from Greek Word Studies (Eph. 1:3) blessed,
with, spiritual, heavenlies
BLESS, BLESSED, BLESSING
The Greek word for "bless" is "eulogeo" (eulogeo), "to speak well of." It also means "to praise, to extol" (Kittle, p. 275). Similarly, the word for "blessing" is "eulogia" (eulogia), which literally means "well-speaking." Both of these words are a combination of "eu" ("well") and "logos" ("speaking" or "word"). The Greek word "logos" in John 1:1 denotes the word of Godís economy. The "word" in this verse is God Himself, a living God with a living economy. The Greek concept of "bless" was mainly to beseech for a fortune or to grant a sense of well-being (Kittle II:755). The Biblical understanding of "bless" is that God honors a man with a benefit, a "blessing," and man then participates in that blessing so as to extol God. This is fully according to His economy.
It is clear that in the Old Testament Godís blessing came particularly to men who walked with God and lived for what God was after (His will and desire). Thus God blessed Noah, Abraham, Moses, and many others. A striking example is in Genesis 26, when God blessed Jacob with the words: "I will be with thee and I will bless thee." This indicates that the real blessing of God is His very presence. The content of the blessing is actually God Himself. The "well-speaking" of God is not merely a word from Him, but a word with an implied action. When God blesses someone, His word brings Himself to the one who is blessed.
In the New Testament God blesses us by transmitting all of His riches to us. This enables us to have a living according to His well-speaking, which is according to His own well-pleasing economy. The processed Triune Godís very plan, desire, accomplishments, actions, and leading are all rendered to us by His well-speaking, so that He can become our inheritance for our enjoyment. This is similar to parents blessing their children. Parents have the power to bless their children by transferring all of their riches to them. The children can then enjoy the rich inheritance of their parents and in turn become a blessing to their parents. In the same way the Triune God is our source of rich blessings. By being one with God and enjoying all the aspects of His rich blessings, we in turn become a blessing to God, in which we extol Him.
Godís well-speaking involves His person, His economy, and His eternal purpose according to who He is. Our well-speaking of God must be according to the constitution of the Triune God in us.
WITH Ė "EV"
The preposition "ev" (en) has a number of usages in Greek. It can mean "in" with respect to a place, "with" with respect to things which surround, equip, or furnish someone (Thayer, p 209), and "by" with respect to a person (Thayer, p 210). Eph. 33: says that God has blessed us "with every spiritual blessing." We are blessed "in" the spiritual blessings, which means that the spiritual blessing are a sphere in which we enjoy them. We are also blessed "with" the spiritual blessings, with their nature, essence, and content. Most importantly we are blessed "by" a person (Thayer, p. 210), a personal agent. We are blessed by a person who initiates, acts and substantiates all of these spiritual blessings. Without this person, all the spiritual blessings are merely blessings. In actuality our enjoyment of the spiritual blessings is the receiving of a person.
"En" can also be used with regard to a person who is "inherently fixed, implanted, or with which it is intimately connected" (Thayer p. 211). This implies a sense of association. The one giving the blessing and the one being blessed are together enjoying the same thing. They associate together and participate in the all the spiritual blessings together.
The preposition "en" thus has a greater meaning than "with." For this reason J.N. Darby says concerning "en" in Eph. 1:3, "ĎWithí does not quite give the force. The preposition (en) here conveys something of the power and value of what is enjoyed." "En" conveys the thought that the spiritual blessings are the sphere and the content of our enjoyment, and are even Christ Himself, who brings us into the enjoyment of all the blessings. This results in an intimate association with Christ in which we mutually participate with Him in the spiritual blessings together.
In Greek the word "spiritual" is "pneumatikos" (pneumatikos). The word is make up of three components: "pneo," "ma," and "ikos." The root of "pneumatikos" is "pneo" (pnew), which means "to blow, to breathe" (Thayer, p. 524). The suffix "ma" is used for the result of an action (Brown, p.689-690). "Pneuma," the combination of "pneo" and "ma," means the result of blowing or the result of breathing. In the Bible "pneuma" is used to denote both "wind" and "spirit." The suffix "ikos" means "pertaining to" or "the nature of" (Brown, p.689-690). The breath or "pneuma" of God brings with it the nature of God. As the word for "Spirit," "pneuma" denotes something powerful, vital, and energizing because it includes the nature of God Himself (Thayer, p. 522).
If a person is "spiritual," then that person has gained the nature of what he has breathed. In a Biblical sense, a spiritual person has gained the nature of God Himself. We should realize that the dispensing of the Triune God is actually the "breathing in" of His divine nature. This breathing takes place in our human spirit and generates subjective spiritual experiences within us. These experiences not only refresh us but cause us to gain the divine attributes and the divine substance of God. To be genuinely "spiritual" means that we are not only vital and energized by the Spirit in our spirit, but we have the same nature as the Spirit, who is the very God Himself.
The Greek word for "heavenlies" is different from what is commonly understood as "heaven." The Old Testament speaks of a "heaven" where God abides. But "the heavenlies" as referred to in the New Testament is related to Christ Himself.
Christ was in heaven, and descended out of heaven. Yet when He was on this earth, He was still in heaven (John 3:13). This shows us that heaven and Christ are inseparable. In other words, when we speak of Christ we are also speaking of heaven. When we consider heaven we should think about Christ. Furthermore, Christ also testified that heaven is Godís throne (Matt. 5:34). Heaven is not only the place where God dwells, it is also where God executes His eternal plan. In resurrection Christ ascended to the heavens with His humanity and also became the life-giving Spirit to generate a new and heavenly sphere. This sphere includes a new dispensation with the dispensing of grace.
Christ is the heavenly ladder (John 1:51) to bring us into the heavenly places, the "heavenlies," where He renders to us all the spiritual and heavenly blessings. Christ Himself in reality is the heavenly place, the heavenly sphere, the heavenly means, and the heavenly essence. He is the heavenly place, because we can never dissociate heaven from Christ. He is the heavenly sphere in which the church is seated. He is the heavenly means as the heavenly ladder. And He is the heavenly essence so that the church can bear His nature and sit with Him in the heavenlies.
Today the church is in the heavenlies positionally, enjoying grace in the new dispensation. The church is sitting with Christ in the heavenlies. The church is very different from the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. The Isrealites were called out from among the nations to sojourn on the earth. The church, in contrast, is in a different sphere called "the heavenlies." The church, in the Spirit, is sitting in the heavenlies with Christ.
The heavenlies includes a heavenly nature, a heavenly state, the heavenly characteristics, and a heavenly atmosphere. The term "the heavenlies" implies that all the spiritual blessings are from Christ, and these blessings bear a heavenly nature, a heavenly state, heavenly characteristics, and a heavenly atmosphere. Therefore "the heavenlies" is not only a place above the heavens where God abides, it is a sphere in which we live, walk, and labor today with Christ to prepare for His coming back.
© 2001 T. Chu, The Church in Cleveland