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Our thinking and how we act are based too much on our short-sighted focus on our own personal limitations and our own lack of personal significance or influence.  This passage should wake us up to the riches that are ours right now in Christ..

How can our spiritual blessings and privileges be identical to those of our Lord Jesus Christ?  Because they have been graciously given to us by a loving heavenly Father who is the omnipotent God of the universe. Our spiritual blessings and privileges depend solely on the work of God — not on who I am or what I’ve done in the past or will do this next week. God wants us to view ourselves as He views us — so totally incorporated into Christ that right now we are seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  That’s the place of power and authority and will be the key to spiritual power for us living right now like the saints we are and have been called to be.

Harold Hoehner: God is praised because he has enriched believers with every spiritual benefit in the heavenlies in Christ. To declare God is blessed implies that praise is due. To declare the believer blessed implies that the spiritual benefits have been given. However, though spiritual benefits have been given, believers need to appropriate them.

David Thompson: Paul begins Ephesians by presenting fundamental doctrines pertaining to the Grace Age to show how rich believers actually are. The doctrines he presents are not shallow, but deep. What we learn is significant if you want a church to realize how rich grace is so that it will truly glorify and praise God; you begin by teaching sound doctrine and sound theology.

Andrew Lincoln: The three ἐν phrases in v 3 combine to sum up in a general way the content of God’s blessing of believers for which he is to be blessed and which will be elaborated in the rest of the eulogy. The blessing consists of God’s saving activity in Christ and this fullness of divine blessing can be described as “spiritual,” not because it belongs to a person’s inner, hidden life (pace Caird, 33) but because it is bound up with the Holy Spirit. This sense of “spiritual,” as resulting from the presence and work of the Spirit, is to be found in 5:19 (cf. also Col 1:9; 3:16), and the last two verses of the eulogy, vv 13, 14, indicate that present appropriation of the blessing of the inheritance occurs through participation in the Spirit.

Grant Osborne: The basis for our blessing God is that he “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.” This is the theme verse, and the rest of the section enumerates these blessings one by one. The term “bless” occurs three times here in Greek: “Bless the God who blesses us with every blessing.” There are two qualifications: it is every blessing, and each one is spiritual. God holds nothing back as he lavishes all his riches (1:7–8) upon us. Everything we need is poured out on us by divine generosity. When we shower God with our praise, it is our natural response to the God who has poured out his blessings on us.

These blessings are spiritual because they come to us on the spiritual plane and because they come through the Holy Spirit in the sense of Ezekiel 36:26–27 (“I will put a new spirit in you” and “put my Spirit in you”). The blessings of the eschaton (the end) that has been inaugurated are experienced spiritually by us right now. These spiritual gifts encompass the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23 and the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:4–11, 27–31, but are not restricted to these. What are intended here are the salvific blessings of this section—indeed, everything God has for us as his people.

We experience these blessings “in the heavenly realms,” referring not to heaven itself but to the spiritual realm that is now our true home (see also Eph 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12). In this world we are “foreigners and exiles” (1 Pet 1:1, 17; 2:11), and we are now citizens of heaven (Phil 3:20) rather than of any earthly nation. We are members of a new family and belong to a new country. In this new spiritual reality we experience all the blessings God has for us.

Moreover, we have all this “in Christ,” a major Pauline theme that expresses both union with Christ and the resulting membership in his body, the church. Some form of “in him” occurs in nearly every verse in this section, and this is a dominant theme throughout this letter. Everything we are and have is ours only “in Christ.”


A.  Concept of Blessing

speak well of

Our English word “eulogize”; only used in the NT of either God or Christ;

Think of how much God gets cursed rather than praised in our culture.  Think of our own thought life and how many grumblings and complainings come to our mind.

Think of how you feel as a parent when one of your children sincerely expresses their appreciation.  One mark of our maturity is our devotion to God and how we express it.  God deserves our blessing.  Is He getting it?

