Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Benefits of Every Kind!

Ephesians 1:3
εν παση ευλογια πνευματικη εν τοις επουρανιοις χριστω

"with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms [in] Christ..."

παση usually means "all," however because there is no article used with this word, it is properly translated as every. This translation emphasizes God's benefit to believers. God does not limit His blessing to His children; this literally speaks of "every kind of blessing." The blessings are specifically mentioned in verses 4-14. This blessings of every kind begin with God's election of the believer in the past and God's redemption of the believer in the present and in the future.

Remember our word ευλογια? It is related to the verb we have already shared with you. It carries the idea of "good speech or word." It can mean blessing or praise. It can also be used for prosperity or benefit. This is the case here where God, our Father, blesses us with great benefits.

These benefits are described as "spiritual." These blessings or benefits that God bestows on his children have their source in the Holy Spirit. This means that these benefits are supernatural. God has blessed or benefited His children with every spiritual benefit that is necessary for his or her spiritual well-being.

εν τοις επουρανιοις

"...in the heavenly realms..."

This phrase given by the Apostle Paul gives us more information on the source of our spiritual blessings. They are not only given to us by the Holy Spirit but they come from the heavenlies. This word was used in "classical Greek" for where the "gods" lived. In our common Greek or Koine Greek with which the bible was written it can be used as a synonym for God. The word can refer to God and to God's rule. Paul is telling the Ephesian believes that spiritual blessings come from the Holy Spirit and they come from God. But because our word is used in the neuter it may not necessarily be a reference to God as much as it is a reference to the heavens where God lives. Spiritual blessings of every kind come from the Holy Spirit but they also originate in heaven. The good news is that these spiritual blessings of every king which come originate in heaven and are given by the Holy Spirit are for the children of God's benefit and use now. The believer's life if conditioned by "things" that are from heaven. What this means is that the children of God have been "enriched" with every type or kind of Spiritual blessing that originated with God and applied by the Holy Spirit that is necessary for our spiritual well being.


"...in Christ."

G. Adolph Deissman in a herculean work determined that "in Christ" or similar occurred 164 times in Paul's epistles. This phrase speaks of an intimate fellowship of the child of God with the living person of Jesus Christ.  We cannot underestimate the significance of this little prepositional phrase. Let Deissman illustrate this;

"Just as the air of life which we breathe, is "in" us and fills us, and yet we at the same time live in this air and breathe it, so it is also with the Christ-intimacy of the apostle Paul: Christ in him, he in Christ." There is a definite union between the child of God and Jesus Christ. So, the believer, who is in Christ who is in heaven, is benefited by the spiritual benefits or blessings which originate in heaven.

Don't miss the impact that this truth would have had on the Ephesians believers. Remember, they had previously been worshippers of the goddess Dianna who was a god in a local sense, earth. They would not have had the concept of spiritual blessings originating in heaven where God lives. They associated in "benefit" that came from Dianna as originating locally in Ephesus from her image that represented her. Not so for the child of God - our benefits or blessings originate in heaven, from the presence of God and are applied by the Holy Spirit.

This is why God is to be "blessed" or praised - "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed, or benefited us..." God has given every spiritual blessing that we need to live as he commands and expects us to live. Now, keep in mind that although these blessings have been given, we must appropriate them. The reason we don't receive them or are actually benefited by them is not because God has stingily withheld them, but we do not appropriate them by faith. The problem is not with God but with the children of God.

The actual and specific benefits are given to us in verses 4-14 which we break down each Tuesday. God promised Israel material prosperity and even physical protection. He has not promised either of those things for the child of God in this age. God has promised every spiritual benefit for our entire spiritual well-being.

So Ask Yourself

Are you aware of the great spiritual blessings that God has benefited you with? Are you angry with God because you think he has either withheld or simply has not provided you with what you need to live victoriously and joyfully in this life? Are you appropriating by faith and prayer these marvelous benefits that originated with God and are applied by the Holy Spirit?

To be continued...
Tuesday: "Priceless Pearls" - Stories of Christian Truths

- Weekly Devotions for Disciples

Follow along on Tuesdays as we offer filling and fruitful devotional commentary on various Scriptures.


Seams Inspired said...

Fabulous post! I'm blown away at all the implications one little word provides. Thanks for sharing. Happy Tuesday! :o)

Patience said...

This weekly waiting is teaching me patience. You may laugh but remember I am being serious ;-)

Please throw more Greek at us! I had my text book out and I was transliterating each Greek word for myself.

I can't get enough of hearing about God's blessings. I am not angry at God, even though life can be tough sometimes, because He's blessed me with Salvation! Also God uses the tough times in our process of Sanctification. No point being grouchy about it!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Another excellent post Gregg, it was a plesure to read and think about after.



The primary spiritual blessing that
I appropriate by faith and prayer is reading the Word of God. I believe that all spiritual blessings flow from the WORD!

The Bible is a spiritual book and without enlightenment from the Holy Spirit how could I know or even care about spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms?

God does not hand out spiritual blessings in a vacuum. They come from a proper understanding and application of the Scriptures.

Good Bible Study! :-)

Kansas Bob said...

My misunderstanding of blessings has gotten me in trouble at times. I am thankful for His blessings, both personal and general, that have enabled me to know Him and experience and abundant life.