Blessings from God the Father (Part 1)
We continue our lesson on this epistle. As I have said previously, the first part of this letter is doctrinal while the second part is practical. I will try to explain to you the words and I pray that the Holy Spirit will help us understand the difficult terms which some groups I would say, define in a different way. God the Father had blessed us, chosen us, and adopted us in Christ.
I. Blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3)
A. The word blessed here means “to benefit or prosper”
B. God the Father has made us rich in Christ.
C. Through Christ we share the riches of:
1. God’s grace – Eph. 1:7
2. God’s glory – Eph. 1:18
3. God’s mercy – Eph. 2:4
4. The unsearchable riches of Christ – Eph. 3:8
D. The scope of our blessings
1. The Word of God says “all” spiritual blessings.
2. The emphasis here is spiritual not material.
3. In the olden times the blessings of God is primarily for material things and possessions, including long life and protection from enemies.
4. Today, He promises to supply all our needs “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19), that includes temporal and material needs, and all spiritual blessings.
5. These are reason why some Bible expositors call this epistle the “Book of Christian’s riches in Christ”.
6. Bear in mind that despite of the promised blessings, God did not promise that true believers will not experience poverty, hard life, and pain
7. Spiritual blessings are all things pertaining to life and godliness, such as justification, peace, pardon, adoption, sanctification, and eternal life etc.
E. The sphere of our blessings
1. In heavenly places
2. It refers to spiritual realms in contrast to the physical. The abode of God and the angels.
3. They are specifically mentioned “in Christ”, telling us that only by being “in” Christ we can have access to all spiritual blessings.
4. In Eph. 2:6 the believer is told as already seated with Christ in heavenly places.
5. Our citizenship is in heaven, (Ph. 3:20).
6. We are just pilgrims here on earth (Heb. 11:13, 1 Pet. 2:11).
Illustration: Abundance of blessings
Abundance of blessings are promised to believers. Psalms 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. This is a very beautiful psalm, in which God the Father loads us with many things, blessings such as:
An acceptance that can never be questioned. (Eph. 1:6).
An inheritance that can never be lost (1 Peter 1:3-5).
A deliverance that can never be excelled (2 Cor. l:10).
A grace that can never be limited (2 Cor. 12:9).
A hope that can never be disappointed. (Heb. 6:18, 19).
A bounty that can never be withdrawn. (1 Cor. 3:21-23).
A joy that need never be diminished. (John 15:11).
A nearness to God that can never be reversed. (Eph. 2:13).
A peace that can never be disturbed. (John 14:27).
A righteousness that can never be tarnished. (2 Cor. 5:21).
A salvation that can never be cancelled. (Heb. 5:9).
II. Chosen us in him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4)
A. The word chosen comes from the Greek word “eklegomai” which mean to select, make choice, to pick out.
B. The word “election” which come from the Greek word “ekloge” meaning, “the act of picking out or choosing”
C. Before the foundation of the world or before God created the world, God has made his choice or election.
D. Salvation begins with God. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). The lost sinner, left to his own ways, does not seek God (Rom 3:10-11); God in His love seeks the sinner (Luke 19:10).
E. Our salvation is wholly of His grace and not on the basis of anything we ourselves have done. He chose us for a purpose.
F. The Calvinist believes that God unconditionally chooses who will be called to salvation. Calvin believed that God also chooses who will go to hell.
G. This teaching is not what the Bible says. Christ died for all men, and His blood was shed for all men. He wants all men to be saved. Here are some of the verses to prove this.
1. 1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
2. Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
3. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
4. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
5. 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
6. Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Illustration 1: Chosen by God
The idea of election goes back to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3). God chose to make a nation of that patriarch’s descendants. He chose Israel to be his people. He worked his purposes out through that one nation and in due course sent his Messiah as a Jew. After that, God continued to choose, or
elect, people in accordance with his purpose (Rom. 9:11), grace (Rom. 11:5), love (1 Thess. 1:4), and foreknowledge (1 Pet. 1:2). The “elect” can rely on God’s concern for them (Luke 18:7) and on their sure salvation (Rom. 8:33). They are to live lives befitting their status (Col. 3:12-14). Mystery is inherent in the concept of election, because we also know that God desires the salvation of all persons (1 Tim. 2:4).
The elect are the whosoever wills, the non-elect are the whosoever won’ts. – D.L. Moody
H. The purpose of this choice.
1. That we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
2. Holy means to be set apart for God’s purposes.
3. Without blame or blameless means having no just cause for blame. This word is used in two different ways in regard to the Christian: He is blameless positionally in Christ (Eph. 1:4), and he is to be blameless in his testimony before the world (Ph. 2:15; 1Tim. 3:2,10).
4. In love means living before God in a sphere of love. (Eph. 5:1-2).
God the Father had blessed us with abundant blessings. Christians are rich, but our riches are in heaven. Most of us may not experience material blessings now but what awaits us in heaven is beyond our dreams and imaginations. We have been chosen by God Himself even before He created the world. Come to Christ now and be one of the elect and beneficiaries of all the promised blessings.