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Spiritual Blessings in 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, 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.


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3. The doxologies in almost all the Epistles imply the real sense of grace experienced by the writers and their readers (1Pe 1:3). Eph 1:3-14 sets forth summarily the Gospel of the grace of God: the Father's work of love, Eph 1:3 (choosing us to holiness, Eph 1:4; to sonship, Eph 1:5; to acceptance, Eph 1:6): the Son's, Eph 1:7 (redemption, Eph 1:7; knowledge of the mystery of His will, Eph 1:9; an inheritance, Eph 1:11); the Holy Spirit's, Eph 1:13 (sealing, Eph 1:13; giving an earnest of the inheritance, Eph 1:14).

the God and Father of … Christ—and so the God and Father of us who are in Him (Joh 20:17). God is "the God" of the man Jesus, and "the Father" of the Divine Word. The Greek is, "Blessed us," not "hath blessed us"; referring to the past original counsel of God. As in creation (Ge 1:22) so in redemption (Ge 12:3; Mt 5:3-11; 25:34) God "blesses" His children; and that not in mere words, but in acts.

us—all Christians.

blessingsGreek, "blessing." "All," that is, "every possible blessing for time and eternity, which the Spirit has to bestow" (so "spiritual" means; not "spiritual," as the term is now used, as opposed to bodily).

in heavenly places—a phrase five times found in this Epistle, and not elsewhere (Eph 1:20; Eph 2:6; 3:10; 6:12); Greek, "in the heavenly places." Christ's ascension is the means of introducing us into the heavenly places, which by our sin were barred against us. Compare the change made by Christ (Col 1:20; Eph 1:20). While Christ in the flesh was in the form of a servant, God's people could not realize fully their heavenly privileges as sons. Now "our citizenship (Greek) is in heaven" (Php 3:20), where our High Priest is ever "blessing" us. Our "treasures" are there (Mt 6:20, 21); our aims and affections (Col 3:1, 2); our hope (Col 1:5; Tit 2:13); our inheritance (1Pe 1:4). The gift of the Spirit itself, the source of the "spiritual blessing," is by virtue of Jesus having ascended thither (Eph 4:8).

in Christ—the center and source of all blessing to us.

4. hath chosen usGreek, "chose us out for Himself" (namely, out of the world, Ga 1:4): referring to His original choice, spoken of as past.

in him—The repetition of the idea, "in Christ" (Eph 1:3), implies the paramount importance of the truth that it is in Him, and by virtue of union to Him, the Second Adam, the Restorer ordained for us from everlasting, the Head of redeemed humanity, believers have all their blessings (Eph 3:11).

before the foundation of the world—This assumes the eternity of the Son of God (Joh 17:5, 24), as of the election of believers in Him (2Ti 1:9; 2Th 2:13).

that we should be holy—positively (De 14:2).

without blame—negatively (Eph 5:27; 1Th 3:13).

before him—It is to Him the believer looks, walking as in His presence, before whom he looks to be accepted in the judgment (Col 1:22; compare Re 7:15).

in love—joined by Bengel and others with Eph 1:5, "in love having predestinated us," &c. But English Version is better. The words qualify the whole clause, "that we should be holy … before Him." Love, lost to man by the fall, but restored by redemption, is the root and fruit and sum of all holiness (Eph 5:2; 1Th 3:12, 13).

5. predestinated—more special in respect to the end and precise means, than "chosen" or elected. We are "chosen" out of the rest of the world; "predestinated" to all things that secure the inheritance for us (Eph 1:11; Ro 8:29). "Foreordained."

by JesusGreek, "through Jesus."

to himself—the Father (Col 1:20). Alford explains, "adoption … into Himself," that is, so that we should be partakers of the divine nature (2Pe 1:4). Lachmann reads, "unto Him." The context favors the explanation of Calvin: God has regard to Himself and the glory of His grace (Eph 1:6, 12, 14) as His ultimate end. He had one only-begotten Son, and He was pleased for His own glory, to choose out of a lost world many to become His adopted sons. Translate, "unto Himself."

the good pleasure of his will—So the Greek (Mt 11:26; Lu 10:21). We cannot go beyond "the good pleasure of His will" in searching into the causes of our salvation, or of any of His works (Eph 1:9). (Job 33:13.) Why needest thou philosophize about an imaginary world of optimism? Thy concern is to take heed that thou be not bad. There was nothing in us which deserved His love (Eph 1:1, 9, 11) [Bengel].

6. (Eph 1:7, 17, 18). The end aimed at (Ps 50:23), that is, that the glory of His grace may be praised by all His creatures, men and angels.

wherein—Some of the oldest manuscripts read, "which." Then translate, "which He graciously bestowed on us." But English Version is supported by good manuscripts and the oldest versions.

us accepted—a kindred Greek word to "grace": charitos, echaritosen: translate, "graciously accepted"; "made us subjects of His grace"; "embraced us in the arms of His grace" (Ro 3:24; 5:15).

in the beloved—pre-eminently so called (Mt 3:17; 17:5; Joh 3:35; Col 1:13). Greek, "Son of His love." It is only "IN His Beloved" that He loves us (Eph 1:3; 1Jo 4:9, 10).




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