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, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
(Ephesians 1:3-4 ESV)
Paul starts off the main portion of this letter by stating that God is to be blessed. The word “blessed” is the Greek adjective ευλογετοσ (pronounced: yoo-log-ay-tos’) and it means “to speak well of; to praise”. God’s children should praise God in their prayers and minds. We should also speak well of Him to others.
God is to be praised by His children because He has first blessed “us”. The second occurrence of the word “blessed” in this verse is ευλογεο (pronounced: yoo-log-eh’-o). This word is a verb in Greek which means “to benefit; to prosper”. Notice that it is in the past tense. God has already blessed born-again believers (who are the people to whom this letter was written) with “every spiritual blessing”.
These are not earthly blessings. Although God can, and sometimes does, bless us with material things, the blessings Paul is talking about here are spiritual blessings we will experience in eternity.
We will find out what these blessings are as we continue to read this letter. For now we should note that anyone who is “in Christ” already has each and every one of these blessings awaiting them in the next life. As soon as someone is saved from the penalty of their sins, God stores up these blessings in heaven. Those who are “in Christ” are God’s children as we learned the other day. They therefore receive these blessings while others do not.
I once met someone who rejected the Bible because he claimed that God was exclusive. This man likened Christianity to a country club where only certain people received the benefits of membership. While this isn’t exactly true, such understanding isn’t far off. Except that Christianity isn’t a country club, it is a family.
In an earthly family the parents take care of (bless) their own kids. They supply them with food, clean their clothes, pay for their education, etc. The parents don’t do this for other people’s kids. God’s family works the same way. God blesses those who are His adopted children – those people who have recognized their sinfulness and need for forgiveness that can only come through Jesus Christ [John 1:12].
The purpose of the universe can be summed up in one sentence: God is creating a family and He wants to adopt you into it. God has invited every human being who ever lived or who will ever live into His family. And, yes, there are benefits to being a part of God’s family. Tremendous benefits. These benefits are not available to those who reject God’s offer to join His family.
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