3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
* Blessed with Spiritual Blessings
* Blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing. 1:3
Actually structure of sentence “Has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm in Christ”.
+ Blessed – to benefit, prosper (flourish, thrive). Paul uses the past tense “has blessed” points to this blessing or prospering as having happened in eternity pass. (Not based on anything we do)
+ Every spiritual blessing – every spiritual enrichment needed for the spiritual life. Since these have been given or bestowed on believers, we don’t need to ask for them but rather appropriate them by faith
+ In heavenly realms – as opposed to the earthly realm the believers lived in.
+ In Christ – is the manner or sphere of these blessings
We are spiritual rich beyond comparison and if we were to consider nothing else it would be enough!
In verses 4 – 14 we see that our spiritual blessings are bases on the work of the three Persons of the Trinity.
The work of the Father 4-6 (Eternity Passed)
The work of the Son 7-12 (At a point in time)
The work of the Spirit 13-14 (At the moment we Trust in Christ)
At the end of each passage describing the work of each person of the Trinity we find this phrase
“To the praise of his (God) glory”
The work of the Father 1:4-6.
He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless. 1:4
* He Chose us
The doctrine of election – this has been the cause of a lot of controversy in the church.
Whichever view we take, the reality is that in eternity past God chose us!
Important! Election does not save us salvation is still by faith in Christ
The choice is made “in Christ” and before the creation of the world.
To be holy and blameless – when I read this verse in my mine this is the purpose of election
Holy – Saints, set apart to God
Blameless – without blemish (spoiled, flawed or imperfection) In the OT only animals without blemish could be offered to God.
* He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ 1:5
Predestined – Marked out beforehand
To be adopted as his sons (Gal 4:4-7) adopters as full fledge sons- with all the rights (inheritance) of the natural born son – (this is a present reality but won’t be fully completed until we stand in our resurrected, glorified bodies in the presents of God.)
He accomplished this through Jesus Christ
* In accordance with his good pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace. 1:6
In accordance with His good pleasure and will – God choice was not governed by anything good or attractive in man it was an act of His own goodness. It pleased Him to impart his spiritual benefits to his children.
To the praise of His glorious Grace – The ultimate goal of God’s work here is to the praise of His Glorious grace.
God blessed us for his own Glory
Believe: Truth – This is something He says we are, not something we grow into.
Live accordingly: This is for the praise of his Glory- what he has done is for the praise of His Glory – and the response to this in our lives, truth lived out is for the praise of his Glory.
Questions for Personal Study
- Why did God bless us “in the heavenly realms”? Eph 1:3 (Eph 6:12)
- From Eph 1:4-14, list all the ways we have been spiritually blessed and note which person of the Trinity did what?
- If God blessed us, chose us and predestined us in eternity passed, why does Paul then say this was in and through Jesus Christ? Eph 1:3-6
- List all the times there is a reference to “in Christ”, “In Him” (Christ) or “through Christ” why does Paul see this as important? V3-14
- Explain why you think Paul says that everything the Father did 3 – 6 was “to the praise of his glorious grace”?
- How is what the Father has done an encouragement to us in times of doubt and discouragement?
- List what you see in v3-6 as “Truth” we need to believe and how that truth should be “Lived out”