A Word for Today | Ephesians 1:3
I love the opening statement of Paul’s message in Ephesians: “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” (Eph. 1:3). Here, Paul tells us the source of our blessing. Hugh Martin explains of every blessing we ever receive as God’s people: “They originate in the mere grace and good pleasure of God, his unfettered, undeserved sovereign love.”
Note Paul’s emphasis on God as the Father: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he says (v. 3). This warns us against a grave error of attributing salvation to God the Son – to Jesus Christ – while considering God the Father a reluctant participant. We think of Jesus pleading His merits for us in heaven, and we may wrongly conclude the thrice-holy Father must be ill-disposed towards us, watching for a slip-up, aching for an opportunity to chastise, distant in His affections for sinners like us. How mistaken this view is! God the Son took our sins upon the cross because this was the specific task the Father sent Him into the world to do. Jesus prayed before His arrest, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (Jn. 17:4). John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Our salvation originates in the love of God the Father for us. What a difference this truth makes in terms of our security in salvation. There is no debate raging within the Godhead concerning our salvation. There is no tension, no awkward silences or heated conversations. Rather there is a grand Triune conspiracy of love originating in the eternal and sovereign grace of the Father.
Perhaps the most crippling tendency many of us have is to doubt God’s love for us. We live in a world scarred by sin; our own lives are plagued by our own sin and folly. But we think the problem is that God doesn’t love us. We don’t feel lovely and think we are not worthy of love. But the Bible says that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8). Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God sent His precious Son to die for your sins – this is the proof of his love for you. He says: “I know the plans I have for you, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11). Our blessings come from God the Father, according to His plan of grace for us.
What a source of joy it is, to know that it honors and glorifies God that I should be forgiven, accepted, adopted as God’s child, renewed, sanctified and made an heir of glory! What a wonder it is, Hugh Martin writes, “that I should be called not only to receive freely an infinite, sovereign, undeserved love, but that my reception of it should be the means of throwing light, to the angelic beings, during the eternal ages, on the glorious character and perfections of God.” What an excellent reason this gives me to live for God’s praise and glory today!
In Christ’s Love,
 Hugh Martin, Christ for Us (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1998), 210.
 Ibid, 212-3.