And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
~ Genesis 14:20
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
~ Ephesians 1:17
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
~ Genesis 12:2-3
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
~ Ephesians 1:20
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
~ Ephesians 1:10
The Spiritual Life, by Andrew Murray. The following contains Chapter Four of his work, “Aids to Devotion, The Holy Spirit in Ephesians”.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: —Eph. i. 3
We propose studying the Epistle to the Ephesians, with a view to the discovery of the New Testament standard of devotion as presented to us by the Apostle Paul. These opening words of the Epistle not only give us a blessed summary of the truth of the Gospel, but reveal, out of the depths of Paul’s experience, what the true Christian life is.
The benediction here corresponds to the Apostle’s benediction. We have first the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Him.’ The expression in Him is the keynote of the Epistle, occurring more than twenty times. The words of our text are the beginning of a sentence running without stop from verse 3 in which we find ‘chosen in Him/ ‘foreordained through Him,’ ‘accepted in Him/ ‘redemption in Him,’ ‘the purpose of God in Him,’ ‘summing up all things in Him,’ ‘made an heritage in Him,’ ‘in Whom we believed,’ ‘in Whom we were sealed with the Holy Spirit.’ All our blessings are treasured up in Christ; and we ourselves are in Him too. As truly as the blessings are In Christ, so truly is our life in Him; the two are inseparably intertwined abiding in Christ means an abiding in the heavenly places and in all the spiritual blessings with which God hath blessed us in Him. And faith in Christ is meant to be nothing less than the unceasing dependence and fellowship with Him, and the reception from Him of every care the soul can possibly need. As absolute and continuous as is the contact with the air which my life needs can my soul be kept in the blessed fellowship with my Lord Jesus. This is what Scripture means by the words ‘Christ is our Life,’ ‘Christ liveth in me,’ ‘To me to live is Christ.’ What riches of grace!
Then comes next The Love of God It is the Father who hath blessed us in the Son Christ was the Father’s gift to us, and all blessings are given by Him in the same intensity and reality of possession. God’s purpose was to bring us back to Himself as our Creator, in Whose fellowship and glory our happiness could alone be found. And God could attain His object, and satisfy the love of His own heart, in no other way but by bringing us into the most complete union with Christ Himself, so that in Him we can be as near to God as Christ is. Oh, the mystery of the love of God!
And of all the blessings that we have in Christ, our text says, ‘God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings.’ More than one believer, as be longed and prayed earnestly for some new revelation of God’s grace, has found in these words the very key that he needed to unlock the treasury of blessing. As the light of the Spirit shone upon these words, they became quick with a new meaning. In Christ God hath blessed me with all spiritual blessings. It needs but the rest of faith to accept and the whole-hearted surrender to claim them in Him: the heart finds itself in the very centre of blessing.
Such a sight of what is meant, and such a faith in claiming it, cannot but lead to the adoring benediction: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. As it is the fountain from which, all the Epistle through, the stream of blessings flows, as it may be in our life too an unceasing song of praise, ‘ I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth/
And now comes The fellowship of the Spirit. The spiritual blessings are nothing less than Holy Spirit blessings, As God, proceeding from the Father and the Son, He has the divine grace of conveying and imparting to us all the fulness of blessing and blessedness in the divine life. He reveals them to us. He enables us to see and delight in and accept them. He communicates them so truly in our inmost being that we become spiritual men, endued, clothed with the power of the Spirit. Where the heart is fully yielded to Him, He not only exercises a certain influence, but dwells within us, in a divine reality and power, making our heart the temple of Christ and of God. He imparts to us, as a seed within us, every grace and virtue that there is in Christ, to become our own. What He shows He also works. Just as the seed sown in the earth needs the warmth of the sun and the rain from heaven to make it grow, even so, as we believe that the seeds are within us, we look up to Christ in Whom our life is, and in the sunshine of His love, the spiritual blessings grow up and are wrought into our very being. In every blessing we have the whole of the blessed Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In the Epistle we have the Holy Spirit mentioned twelve times in different aspects of the wonderful work He does in the believer. As we proceed to study these, the humble inquirer will find a wonderful revelation of what God really meant the life of His child to be, and how wonderfully He has provided that we should indeed attain to it. If we are truly desirous to find out what the New Testament standard of true spiritual religion is, and what the devotion in our life which God has made possible for us, and has made abundant provision for, we shall feel the courage needed for setting aside every human standard and making God’s purpose our only aim.
Let us begin by taking the benediction with which the Epistle opens, and in which it reveals to us the true life of spiritual blessing, and try and make it our own. Let us, in quiet meditation, wait on the Holy Spirit to work in our inmost consciousness the faith—as one whom the Father has blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing, I humbly take my place before Him and say, Blessed be God, Blessed be God!
One hears many complaints of the lack of spiritual life, and ignorance as to what is really needed to bring a Christian from a feeble to a strong and joyous life in Christ Jesus. Let us learn the lesson from our text, that nothing less can meet our need than the adoring worship of the ever-blessed Trinity. It is upon God, Who has blessed us in Christ Jesus, on Whom our expectation is to rest. It is in Christ that God and His blessings are to be found, if we continue in close and unceasing fellowship with Him. It is through the Spirit that the presence of the Father and the Son in Divine power can be known. The Holy Spirit has been given to make Christ real to us, and to take every spiritual blessing and make it ours. A life entirely given up to the Holy Spirit to be entirely spiritual, a heart full of faith and confidence that God and Christ and the Holy Spirit will do their wondrous work within us, a body yielded to God as a holy, living sacrifice on the altar for His service, will surely be accepted, God win teach us to sing the song of praise, ‘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!’