“Every Spiritual Blessing” (Series: From the Mountain Peak)
Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-4
Ephesians 1 can be divided into two sections. The first section (1:3-14) deals with Paul’s praise of God for the gift of every spiritual blessing that believers are blessed with in Jesus Christ. The second section (1:15-23) deals with Paul’s prayer to God asking for opened spiritual eyes to grasp the full reality of these blessings. Verses 3-4 begin the extended praise portion of chapter 1. From these verses we are challenged with this gospel truth: A grasp of our spiritual blessings will lead us to sing God’s blessings and sacrifice material blessings.
Although Paul could have communicated chapter 1 in propositional statements about our salvation, he chooses instead to sing them in doxology. Paul begins by blessing God and this sets the trajectory of everything that follows. It is an extension of praise. God is blessed because he has blessed us. He has done this first with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. This is not a reference to heaven itself but a reference to the unseen world of spiritual reality. Our blessings are not earthly and material but spiritual and heavenly. Paul lists some of these blessing for us which include adoption, redemption, forgiveness and an inheritance. These are blessings we truly need but could never achieve on our own. However in Christ they are now ours. We are in full possession of them.
God chose to bestow upon us every spiritual blessing even though we can only offer him our every spiritual blemish. By his grace he gives us these things not based on our effort but based on his election. God, out of the good pleasure of his will, chose us before the foundation of the world to be in Christ and thus he chose to shower us with the blessings that Christ earned and merited. Because our blessings come to us by our faith union with Jesus, these blessings are secured for us. They cannot be forfeited or taken but are forever ours because of Christ’s perfection and performance. A grasp of these spiritual blessings will lead a Christian to do at least two things.
First, we will sing blessings to God. One evidence of how well we understand what Christ has done for us is seen in the presence or absence of worship in our lives. Those who have received every spiritual blessing desire to sing blessings to God because they understand the magnitude of the gift and also the magnitude of the grace. Growth in the gospel is evidenced not by the precision of our words in explaining the gospel but by the presence of worship in exalting over the gospel. Worship reveals we have experienced the gospel, not just understood it. When we grasp our spiritual blessings, we prioritize blessing God in our lives.
Second, we will sacrifice material blessings for others. Just as Jesus was pleased to share his spiritual blessings with us, we can be pleased to share with others our material blessings. This is because we understand we are rich in the ways that truly matter. A conviction of what we have in Christ makes us hold more to his blessings and loosens our grip over other blessings. Then in the practice of sacrificial generosity, we learn to love less our material blessings and cherish more our spiritual blessings. The act of giving forces us to look more at what we have abundantly in Christ because we are less distracted by what material blessings we have or don’t have. Becoming sacrificially generous with material blessings then is not just good for others but is spiritually beneficial for us.
Suggested Group Discussion Questions
- Free discussion on the passage/sermon: Did you come to understand anything new or better? Was there anything that was clarified for you, convicted you, confused you, challenged you or comforted you? Share, comment, reflect on any part of Ephesians 1:3-4 that stood out.
- If blessing God is evidence of knowing and rejoicing in your spiritual blessings, do you have any kind of rhythm of “praising,” “worshiping,” or “blessing” God in your life? What does that look like? What results when a person grows in knowledge of the gospel but not in worship because of the gospel?
- How has the practice of generosity revealed more of the spiritual blessings you have in Christ? How has a habit of stinginess blurred your awareness the spiritual blessings you have in Christ? Share. What are some ways to cultivate sacrificial generosity that reflects the gospel to others and reminds yourself of the gospel?
- Doxology: Express how this sermon helps you understand, appreciate and worship Jesus more. In what ways has the gospel become more alive to you having read this passage and heard this sermon?
- Response: Formulate a one sentence prayer that’s informed by the passage and the sermon. This prayer should articulate what you desire to walk away and how you want God to apply it in your life. Have a few people share what they came up with.