Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
The key word of this Epistle. Found nowhere else in Scripture. It stands in four different connections; and in all the four it denotes a place; an ideal locality; a sphere of action, experience, and discovery; a stage, a platform, or arena, on which different movements are going on, and different scenes of interest are enacted.
I. In the heavenlies you have A BLESSED HOME; a home in which you are greatly blessed, and bless Him who blesses you. The blessings are the Spirit's. And they are in Christ.
1. He has chosen you to be the objects of His eternal, sovereign, pure, and holy love.
2. He has predestinated or appointed you unto the adoption of children to Himself.
3. You are accepted in the Beloved.
4. You have redemption.
5. You become members of the great family of all the faithful in heaven and on earth.
6. You obtain an inheritance in Christ.
7. You have a present seal and earnest of the inheritance; a foretaste of future glory.
II. A SEAT OF LOFTY EMINENCE (See Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6).
1. God quickens you together with Christ.
2. He raises you up together.
3. As the result of His thus quickening you together with Christ, and raising you up together, God makes you sit together at His own right hand.
III. A THEATRE, OR PLACE OF EXHIBITION (See Ephesians 3:10). The holy inmates of heaven see, as it were, a dramatic movement, illustrating the manifold wisdom of God. What can this movement mean, but the history of the Church? Not its outer history of events merely, but its inmost history of spiritual experiences.
IV. A FIELD OF BATTLE (See Ephesians 6:12). Paradise was once "the heavenlies." The eyes of the pure angels were riveted on that spot. With interest wound up to the highest pitch, they watched the experiment of the garden. But alas! the eyes of fallen angels also were attracted thither. Satan sought and found an entrance into the heavenlies; disguised probably as an angel of light. He came; and paradise was gone. The heavenlies, however, were again set up on the earth. This world was still to have in it what might furnish a platform, on which a refuge might be provided for the weary, needing to be blessed; on which a tower might be reared, rising and raising them to the very throne of God. Holy angels look on and sympathise, and rejoice to see the manifold wisdom of God. But the heavenlies now are not, any more than the heavenlies before the Fall, secure from the invasion of the spoiler and the foe.
1. Consider what is your position in the heavenlies in respect of privilege and duty. A very high and a very holy life. Alongside of the risen Christ — seeing things from His point of view, judging by His standard, your heart as His heart. Your home with Him in God.
2. Consider your position with reference to the other spiritual intelligences who take an interest in you and in your experience. On the one hand, is it not an animating and spirit stirring thought that you live your spiritual life as forming part of that great Divine drama by means of which, through the Church, the holy principalities and powers have male known to them in the heavenlies the manifold wisdom of God? Nor is the effect of this high thought diminished by the fact that over against these benevolent and sympathising onlookers from above, coming up from below, frown the pit, a dark host is mustered by the prince of darkness; crowding all earthly scenes and circles, and invading even the heavenly places themselves. Be not unduly afraid of them. But be not ignorant of their devices. Especially remember always their double character.
(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: