Chapter 01: The Supply Of Blessing!

The Supply Of Blessing!
Reading: Ephesians Ch. 1v1-3.

Kenneth Humphries

Introduction:

If you ever go to Hampton Court, that famous palace built on the outskirts of London by Cardinal Woolsey in the days of Henry the V111. When the palace was completed, Cardinal Woolsey made the dreadful mistake of inviting Henry the V111 to view his magnificent new home. The King cast covetous eyes upon it. "This," he said, "is a palace fit for a king." Ever jealous of any rivals to his power and glory he added, "I think you'd better give it to me." Valuing his head more than his home, the cardinal did just that, but still lost his head a few years later anyway. On the grounds of Hampton Court is a maze of hedges and for a fee you can have the privilege of wandering into the maze and getting lost, and many do. Now, although the maze may look to the casual observer a mere jumble of hedges set out to confuse, it has in fact been carefully laid out to a prearranged plan. For those who know the plan or have found the secret route, it is no mystery. It is only a puzzle to those who are content casually attempting to find a way through it.

It is dear brothers and sisters, the same with Ephesians Ch.1v3-14. The passage is not just a long sentence and a jumble of words. It is, be assured; laid out to a very definite plane for a very definite purpose.

Someone set this particular passage of Scripture out like this. In v3-6 you have the Fathers Will, v7-12 you have the Son's Work, in v 13-14 you have the Spirit's Witness. An excellent outline, which may be better by far than the one we will follow.

1. The Supply Of Blessing! v3.

"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,"

Paul takes us to the very supply of those blessings of which he speaks the throne room of the Godhead to show the greatness and vastness of the blessings and treasures that belong to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Many dear people today are deeply concerned about their identity in this world, others are concerned with their life's purpose, and some are deeply concerned about their self-worth, and indeed, with their self-acceptance. So much so, a great many books, magazine articles, think tanks, and seminars attempting to address those inner longings have appeared. What do we find? When a new such book appears and is suggested there is a great demand by Christians from all walks of life to purchase and read it. When seminars are announced you can fill every place, but because God and His Word seemed to be sidelined to counselling and the only true supply for finding of real truth is eliminated, people inevitably are led back to themselves for answers.

In spite of so many and varied formulas suggested the end result is always to suggest people really have the answer within themselves all the while. What identity, self-worth, and meaning they find in life, which must be found in, and for them selves.

We are taught to think for ourselves first. We are shown how to get on top by using and manipulating others, intimidate before we are intimated. We are told how to be successful and how to be number one; we are counselled to find meaning in the heritage of our family and ethnic roots, in the hope that finding out where we came from will help explain where we are going. But you see every human effort of self-improvement, self-satisfaction, no matter the kind of religious covering we place upon it is subject to the law of diminishing returns. Genuine and lasting satisfaction can only be achieved by a real and true relationship with our God. A person without Christ has no spiritual value, no standing before God, no purpose or meaning in the world. He is like the chaff, which the wind drives away Psalm Ch.1v4.

A Christian, however, as the child of God; if they have no understanding, no comprehension of those blessings, he or she needs to fathom the position they have in Christ, or they will forever be found wallowing in self pity, depression, discouragement, and know nothing of the deep joy that our salvation brings. To give such Christians the right understanding of their position and possessions is the very powerful thrust of Paul's Ephesians letter. That's why Paul has drawn our attention to the supply of blessing! It is the will of the Father to bless His children. You might say, well wait a minute, it sometimes does not seem that way to me!

Beloved, the amazing and most wonderful revelation in the Word of God is that He is the Father and that He is God the Father. That's a concept that scarcely appears in the Old Testament. God is revealed there by various names, which He called Himself.

Three primary names for God appear in the Old Testament!

"Elohim" (El, (The Almighty) “El Shaddai” (The Gracious Giver) Elah (Jehovah and Adonia) Gen. Ch.1v1; Ch.2v4; Ch.15v2).

Now, together with these primary names are numerous compound names, as when tributary thoughts are brought into conjunction with the name Elohim, or Jehovah streams. Consider, for example, the wonderful compound names for God in His character as Jehovah, the covenant keeping God.

A.

Jehovah-Jireh - "The Lord Who Provides"

Gen. Ch.22v14.

B.

Jehovah-Shalom - "The Lord Who Gives Peace"

Judges Ch.6v24.

C.

Jehovah-Ropheka - "The Lord Who Heals"

Exod. Ch.15v26.

