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What does “every spiritual blessing” mean in Ephesians 1:3?

every spiritual blessing

In Ephesians 1:3–14, the apostle Paul opens his letter with an extended benediction. The entire twelve-verse passage constitutes one continuous sentence in the original Greek language. Paul gushes forth with declarations of God’s blessings without stopping for a breath. He begins, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (verse 3).

Every spiritual blessing refers to all the conceivable gifts of redemption that Christians receive by being united with Jesus Christ. Paul draws an intentional reference to the Trinity in Ephesians 1:3–14 and again in verse 17. God the Father is the originator and source of every spiritual blessing. The realm or scope of these gifts is “in Christ.” Only through our identification and union with God’s Son are we eligible to receive His untold blessings. And the nature of the gifts is spiritual. The Holy Spirit is the executor who applies the work of Christ to our hearts and lives.

Paul goes on to outline “every spiritual blessing.” First, we have God’s gift of being chosen and predestined “for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4–5). Just as Yahweh chose Israel to be His treasured possession, He chooses believers to receive the great honor and privilege of becoming His beloved spiritual children through the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our heavenly Father loves us so very much that “he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NLT).

Next, Paul features the gift of God’s “glorious grace” that He has “poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:6–8, NLT). Our heavenly Father is rich in grace, kindness, forgiveness, freedom, wisdom, and understanding, and He makes us rich in the same, in Jesus Christ, His Son. For this reason, Paul could say, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Certainly not the least of God’s blessings in Christ is that “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7). The Greek word translated “redemption” here refers to the act of making full payment to free an enslaved person. When we believe in Jesus and receive Him as Lord and Savior, our sins are forgiven, paid for by His death on the cross (Matthew 26:27–28; Colossians 1:14). Christ’s death satisfies God’s demands, releasing us from sin and its associated death sentence (Romans 8:1–2) and making us “holy and blameless in his sight” (verse 4).

Another spiritual blessing in Christ is that God makes “known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:9–10). Paul is speaking here about the divine mystery of the New Testament church, which was formerly kept a secret but is now revealed in Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:26–27). God’s plan is for both Jews and Gentiles to share equally in the gospel of salvation and form one new people united in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:12–13; 3:3, 5–6, 9).

Every spiritual blessing also includes the truth that we have obtained a heavenly inheritance (Ephesians 1:11–14). For now, we are “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (verses 13–14). We are marked with God’s seal—the Holy Spirit—who provides us with spiritual security and proof of ownership. In eternity, we will take full possession of that inheritance.

Every spiritual blessing encompasses all the gifts of the Holy Spirit given by God the Father to those who have experienced His salvation in Jesus Christ. Peter affirms that God’s “divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). Believers in Jesus have no shortage of reasons to praise God for abundantly blessing us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

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What does “every spiritual blessing” mean in Ephesians 1:3?
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This page last updated: December 13, 2022