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Ephesians 1:3 - Exposition

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every blessing of the Spirit, in heavenly places in Christ. Here we have

(1) the Author of our blessings;

(2) their nature and sphere;

(3) the Medium through whom we have them.

1. The Author is "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Jesus called God his God and his Father ( John 20:17 ) in virtue of the state of subjection to him in which, as the Son of man, he had voluntarily placed himself. In this aspect and relation to Christ, God is here thanked because he hath blessed us in him.

2. ἐν πασῄ εὐλογὶᾳ πνευματικῇ : not merely spiritual as opposed to material, but as applied by the Holy Spirit , the office of the Third Person being to bring Divine things into actual contact with human souls—to apply to us the blessings purchased by Christ; which blessings are ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις —in heavenly places. They belong to the heavenly kingdom; they are therefore the highest we can attain to. The expression occurs three times, and with the same meaning.

3. εν χριστᾷ . The Medium or Mediator through whom they come is Christ; they are not fruits of the mere natural bounty of God, but of his redeeming bounty—fruits of the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ. Thus, in this summary, we recognize what is eminently characteristic of this Epistle—the doctrine of the Trinity, and the function of each Person in the work of redemption. No other writing of the New Testament is so pervaded with the doctrine of the Trinity. The three great topics of the Epistle will be found to be considered in relation to the three Persons of the Trinity. Thus:

1. Origin and foundation of the Church, referred to the eternal counsel and good pleasure of the Father .

2. The actual birth or existence of the Church with all its privileges, to the atoning grace and merit of the Son .

3. The transformation of the Church, the realization of its end or purpose, in its final holiness and glory, to the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit . This throws light on the expression, "every blessing;" it includes

(1) all that the Father can bestow;

(2) all that the Son can provide;

(3) all that the Spirit can apply.

The resources of all the three Persons thus conspire to bless the Church. In the verses that follow, the First Person is prominent in Ephesians 1:4-6 ; the second is introduced in Ephesians 1:6-12 ; and the third in Ephesians 1:13 , Ephesians 1:14 . But all through the First Person is the great directing Power.

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