D.

Jehovah-Tsidukenu - "The Lord Our Righteousness"

Jer. Ch.23v6; 33v16.

E.

Jehovah-Shammah - "The Lord Who Is Always There"

Ezek. Ch.48v35.

F.

Jehovah-Nissi - "The Lord Our Banner"

Exod. Ch.17v15.

G.

Jehovah-Me-kaddish-kem - "The Lord Who Sanctifies"

Exod. Ch.31v13.

H.

Jehovah-Sabaoth - "The Lord Of Hosts"

Isa. Ch.1v9 + Rom. Ch.9v29.

But not until Jesus came was God fully revealed as the Father!

Some of the very first recorded words of Jesus' begin to reveal a truth that was simply amazing to His followers. "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke Ch.2v49).

In what many have called the greatest of Christ's parables, the parable of the prodigal (Luke Ch.15v11-32) the word Father is mentioned some twelve times. When Jesus knelt in dark Gethsemane, when He hung on that old rugged cross, when greeting His loved ones on Resurrection morning, as He made His way down that road to Olivet on Ascension Day, the name that was uppermost in His mind and on His lips, was Father!

What an amazing truth! Has it ever gripped your soul? He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus could say as He lived on this earth, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John Ch.14v9). Jesus was "the visible expression of the invisible God" (Colossians Ch.1v15, J.B. Phillips). And, listen, listen, he is the supply of every blessing!

Now, here's my point! God is OUR Father! God is YOUR Father! God is MY Father! And He and He alone is the supply of every blessing that will ever come to us. Here's what we need to grasp!

Paul here in this text presents five amazing aspects of the divine blessing he is about to reveal.

A. He Presents The Blessed One: (God)

"Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ" v3a.

Here is a wonderful truth introduced and presented by praise to the one who has made such provision for us. "Blessed" it’s the word "eulogeo" from which we get the word "eulogy" this is a message of praise and commendation for goodness, and what is it we know already? "There is none good but God" (Matt.Ch.19v17). Goodness is God's very nature. God the Father not only does good things, He is good in a way and to a degree that no human being except His own incarnate Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, can be. What is the end result of that? Why, from Genesis to Revelation, godly men, recognising the surpassing and humanly unattainable goodness of God have proclaimed blessing upon Him. Melchizedek declared, "Blessed be God Most High" (Gen. Ch.14v20). In the last days, "every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them" will be "heard saying, to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honour and glory and dominion forever and ever'" (Rev.Ch.5v13). Nothing is more appropriate for God's people than to bless Him for His great goodness. In all things, whether pain, struggle, trials, frustration, opposition, or adversity, we are to praise God, because He is good in the midst of it all.

B. He Presents The Blessed: (Believers) "Who has blessed us" v3b.

The "us" refers to the believers, "the saints…in Christ Jesus"

Paul is saying, in His wonderful grace, marvellous providence, and sovereign plan God has chosen to bless us. God has eternally ordained that "those who are of faith are blessed" (Gal. Ch.3v9. "So then they which are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

When we bless God we speak well of Him. When God blesses us, He communicates well-being to us. We bless Him with words; he blesses us with deeds. All we can do is speak well of Him because in ourselves we have nothing good to give, and in Himself he lacks no goodness. But when He blesses us the situation is reversed. He cannot bless us for our goodness, because we have none. Rather, He blesses us with His goodness. Our Heavenly Father lavishness us with every goodness, every good gift, every blessing. You see that is His nature, and that is our need.

In her book, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom tells about an incident that taught her the principle of giving thanks in all things. It was during World War II. Corrie and her sister, Betsy, had been harbouring Jewish people in their home, so they were arrested and imprisoned at Ravensbruck Camp. The barracks was extremely crowded and infested with fleas. One morning they read in their tattered Bible from 1 Thessalonians the reminder to rejoice in all things. Betsy said, "Corrie, we've got to give thanks for this barracks and even for these fleas." Corrie replied, "No way am I going to thank God for fleas." But Betsy was persuasive, and they did thank God even for the fleas. During the months that followed, they found that their barracks was left relatively free, and they could do Bible study, talk openly, and even pray in the barracks. It was their only place of refuge. Several months later they learned that the reason the guards never entered their barracks was because of those blasted fleas.

John Yates, "An Attitude of Gratitude," Preaching Today, Tape No. 110.

C. He Presents The Blessings: (Every Spiritual Blessing) v3c.

Our heavenly Father blesses with every spiritual blessing.

