Monday, January 05, 2015

Blessing God who Blessed us In Christ. Interrogating Ephesians 1:3


Ephesians 1:3 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... (ESV)


1. How can we be said to have EVERY spiritual blessing?

...aren't there some blessings we're waiting for, like a redeemed body?
-- perhaps this refers to the way we're collectively one body, members one of another and made into a unified working body (eph 4:16, rom 12:5, 1 Cor 12:12)


2. What good does it do us to have a spiritual blessing "in Christ?" 

-- our life depends on us being in Christ. John 15:2,5
-- our belonging in Christ is essential to the world believing God has sent Jesus (and thus praising Jesus!). John 17:21

2.5 what good is it to have a spiritual blessing in the "heavenly places"?

-- 1 Peter 1:3-5 says to praise God because of the inheritance KEPT IN HEAVEN
-- Jesus explained it was good for him to go away John 20:16-19; possibly because our blessings are in Him, and He needed to be on the seat next to God the Father, and in display against the powers and principalities.
-- God made heaven and earth and deserves praise just for that. (psalm 134:3). But beyond just making them he blesses us!
-- Ephesians is full of references to the heavenly places:
---- eph 1:20 God seated Jesus in the Heavenly places
---- eph 2:6 God seated us with Jesus in the heavenly places
---- eph 3:10 The church is God's appointed way to inform heavenly rulers of the wisdom of God
---- Eph 6:12 we wrestle against spiritual powers of darkness in heavenly places
-- So if that's where all the action is, we want our blessings there!

2.7 blessed US in Christ. In Ephesians 1:13 "you also" seems to mean Gentiles. How does this relate to the blessing of Abraham (Gen 12:2-3) and blessing of all nations IN Abraham?

-- The first-person-plural here is all believers in Jesus; the concept changes to "we who were the first to believe" in eph1:12 and doesn't extend back to here. So this "us" includes the Jewish writer and the Ephesian gentile believers.
-- AND it's an example of fulfillment of the promise to Abraham to bless Abraham's line and to bless all nations.

3. "Blessed us IN Christ": Could we have a spiritual blessing not in Christ, or apart from Christ?

-- John 15 says no; apart from Christ we're fruitless and ready to be burned.

4. Couldn't we have a spiritual blessing here, and now -- I.e., not stored away in heavenly places?

-- apparently some spiritual blessings do come here; e.g., the Ephesians experience with prophecy and tongues when they accepted the gospel (acts 19:2)
-- and Paul doesn't exclude the presence of spiritual blessings here and now, though it's not the focus of his discourse.

5. Are we blessed in the heavenly places because that's where Jesus is? (Ephesians 1:20)

-- probably yes; see #2.5

6. Ephesians  1:2 says grace and peace come FROM The Lord Jesus Christ. Now what does it mean that God the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing IN Christ?

?????

7. Isn't grace and peace (from Ephesians 1:2) a spiritual blessing?

-- yes; these would be two of the spiritual blessings we have here and now. See #4

8. What is the provocation for blessing God? What's especially praiseworthy?

...in 2 Cor 1:3 we praise God because his work brings us comfort
...in 1 Peter 1:3 we praise God because of the confidence of salvation that we have
--Perhaps here it's praise for our blessings, and our link to the heavenly places

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