What does Ephesians 1:3 mean?
ESV: 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,
NIV: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
NASB: 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,
CSB: Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.
NLT: All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
KJV: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
NKJV: 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,
Verse Commentary:
Verse 3 begins the first major section of Paul's letter, extending through verse 14. Paul opens with "Blessed be" in order to establish a clear emphasis on God. In the next few verses he will address predestination, adoption, God's will, grace, redemption, and God's glory, all themes connected to God Himself and worthy of blessing.

After blessing the Father and Son, Paul notes God has "blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places." This all-encompassing statement indicates that every blessing we could possibly need has been given in Christ. Christ came from heaven to earth from the Father to bring us every blessing we need. Paul will go on to describe these blessings in detail in this section. Here, he emphasizes the fact that "every" spiritual blessing has been given, followed by a list of specific areas that will further define what he has in mind.
Verse Context:
Ephesians 1:3–14 praises God for the blessings He has provided. Paul ties together the ideas of predestination, God's glory, the salvation of His people, and the rights we have as children of God. In particular, believers are blessed because God chose, before creation, to save us. That salvation came at a great cost: the death of Jesus Christ. As children of God, we can be confident that God will give us what He has promised: namely, an eternity with Him in heaven.
Chapter Summary:
The first chapter of Ephesians contains two main passages. The first describes the blessings Christians have been given as a result of our salvation through Christ. Paul explains these through praises directed to God the Father. The second section both commends the Ephesians for their reputation, and prays that Christ would bring them into an even fuller and more aware faith.
Chapter Context:
The first three chapters of Ephesians are doctrinal, while the last three are practical. Chapter 1 establishes Paul's view on the value of our salvation in Christ, and the blessings we obtain from it. He does this in the form of praise, directed at God, and describing in detail what it means to have an inheritance in heaven. Later chapters will build on these ideas as Paul connects who we are in Christ to how we should live as Christians.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
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