The word "spiritual" in the New Testament Greek is the word "pneumatikos" and is always used in relation to the work of the Holy Spirit. That means, here, it does not mean immaterial blessings as opposed to material blessings but to the divine origin of the blessings. Whether they help us in our spirits, our minds, our bodies, our daily living, or however else, spiritual refers to the supply, not the extent, of blessing.

You see, many of us continually ask God for what He has already given. We pray for more love, but "the love of God is spread abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who was given unto us" (Rom.Ch.5v5). We pray for peace, even though Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you" (John Ch.14v27).

We pray for joy, although Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John Ch.15v11). We pray for strength, even though Scripture reminds us, we "can do all things through Him who strengthens us" (Phil. Ch.4v13). Peter puts it like this, "According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter Ch.1v3).

Our resources in God are not simply promised; they are possessed. Every Christian has what Paul calls "the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Phil. Ch.1v19). God cannot give us more than he has already given us in His Son. There is noting more to receive. The believer's need, therefore, is not to receive something more but to do something more with what he or she already has.

D. He Presents the Place of Blessing: (The Heavenly Places) v3d.

These abundant, unlimited blessings from God are in the heavenly places. More than heaven itself is included here, the heavenly places (Ch.1v20. Ch. 2v6. Ch.3v10) cover the complete supernatural realm of God.

You see the believer has a paradoxical, two tiered system. That is; we have a dual citizenship! While we live on this earth we are citizens of earth. But in Christ we have an infinitely more important citizenship which is in heaven (Phil.Ch.3v20).

Dr. Vance Havner says, “We are not citizens of earth trying to make our way to heaven but we are citizens of heaven making our way through this waste howling wilderness of earth.” End Quote!

As a citizen of this country, when out of this country I am still every bit as much a citizen of this country and have all the rights and privileges that such citizenship holds. As citizens of the heavenly dominion, Christians hold all the rights and privileges that citizenship grants even while we are living in a foreign land.

Our true life is in the supernatural, the heavenly places. Our Father is there, our Saviour is there, our family is there, our loved ones are there, our name is there, and our eternal dwelling place and throne are there.

But we are trapped at present in the tension between the earthly and the heavenly. Paul talked about that! "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things" (2 Cor.Ch.4v8-9 Ch.6v10).

The key to living in the benefits of our heavenly citizenship is to "Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh" (Gal.Ch.5v16).

This being the point! When we walk in His power He produces the fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (v22-23). We receive our heavenly blessings by living in the power of God's Holy Spirit.

Every time we say, "I believe in the Holy Spirit," we mean that we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it. J. B. Phillips, Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 1.

E. He Presents The Blessing Agent: (Jesus Christ) “In Christ” v3e.

Christians possess every spiritual blessing in heavenly places because they are in Christ. When we trust in Him as Lord and Saviour, we are placed into the most amazing and marvellous union with Jesus Christ. "The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him" (1Cor.Ch.6v17).

All that the Lord has, those in Christ have. Christ's riches are ours, His resources are our resources, His righteousness is our righteousness, and His power is our power. His position is our position: where He is, we are. His privilege is our privilege: what He is we are. His possessions are our possessions: what He has, we have. His practice is our practice: what He does, we do.

Jesus we all have; He is all we need and all we want. We are shipwrecked on God and stranded on omnipotence! Vance Havner, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 3.

"I once heard a father tell that when he moved his family to a new residence where the accommodation was much more ample and the substance much more rich and varied than that to which they had previously been accustomed, his youngest son, still a very little boy, ran around every room and scanned every article in sight, calling out in childish wonder at every new sight, 'Is this ours, father? And is this ours?' "The child did not say 'yours,' and I observed that the father while he told the story was not offended with the freedom. You could read in his glistening eye that the child's confidence in appropriating as his own all that his father had was an important element in his satisfaction. "Such, I suppose, will be the surprise, joy, and appropriating confidence with which the child of our Father's family will count all his own, when he is removed from the comparatively mean condition of things present and enters the infinite of things to come. When the glories of heaven burst on his view, he does not stand at a distance like a stranger, saying, 'Oh God, these are yours.' He bounds forward to touch and taste every provision those blessed mansions contain, exclaiming, as he looks in the Father's face, 'Father, this and this are ours!' The dear child is glad of all the Father's riches, and the Father is gladder of his dear child." W. Arnot: Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990).

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