“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
“Blessed” (literally “well said of”) could be thought of being similar to praise. “Praise be to God...” We bless God in praising Him, and He blesses us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! He has blessed us with every blessing!
We have so much to praise God for. Every day is a blessing, but every day for eternity is like infinite blessing, bigger than we can count,in the presence of God. The blessings are infinite in number and infinite in size and intensity. This life is just the beginning and the blessings we enjoy now are just the shadow of the blessings in eternity.
Paul starts by blessing us with grace and peace but then turns his attention to blessing God.
To praise God, or to bless Him, does not impart anything to Him as such. But it does add to His glory. People from every tribe and nation are praising God, and every one of these people, every single act of praise, is a testimony to God’s love and mercy. Everyone of these is a light that adds to the unspeakably bright light that shines from His throne.
The testimony is a testimony to the world and to the cosmic system that is held in bondage by satan.
Every time we bless God or praise Him, we are saying to satan, “You are wrong! We will not side with you any more, for God has saved us through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
The world watches as we worship and it trembles- either in fear or conviction. So our praise or “blessing” of God is an impartation of glory to the Father. When we do it well, people are moved to join in praise and to repent of their sins.
God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the highest heaven.
We cannot add anything to God, we cannot impart anything to Him through words or actions because He is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need anything from us. We can only impart glory to Him through our blessing of Him.
God has imparted to us every blessing, that is every spiritual blessing. God has already given to us every blessing. Our response to bless Him is a response to what He has first done in us. God initiates the blessing and we respond by blessing Him.
When we think of blessings, our first thought often is of physical blessings. We see evidence of God’s blessing in our everyday life, and we think that we are blessed. This might be a financial blessing, a healing or a family reconciliation.
These things are important, but they are like an iceberg. We see the tip and praise God for the eruption of a spiritual blessing into the physical realm. Like the iceberg, there is so much beneath the surface that we cannot see with our physical senses or appreciate with our cognitive (thinking) abilities.
These are spiritual blessings and they must be apprehended by the spirit- not the flesh or the soul. Our spirit is the part of our nature that was activated, “born again”, when we were saved. It is the faculty that relates directly to the Holy Spirit.
He has given us every spiritual blessing. The thing about the Father that many people never seem to understand is that He is a generous Father. He is not miserly nor mean-spirited. He is the God of abundance. The name El-Shaddai often translated as “God of hosts” can also mean “God 0of breasts”- He has much food to give to those who draw close to Him.
God has held nothing back from His people.
What are the spiritual blessings He has given us?
They can by summarised in one word- Himself. Every spiritual blessing comes from the Father of Lights, James tells us. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit- one God in three “persons”- has poured Himself into us. The self-giving of God manifests as numerous spiritual blessings.
Salvation- we are written into the Book of Life
New birth- our spirit is activated or “born again” so that we can have fellowship with God.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit- a prayer language in which we speak to God spirit to Spirit is given to us
Supernatural grace including the gifts of the Holy Spirit
A new name is given to us, known only to God. This speaks of the intimate relationship in which we call God “Abba, Father”
Sanctification- the process where we shed off our sinful nature and are transformed “from glory to glory” by the Holy Spirit.
Dominion over angels and all created things
And many more
These spiritual blessings are primarily in the heavenlies, although they do some times manifest in the present physical world. We get a glimpse now, but one day we shall see them clearly.
To walk in these blessings we have to direct our attention to the heavenly realm. It is no good being totally focused on the earthly realm because only 1% of the blessing is here.
This is not about becoming “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use”- which is a mocking, satanic curse designed to discourage believers from being disciples. We focus on heaven to be effective on earth. We want the blessing of the “highest heaven” (epouraniois) so that we can know the will and dominion of the Father and bring it to earth.
Prayer is the process of bringing the issues and situation we see on earth and laying them at the Father’s feet so that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
A word about heaven. In Jewish thought there were three heavens. The first heaven consists of the sky and the atmosphere, which is an extension of the earth, and still practically under the domain of satan, the prince of the air. The second heaven is the starry sky, the celestial realm, the physical universe which is beyond the earth but influences it. Then there is the third heaven or the highest heaven which Paul was taken up to (1 Corinthians 12:2). this is the realm of the presence of God.
In this verse, Paul uses ( epouraniois) the upper haven which is the third heaven where God’s presence is central.
Key points from this verse:
We bless God in our praise and worship
He blesses us, He has blessed us already, with every spiritual blessings
Because these blessings are “spiritual blessings” and are in the heavenly places, we need to focus our attention there.