be blessed in Christ were chosen and blessed before the creation of the world. Before they ever said a prayer, before they had ever heard about Jesus, God chose and blessed them in Christ.

Side Note:

I realize that Paul specifically mentioned “spiritual blessings” in the text, I also believe that this transcends to physical and temporal blessings as well. If God chooses to bless us with material things, it is so that we would be better able to be holy and blameless before Him. The opposite is also true, if God chooses NOT to bless us with material things, it is so that we will be better able to be holy and blameless before Him.

In verses five and six, we see God’s method of enacting His plan of ensuring that those people whom He chose actually come into contact with those spiritual blessings: predestination. God predestined us to be drawn, to confess, and to know Christ as Lord and Savior. God set appointments for every Christian to come to know Him, in His timing, before He said “let there be light”. It is VERY important to look at the emotion behind this: LOVE! In love He predestined us. God did not choose and predestine us out of some desire to be a maniacal dictator, but did so out of LOVE for His creation. We then see that He did so according to His own will. He did not consider what we would do, whether we would choose Him, because that would mean that He chose to save us based on a work that we would do, and not on the grace of the cross of Christ alone. Paul is also very clear about what we were predestined to: adoption as sons through Christ Jesus.

The end of verse six shows us the reason, the WHY behind God’s actions: to the praise of His glorious grace. God blessed us in Christ before time began so that HE would receive glory! God blessed us so that we would praise His name. God blessed us so that His name would be made famous. God blessed us so that we would look upon His grace and His sovereignty and do as Nebuchadnezzar did (Daniel 4:34-36): realize how jacked up we are, that He is God and we’re not, and praise His name.

5 responses to “Ephesians 1:3-6

  1. As usual, I enjoyed this very much. Very thorough and enlightening! Thanks, Don.
    I love you, Moopy

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