Clinton Arnold: Paul begins his letter with an exclamation of praise to God and continues with a threefold refrain of praise throughout this section (1:6, 12, 14).

John MacArthur: Nothing is more appropriate for God’s people than to bless Him for His great goodness.  In all things — whether pain, struggle, trials, frustration, opposition, or adversity — we are to praise God, because He is good in the midst of it all.  For that we praise and bless Him…

When we bless God we speak good of Him.  When God blesses us, He communicates good to us.  We bless Him with words; He blesses us with deeds.  All we can do is to speak well of Him because in ourselves we have nothing good to give, and in Himself He lacks no goodness.  But when He blesses us the situation is reversed.  He cannot bless us for our goodness, because we have none.  Rather, He blesses us with goodness.  Our heavenly Father lavishes us with every goodness, every good gift, every blessing.  That is His nature, and that is our need.

B.  Designation of God

the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Paul points to our unity with Christ as he describes God in terms of relationships that can apply to both Christ and to us


Study the concept of spiritual riches in Ephesians — 1:7; 3:8; 3:16;

Here’s our answer to those who hold to a special second blessing — a baptism of the Holy Spirit that will elevate one to a constant mountaintop Christian experience.  We have been blessed already with every spiritual blessing — not just the second blessing.

A.  Source of our Riches — God Himself

who has blessed us

  • His Will           1:5,9,11
  • His Grace          1:6,7
  • His Glory          1:12,14
  • His Good Pleasure  1:9
  • His Purpose        1:11

Conclusion: Total security because God guarantees these riches

B.  Recipients of these riches — all the saints


C.  Nature of these riches — spiritual

with every spiritual blessing

“Spiritual” in the sense that they are the blessings of grace, blessings of a divine order, belonging to the sphere of immediate relations between God and man.  It is true that these blessings come from God through the Spirit but the point in view is what they are, not how they reach us.

David Thompson: Dr. Ironside was once asked by some misguided believer if he had received the second blessing. Ironside said I am somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of blessings and have actually obtained every spiritual blessing God has to give a redeemed sinner (In The Heavenlies, p. 20).

D.  Location of these riches

1)  “in the heavenly places

Homer Kent: Believers today have a new existence in that realm of spiritual reality where God is the source of life.  Spiritual warfare is being waged in this realm today, but when Christ returns to establish His kingdom He will accomplish His will completely, “on earth as it is in heaven.

Klyne Snodgrass: “heavenly realms” — Does not refer to a physical location but to a spiritual reality—God’s world, in which believers have a share and which evil forces still seek to attack. It includes all of the believer’s relation to God and the church’s experience. It is a way of saying that this world is not the only reality. A larger reality exists where Christ is already exalted as Lord, where believers participate in his victory, and where spiritual forces are opposed. Though believers live physically on this earth, they receive spiritual resources and their identity from a higher plane. The spiritual blessings given to Christians are enjoyed in the present life, for they derive from what God has done in Christ in the heavenlies.

R.C. Sproul: Commentators struggle with understanding what Paul means with blessed us in the heavenly realms in Christ. I believe that Paul does not only mean that the blessings received through Christ are spiritual and proceed to believers from the heavenly realms. Rather, he incorporates them as participants in some way in the heavenly realms, because they are blessed in these heavenly places with Christ.

2)  “in Christ

Clinton Arnold: “In Christ” is the most important phrase of this passage and for the letter as a whole. Some form of it (“in him,” “in the beloved,” or “in the Christ”) punctuates this passage eleven times. The key for understanding this letter is recognizing that believers have a new identity in Christ. A new self-understanding based on a new reality permeates every aspect of life and transforms individuals.

Andrew Lincoln: The writer’s thought is that believers experience the blessings of the heavenly realms not only through Christ’s agency but also because they are incorporated into the exalted Christ as their representative, who is himself in the heavenly realms (cf. also Schlier, 48; Ernst, 270).