Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:2 NKJV)
The Lord ministered to me today during my devotional time, and I wanted to pass it along to you. I hope that you are as encouraged by this little study as I have been.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV)
The word ‘blessed’ has been on my mind and heart lately. What is blessedness? I have been studying and praying through these verses for a few days, trying to dig up the richness and revelation they contain. Throughout this process, the Lord threw me a little clue, and gave me the phrase, “Incorruptible Joy.”
I began digging up some of the Greek in this text and have searched out some beautiful descriptions of God’s blessings. I’ll simplify this as much as possible by taking it a phrase at a time.
In verse 3, the first phrase highlights God’s nature of blessedness. His blessedness is eternally unchanging, unwavering, and incorruptible. Throughout the chronicles of history, in light of rebellion in heaven and on earth, in light of man’s sin and the curse, God’s blessedness is unchanged. Despite every war, injustice, and act of sin displayed on the earth, God’s blessedness exists in the fullness of everything His blessedness ever was, is, and will be.
This blessedness is derived from two words in the Greek, which are translated into english as ‘eulogy’, and ‘adoration’. God remains unchanged as ‘The adored and elegant Word.” He is adored as the Word of God, and therefore as we understand it, perfectly and eternally blessed. The secondary connotation of the word blessed is derived from God’s nature as the one set apart, that is, He has preserved Himself, or consecrated Himself in the fullness of incorruptible joy. He embodies happy holiness.
This happy consecration, or holiness, is not a fleeting brand of happiness. He is eternally joyful in holiness, and He cannot be moved. Even in the context of God’s wrath and hatred of sin, God cannot be swayed from joy in holiness. This gives us insight into two things: 1) God is pleased to show us mercy, and therefore make a way for us to enter into joyful holiness; and 2) Holiness is intended to be a joyful pursuit.
Not only is God blessed, but He has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. When did He accomplish this? In verse 4, we see that He accomplished this before the earth was created. If you are in Christ, you are bestowed with God’s eternal blessedness. This blessing is not an earned blessing (for certain earthly types of blessings are earned, but God’s blessing is not earned). Rather, this blessing is a result, and by very nature a characteristic of salvation in Christ. If God is the ‘adored and elegant Word’, then you are the ‘adorable and elegant image of the Word’. This position of sonship as heirs of God was ensured in eternity, and therefore set in place before the natural world was made.
Your position in Christ is certain and eternal. He adores you, not because you did something great today to earn His adoration, but because God cannot deny Himself. It is the very nature of Christ. He has been set apart to be adored, that all eyes would be fixed upon Him. If you are in Christ, you have been set apart to adore Him and be adored by Him. With great elegance, creativity, precision, and care, Christ Himself is fashioning you more and more into His image by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the One and Only Word of the Lord, and you are His creation. In light of this reality, you have been bestowed with every possible blessing there has ever been imagined in the mind of God.
The intent of this blessedness is that we would be holy and without blame before Him in love. Effectual love is the goal and result of blessedness. We adore Him, we love Him, we seek Him, because He first adored, loved, and sought us. His redemptive plan throughout all of history has been to adopt us as sons and daughters into this reality. This is the good pleasure of His will.
In Christ, you have the good pleasure, the happy holiness, and the acceptance of God. He did this to bring glory to His grace, that we would praise Him for this glory, and possess hearts that are fully equipped to adore Him. In this, we may worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. It pleases God to receive your offering of worship and love.
Remember this the next time you feel broken, unloved, or guilty. It is not wrong to feel that way, but it is wrong if we do not lay it at the feet of Jesus. Your identity, who you really ‘are’, is the beloved, blessed ones. His portion for you is happy holiness. Run under this banner and take upon yourself this yoke of blessedness.
Blessings and peace through Christ Jesus our Lord,
-J. S. Marek