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We have all probably had this conversation:

“How are you?”

“Blessed.”

But what does ‘blessed’ communicate? How am I to interpret this? I assume my friend’s answer communicates he honors the Lord and recognizes His grace. But sometimes in context, the person’s answer communicates material wealth, relationship status, and lack of trial. “I have my dream job, spouse, children, and home — I’m blessed.”

What does God mean by blessed? How are you blessed? Write your answer down (or text it to yourself).

Now read Ephesians 1:4-14. If your answer is not similar in content as Ephesians 1:4-14, then your answer reveals your presupposition. In other words, when you think of blessing, you think of your answer and you probably need to correct your thinking.  However, if your answer looks similar or was derived from the text then rest assured, you understand God’s true blessing. Getting this right is important for two main reasons. First, a right understanding will keep your perspective and focus on the Lord in every situation. Second, by emphasizing right theology you respond rightly and will praise the Lord in your life.

Being blessed means you have a relationship with Christ. Trial, income level, car type, housing type, relationship status, and recognition do not reveal how much God has blessed you. True blessing is found when we have a relationship with the Triune God, saved from the wrath to come, united to Him, and we understand our relationship exists because of Him.

Is the mother who lost her infant less blessed than the trial free, recently promoted, mother? God tells us He is blessed, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly in Christ Jesus” (Eph 1:3). Do we intend to communicate God has His dream job, dream church body, dream truck, and material wealth? I don’t think so. But He is blessed and so are believers.

So what are these blessings? Paul expresses three main blessings: He chose you, He redeemed you, and you have obtained an inheritance.

Paul lists and provides important details for every blessing. The first blessing is explained in Ephesians 1:4-6, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

Usually the Greek language conveys main thoughts through the indicative verb. In this section, He introduces the main concept “He chose us in Him,” then explains what it means for God to chose believers. Ephesians 1:7-10 communicates the second blessing, “In Him we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.” The same pattern exists in 7-10 as 4-6 and continues in 11-14 by explaining our inheritance.

Ephesians 1:3-14 is one long sentence teaching us what it means to be blessed. I love how Paul does not leave us to explore the dictionary to fully understand “blessing” (or εὐλογίᾳ for those who read Greek). Instead he unpacks the word for us teaching us so that when we understand our blessing we praise God.

I look forward to this study. The next article will focus on what God means by “He chose us.”

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