Ephesians 1:17. 3 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… 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
Ephesians 1 is our master class on what it means to be blessed. Really blessed. Not #blessed. Not “one more great sunny day, thanks God #blessed” (under male model with chiseled chin in black and white photo that I just now saw on Instagram). No. We’re talking about our spiritual blessings, not physical blessings. Not prosperity gospel lite.
Ephesians 1:3-14 lists our spiritual blessings for us all the while repeating over and over (nearly 10 times) that these come from being IN CHRIST.
Then in verse 15 Paul transitions into a prayer. He starts by giving thanks for the Ephesians, for their faith and love. Then he introduces his intercessory prayer for them….but before he asks for anything he does something extremely important – he worships.
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory
All prayer (and all of life) must begin with this proper view of God. The truth is, we all struggle with the same inflated view of ourselves. We think of ourselves way more highly than we ought to think (even those of you that struggle with inferiority or low self-esteem the root of this is still an inflated view of the self). And so before we go to God in petition, let’s remember that our greatest blessing is WHO we are going to – the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The God of our Lord Jesus Christ
Look back at Ephesians 1:3 above. Paul has already introduced us to God. The blessed God. And he has already called him the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It can seem a little bit strange to us as Christians to think of God being Jesus’ God. Jesus IS God, right? Right. But God is also Jesus’ God (“My God, My God” Jesus cried on the cross). How? Because Jesus is also human. And as a man he completely submitted himself to God the Father.
We pray to Jesus’ God. The God he prayed to. The God that we go to in prayer is the same God that chose, sent, sustained, resurrected, and glorified Jesus. The God that provided everything for Christ will do the same for you and for me. Our union with Christ, the God-man, necessitates that his God is also our God. What comfort. What hope. What grace!
Father is how Jesus taught us to pray to God. Abba. Dad. The address of intimacy. Jesus’ God is also his dad. We don’t stand in a long line waiting to see the King. We are the children of the king. We walk straight in. Climb into his lap. Put our heads on his shoulder. Pour out our hearts to his kind eyes and listening ears.
Our worship of God must include our recognition of him as our Father. We worship him because we receive our life and our nature from him. Apart from him we are nothing. Beyond this we receive every spiritual blessing from him. Everything that we receive from him is good. There is nothing given that we do not need, and nothing withheld that we do need (John Newton).
How to Dad
Jesus’ God is our God. Jesus’ father is our father. And our God is the Father of glory. He is not a dad that loves us but is poor and incapable. No. He is the infinite king of all glory. All that is glorious comes from him and all that is glorious returns to him. He is the source and goal of all that is good and powerful. All of our glorious blessings in Christ come from him. All of our pain and suffering in this life will be turned into glory at the revelation of Christ.
Again, this is the cure for the inflated view of ourselves that we live so much of our lives with. We are all glory addicts looking for our next fix. But God offers us a pure glory that will never end, never let us down, never disappoint, and never fall short. God’s glory has been revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ and his glory is imparted to us in the form of God’s glorious grace. The grace that rescued us out of our slavery and brought us home as adopted sons and daughters. The glorious grace that is both eternal and purely good.
“To live is Christ” is to have the same God and Father as Jesus. The God and Father that loved, chose, resurrected, glorified and blessed Christ is the same God and Father that has blessed you and me with all of Christ’s same heavenly blessings. This is the God and Father Jesus prayed to. The God and Father Jesus served. And the God and Father that poured his glory out into the life of Jesus. This is our God. This is our glorious Father. This is the One that we worship and adore.