Ephesiansby Robert M. Solomon
Paul launches immediately into glorious praise of the triune God for the many blessings that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have showered upon the saints. In the original Greek text, Ephesians 1:3–14 come in one long and breathless but elegant sentence, without punctuation marks or pause. It is as if Paul had dived into the mystery of God’s blessings and was reluctant to surface for air because he had found such stunning truths about God’s rich wisdom and mercy.
Verse 3 is a summary and introduction of what follows. Our blessings from heaven have a Trinitarian basis and source: the Father and Son are clearly mentioned, while scholars have noted that the word spiritual points to the Holy Spirit who imparts these blessings.
The biblical doctrine of the Trinity is central to the Christian faith, yet the human mind has difficulty grasping the truth of a three-in-one God. In discussing the mystery of the Trinity, A Handbook of Christian Truth wisely observes: “He who would try to understand the Trinity fully will lose his mind. But he who would deny the Trinity will lose his soul.”
In Ephesians alone, the Trinity is emphasised many times: 1:3, 11–14, 17; 2:18, 22; 3:2–5, 14–17; 4:4–6; 5:18–20. Scripture portrays the Trinity as working together in perfect unity in creation (Genesis 1:1–3; John 1:1), in the incarnation (Luke 1:30–35), in the redemption of sinners (Hebrews 9:14), in believers’ communion with God (Ephesians 2:18), and in prayer (Romans 8:27, 34).
All three persons in the Trinity are actively working in our lives. This results in great and wonderful blessings which are described in two ways:
“In the heavenly realms.” This phrase is repeated four other times in Ephesians (1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12) and points to the spiritual dimension. It affirms that we have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing, although we await their full expression in heaven. Note that Paul’s focus is not on physical blessings, for he describes what God has done for us through Christ in verses 4–8 and 13–14.
“In Christ.” We have been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in Christ”. There is no blessing outside of Christ and none apart from Him. It would be foolish to try to look for extra blessings beyond Christ.
The triune God is at work in our lives and has showered us with all the spiritual blessings found exclusively in Christ.
Reflect on how the three persons of the Trinity are at work in your life. How do you relate to them and how should you thank them?
How does the truth that every spiritual blessing is found in Christ affect the way you live and the way you relate to Him? What does the phrase “heavenly realms” mean to you personally?