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Ephesians 1:3 - Homilies By R. Finlayson

Ascription of praise by the Church.

I. THE BLESSED OF THE CHURCH .

1. God . "Blessed be the God." It seems better to read, "Blessed be God." Thinking of God as infinitely glorious, how can we add to him by our praises? how can we by any words or deeds make him more glorious than he is? And yet he is pleased to say, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me ." Our praises are pleasing to God, according as they are sincere and intelligent. When we come upon new and more impressive views of the Divine character, we cannot help saying with lowly adoring hearts, "Blessed be God." There is this outburst of adoration here at the beginning, and there will be flesh outbursts as we proceed .

2. God in relation to the Church ' s Lord . " And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Lord of the Church is he who was anointed Savior of mankind. He is in the Church, not like a servant, as Moses was, but as a Son over his own house. He has absolute authority to act in the Father's Name in the making of all arrangements, in the dispensing of all blessings. And in all that Christ has done, or is doing, for the Church, God has the glory, and is to be adored as Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II. FOR WHAT THE CHURCH BLESSES GOD ? "Who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing." We are not to think merely of blessing that has been actually enjoyed. It is rather blessing without respect to time. It is all that God has in store for the Church, and that is really inexhaustible blessing. "In our Father's house there is enough and to spare." He is not exhausted in blessing one, but has more than enough for all; and he has not one kind of blessing merely, but every kind—all that we can possibly need to complete our happiness. And he has an infinite willingness and longing to bestow. He is glorified in our coming to him with large petitions, in his bestowing on us large blessings. The blessing being characterized as spiritual seems to point to the connection of the blessing with the Spirit. For, as there has been repeated reference already to the Father and the Son, so now there is reference , though not very explicit, to the Third Person of the Godhead. It is by the Spirit's instrumentality, and with the Spirit's blessed influences, that the Church is enriched.

III. CENTER FROM WHICH THE CHURCH IS BLESSED . "In the heavenly places." This indicates the center or height from which the blessing proceeds.

"Come, thou holy Paraclete,

And, from thy celestial seat,

Send thy light and brilliancy."

It also indicates the Church's destination in being blessed. For , though the Church can bless God for what it has under earthly conditions, there is not yet the full realization of the idea. It is when drawn to the center , taken up to the Father's house, that it will be known how God can bless.

IV. HISTORICAL CONNECTION OF THE BLESSING . "In Christ." It is in the historical Christ that the treasury is opened out of which the Church is blessed.—R.F.

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