Hello again my friends! Thank you for stopping in for a read. Today I’ll start unpacking the verses of the doxology found in the beginning of Ephesians. As mentioned in my previous post I broke down the first sentence which goes from verse 3 through verse 6. I actually didn’t realize when I was breaking the sentence down that the complete thoughts were already broken down in the verse numbers. I intentionally took the numbers out of the text because I didn’t want them to influence my understanding of the section. So, I’ll basically be unpacking verse verse 3 today, then verse 4 next, then 5, etc. With that, let’s start unpacking.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Blessed, blessing, bless, to bless, spiritual blessing… What does this word ‘bless’ even mean? Are they the same word in Greek? I know in my modern mind it’s a form of giving something to someone else that they may not have been expecting and that they may not have deserved. Let’s see how the actual Greek defines this word.
The first blessed is actually the Greek word eulogetos from eu meaning good and logos meaning word. This is where we get the English word eulogy which is a speech or writing that praises someone highly. This is an adjective describing the One Who is worthy of praise. In the New Testament it is used only of God and Jesus. In Mark 14:61 it is actually used as a name of God, “the Blessed One“(1). So, what Paul is saying, “Lift up in praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for He is the only one worthy of praise!”
Well, that’s good to know, but is blessed be the same as has blessed or to bless? According to the Greek it is close, but not the same. This is of course the verb form of the word. Eulogeo also comes from eu meaning good and logos meaning word (1). As I said this is the verb form meaning to speak well of, to celebrate with praises, to praise. We see throughout scripture God blessing people with His favor or grace. Those people then in turn because of God’s unmerited grace bless God with their praise! You might say this symbiotic interaction is part of God’s plan for mankind. He blesses us and in return we bless Him. We also see in the scriptures people blessing one another, in the form of prayers.
Every Spiritual Blessing
Okay, since we know the definition, I want to reward this real quick, “Every spiritual good word.” So, God has blessed us with every spiritual good word. So, what does that mean? Let’s look at the Greek word spiritual, pneumatikos. I really love the Thayer’s definition of this word so I’m just going to drop it in here:
- relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ
- that which possesses the nature of the rational soul
- belonging to a spirit, or a being higher than man but inferior to God
- belonging to the Divine Spirit
- of God the Holy Spirit
- one who is filled with and governed by the Spirit of God
- pertaining to the wind or breath; windy, exposed to the wind, blowing
Heavenly Places In Christ
I don’t know about you, but heavenly places in Christ sounds pretty deep to me. Let’s see exactly what this means. The Greek word for heavenly is epouranios which is concept of the all encompassing unseen realm where God resides. But what does it mean to be in the heavenly places in Christ. To understand this it helps to think of it as having two addresses. We as Believers in Christ are in Him, in His Spirit, as a part of His body like a house or dwelling place, and Jesus is in the heavenly real at the right hand of God. So, how is this possible when we are here on earth? To understand this you have to accept the transcendent omnipotence of God. God transcends time and space. Just because we haven’t experienced our future yet doesn’t mean doesn’t exist. This doesn’t mean we are predestined in the sense that God chose some for heaven and some for hell or all for heaven. He predestined a plan for us to obtain immortality through the promise of adoption in Christ. So, even though we aren’t experiencing the presence of being in heaven yet in time, we are still there spatially in spirit through our spiritual connection in Christ.
Okay, now the fun part, trying to wrap all of this back up into a coherent reading. This is pretty think though, but I’ll do my best. “Lift up in praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for He is the only one worthy of praise! For He has spoken over us every good hope of the resurrection, the promises of immortality, the kingdom of heaven in reversion, and the dignity of adoption, which is from His unseen realm accessed through our own spirit’s connection with the Messiah.” Not too bad. I think that one turned out pretty well actually. Thank you for reading
Grace and Peace