Summary: If you're a Christian, you're richer spiritually than you think!
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RICHER THAN YOU THINK?
Scotiabank’s slogan is “You’re richer than you think.” (Scotiabank’s net income in 2011 was $5.27 billion. Perhaps their slogan should be “We’re richer than you think.”) However, according to the Canadian Payroll Association, almost 60% of Canadians are living from paycheque to paycheque. Many Canadians are poorer than they think.
Sometimes I check coats at my home for lost money. (I think I found a $5 bill once. Usually, though, I only find pennies.) Searching under couch cushions is probably a better way to find money.
A poor rancher in West Texas named Ira Yates became a millionaire when a giant oil field was discovered on his property. The Yates Oil Field has produced more than one billion barrels of oil. Before the oil was discovered, Yates was having trouble paying the mortgage and taxes on his ranch. He was richer than he thought!
We’d all like to believe that we are richer financially than we think. If you are a Christian, you’re richer spiritually than you think.
RICH BECAUSE OF GOD
In Paul’s letters he usually begins by thanking his readers. But in this letter Paul starts by praising God (1:3-14). In the original Greek 1:3-14 is a one long sentence of 202 words. Scholars refer to this sentence of praise as a eulogy. (A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing.) Paul’s eulogy praises all three persons of the Trinity: Father (vv. 4-6), Son (vv. 7-12), and Holy Spirit (vv. 13-14).
Verse 3 is a summary of the whole eulogy. In this verse “bless” appears three times (eulogetos, “blessed”; eulogeo, “blessed”; eulogia, “blessings”).
1. God is to be BLESSED.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:3a).
“Blessed” means “praised.” “The concept of blessing with reference to God is not expressing a wish, ‘blessed be God,’ but rather a declaration, ‘blessed is God’” (Harold W. Hoehner, Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary, p. 162). Two other NT eulogies begin the same way (2 Cor. 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3). In the NT eulogetos (“blessed”) is used eight times, and it is never of humans but only of God (Mark 14:61; Luke 1:68; Rom. 1:25; 9:5; 2 Cor. 1:3; 11:31; Eph. 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3).
Why should God be blessed?
2. God has blessed us IN CHRIST.
Who has blessed us in Christ (1:3b).
“Us” refers not only to Paul and his original readers, but to all of God’s people. The blessings Paul is talking about were not given to us because of who we are or what we have done. We have been blessed by God because we are “in Christ.”
By birth, we are in Adam (the head of the human race). “Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). By grace through faith, we are in Christ (the head of the church). “If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). Those who are in Adam are cursed, but those who are in Christ are blessed. “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).