“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives. In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation. This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1. The work of the God the Father vs 3-6
2. The work of the God the Son vs 7-12
3. The work of the God the Spirit vs 13-14
We turn our view to the gracious work of God the Father in the blessing of His people. In this morning’s devotional, Paul reminds us that all of our spiritual blessings originate in the Father……
(Ephesians 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
The Father deserves to be “blessed” for His great work on our behalf. The Greek word translated “blessed” is the word from which we get our English word “eulogy” .
What is a eulogy? It is when we speak well of a person as an act of remembrance and honor. Because God the Father is the Originator of all of the spiritual blessings that we receive in life, we are to praise and honor Him through our actions and words. In this way, we can “eulogize” Him (speak well of Him to others). (Psa 72:18-19)
This is the concept behind the Father being “blessed”.
who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
Paul now helps us to understand that it is the work of the Father that brings all spiritual blessings to us.
What is a “spiritual blessing”? When the Bible speaks of spiritual blessings it is speaking of blessings that have eternal significance for us.
These blessings can be categorized in two very basic divisions:
1. blessings involving our RELATIONSHIP with the Lord. (forgiveness, repentance, prayer, mediation etc )
2. blessings involving our SERVICE to the Lord. (spiritual fruits, gifts, growth, rewards, fellow laborers etc)
Spiritual blessings stand in stark comparison to the temporal physical blessings that come from the Father (food, clothing, shelter, health, possessions etc). Although our physical blessings are greatly needed, they cannot begin to compare to the spiritual blessings that will bring eternal benefit to His people. (2 Cor 4:16-18)
These eternal, spiritual, blessings are what the blessings to which Paul directs our attention. (In the following verses, he will be giving to us a detailed list of many of these blessings)
in heavenly places in Christ:
The Father’s spiritual blessings find their basis in:
1. heavenly places – These blessings are entirely acts of God’s grace.
They were planned, produced, sent from, and brought to eternal completion in HEAVEN. Man can take absolutely no credit for laboring nor meriting any of these great blessings. They are not blessings of the earth. They are truly “heavenly” blessings given to us solely through the grace of God! (Heb 9:23)
2. Christ – All of these blessings are produced through the work of Jesus Christ.
Christ, in submission to the plans and purposes of the Father, completed the work necessary to secure these blessings for the people of God. It is only through the application of Christ’s work on the cross that these great blessings can be attained. (Rom 8:39)
As we think of God’s grace, may we remember this core principle that applies universally to the blessings of God…
Every spiritual blessing is an act of grace motivated by the Father’s love for His people. As such, they are not deserved, nor are they gained by any effort of man.
This is why we are to always think of the God in terms of being a“blessed” God. In other words… Because of His gracious works on our behalf, He is a God that deserves for us to speak well of Him at all times. Through both our speech and actions, we are to bring honor and glory to Him for His great works of grace that will accompany His people throughout eternity. (1 Cor 1:28-31)
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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