Summary: The blessing was according to the choosing!
Last time we noted that verse three begins what becomes a rather long sentence eulogizing God from verses 3 to 14 of Ephesians chapter one. In verse three Paul writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ…”
Here Paul’s doxology identifies God the Father as the ultimate recipient of blessing and the ultimate source of blessing. He is the One to whom blessing is ascribed and the One from whom blessings go forth to those who love Him.
The word “blessed” translates the Greek word eulogetos (u-lo-get-tos), from which we get the word eulogy. To “bless” or “eulogize” God is to praise Him for His mighty works and holy character. Eulogetos, is used exclusively of God in the New Testament.
Just as – With the word “just as” at the beginning of chapter one, verse four we arrive at new material from Paul: “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation (or creation) of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him”.
The words “just as” or “according as” are kathos - meaning “even as” or “conformity with the fact”. In other words, His “blessing” (vs 3) is in conformity with the fact that He chose. The blessing followed the fact of divine election and the divine election took place “before the foundation of the world.”
Expositors Commentary says “The blessing…has its foundation…in eternity, and is neither an incidental thing or an afterthought of God”. In other words, God knew exactly, before the creation of the world, who He was going to elect and save.
It wasn’t like there was some calamity that God was faced with, where a lot of people would be lost for eternity, and God was wringing His hands in distress wondering who He was going to be able to save. He knew before He made the worlds who He would elect to salvation, and it would be the elect that would be “blessed”! The blessing was according to the choosing!
The “just as” at the beginning of verse four not only takes us back to the verb of verse three, “blessed us” but it takes us back to the subject of verse three, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who is the source of the (spiritual) blessing.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us that the believer’s spiritual blessings are based on the work of the three Persons of the Trinity:
1. The selection of the Father, vv. 4-6
2. The sacrifice of the Son, vv. 7-12
3. The seal of the Holy Spirit, vv 13-14
He chose us - It implies the taking of a smaller number out of a larger. The word “chose” is in the middle voice where the subject of the verb acts in his own interest, “to pick or choose out for one’s self.” This is telling us that before the foundations of the world were laid, God determined all those that would be saved for Himself.
Please don’t think for a moment that this was like God went to a flower stand and picked out for Himself the most beautiful flowers out of all that were on display. The Bible tells us that it was the contrary.
This wasn’t the first time God chose out a smaller group of people out of a larger group. In the Old Testament we see God choosing Israel out from amongst all the nations of the world to be the channel through which He will bring salvation to all those other nations who would receive it.
Deu 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
Deu 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
Deu 7:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Those chosen were elected for reasons that only God knows. But what we do know from Scripture is that God didn’t choose by human standards.
When I was a boy I was very short and thick. Boys clothes in that day were either, “slim,” “regular” or “husky.” Oftentimes my mother would buy the same color and style clothes for me and my brother Billy…he would get an 8-slim and I would get a 12-husky.