Title: Ephesians; 1:3 - every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, part 2.
EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
EPH 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
EPH 1:3 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
“has blessed” - eulogeo (aorist active participle). Aorist refers to the Father blessing every believer before the foundation of the world (vs. 4).
God the Father is the only source of blessing. Material blessing is ultimately meaningless without His spiritual blessings.
I might have a tough time with that statement if I’m so stricken with poverty that I’m hungry and cold.
MAT 19:20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?"
MAT 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
MAT 19:22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.
LUK 12:13 And someone in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."
LUK 12:14 But He said to him, "Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbiter over you?"
LUK 12:15 And He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."
LUK 12:16 And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a certain rich man was very productive.
LUK 12:17 "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?'
LUK 12:18 "And he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
LUK 12:19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."'
LUK 12:20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'
LUK 12:21 "So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
He didn’t say it was foolish to be rich, but to not be rich towards God.
ACT 2:43 And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common;
ACT 2:45 and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
So, should we all do this? What one person or group is led to do, is not necessarily the same as another. We are instructed to give as one purposes in his own heart. We are to do all in His name and for Him, and with that as our center, we will know what to do with our material.
It is also clear that we are not to only follow a prescribed rule. Giving is meaningless without agape love.
1CO 13:3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Material blessings are from God. He is the Creator of them all. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He promised Israel material blessings, and they are promised more in the future, but why is Israel not currently the client nation of God on earth?
God loves matter. He made it. Yet, matter is not a part of Him. It is outside Him as His creation. However, election, love, justice, fortitude, grace, goodness, holiness, etc. (spiritual blessings) are all a part of Him.
The material is all temporary, while the spiritual is eternal, again, because it is a part of Him.
Material blessings without these spiritual blessings is not blessing at all.
God is Spirit and those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and in truth. Spiritual blessings are the only source of happiness, love, and peace. They are the only source of unity, graciousness, faithfulness, patience, gentleness, kindness, and goodness, without which, no two people can coexist in love and peace and happiness.
Man must pursue nothing else. Seek first His kingdom. All the other stuff will be added to you.
The believer who seeks first the understanding and use of these spiritual blessings will fully submit to the will of God for his life.
This doesn’t mean that he does nothing else but study the word of God, but that the word of God, meaning his relationship with God, is first and foremost in his life. All believers are new creatures in Christ and we are no longer to live for ourselves, but for our Lord who died and rose again to make us who we are.
2CO 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
2CO 5:15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
2CO 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
Recognizing no man according to the flesh means that we do not judge others on outward appearance.
2CO 5:12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, that you may have an answer for those who take pride in appearance, and not in heart.
God looks upon the heart and so must we. Christ said that we will know the false prophets by their fruit.
James faced this same issue concerning pride of appearance [material blessings] in Jerusalem.
JAM 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
JAM 2:2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,
JAM 2:3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"
JAM 2:4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?
JAM 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
JAM 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?
JAM 2:7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?
JAM 2:8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.
JAM 2:9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
JAM 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
JAM 2:11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
JAM 2:12 So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.
JAM 2:13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.