Verses to review today: Ephesians 1:1-2 (repeat 3x, 3x a day)
New Verses: Ephesians 1:3-4
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love … (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (KJV)
Greek: 3 Εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ εὐλογήσας ἡμᾶς ἐν πάσῃ εὐλογίᾳ πνευματικῇ ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις ἐν Χριστῷ, 4 καθὼς ἐξελέξατο ἡμᾶς ἐν αὐτῷ πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ,
Transliterated Greek: 3 Eulogētos ho theos kai patēr tou kyriou hēmōn Iēsou Christou, ho eulogēsas hēmas en pasē eulogia pneumatikē en tois epouraniois en Christō, 4 kathōs exelexato hēmas en autō pro katabolēs kosmou einai hēmas hagious kai amōmous katenōpion autou en agapē,
Literal Word for Word Translation: 3 blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing of heaven in Christ, 4 just as He has chosen us (1st person pl, all of us, or in southern talk, “us all”) in Him before the foundation of the world should we that be holy and blameless before Him in love,
Vocab: Εὐλογητὸς, Eulogētos, blessed (is); εὐλογίᾳ πνευματικῇ, eulogia pneumatikē, spiritual blessing (singular, so, πάσῃ, ‘every’ precedes rather than ‘all’); ἐπουρανίοις, ἐπουρανίοις, of heavens; ἐξελέξατο, exelexato, he has chosen (selected out); καταβολῆς, katabolēs, foundation (literally, ‘laying down of’); κόσμου, kosmou, of world; ἁγίους, hagious, holy ones, ἀμώμους, amōmous, without blemishes/blameless; κατενώπιον, katenōpion, before the face of; ἀγάπῃ, agape, to/for love.
Commentary: Eulogētos ho theos – “blessed is the God,” means to speak well of God. He is to be praised because of His good name and character. You may see “blessed is” and “praise be to” used in different translations. They mean the same thing. This term is used only of God in the New Testaement. Only God is the one who can be called good and is worthy of praise. The word “eulogy,” in terms of speaking a good word about someone at a funeral, is related and comes from the Greek word eulogia. The word translated “blessed” in the beatitudes in Matthew 5 is the Greek work, makarios which means “happy,” but in the sense of being fortunate because of favor from God.
It should be mentioned that Jesus’ Father being God, does not mean that Jesus is not. All it means is that Jesus, the Son of God, the Word incarnate, worships His Father as His God. To us, they are both of the same exact and indistinguishable divine nature.
Eulogētos is an adjective describing the character of God as good. However, eulogēsas (has blessed) is a verb describing an action of the Father where He has already blessed those who are in Christ. This pertains to saying words about the good that those who are in Christ receive in terms of an inheritance, i.e, the heavenly inheritance. In the Old Testament we see Isaac blessing Jacob. The words he spoke had authority, like a Last Will and Testament. God has given a Testament, through His Word, of the promise of spiritual inheritance to those who are called His children through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Since Jesus is God, those who have accepted His life as their own by the Holy Spirit, have all the spiritual blessings of heaven – that is ALL of the blessings. Many may not realize this. But our salvation results in union with Jesus, which means union with God, and thus union with the domain of heaven. That has already been provided to all Christians through Christ’s work on the Cross, His resurrection, and exaltation to the right hand of the Father. But, not only was this established by the work of Jesus in time, but this was estabalished before God even set in place the foundations of the universe!
The verb translated “chose” is the one normally used in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, referring to God’s choice of Israel. The implication is the selection of a smaller group out of a larger group (see Wood, “Ephesians” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). Note that Israel was chosen as a nation, not as individuals. As stated in the literal translation above, the Father has chosen “us all” in Christ. What he had chosen before He even made the universe was a people who would be holy (set apart) and without any blemish or mark of sin that would cause them to be separated from God. It is possible that God elects individuals to make up the group, but this verse is not saying that. It is merely saying that God chose to make a group for Himself united through Jesus who would have the inheritance of heaven!
1 Peter 1:3-5 refers to this same idea: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.