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Language Studies

Greek Thoughts

To speak well of, to praise, to bless

Last week we studied the Greek word εὐχαριστὲω, which means to respond to grace by the giving of thanks. This week we want to study the word εὐλογὲω, which is one of the Greek words used in the New Testament to express "to bless" and "blessing."

Εὐλογὲω is a compound word derived from the prefix εὐ (Strong's #2095) which means "to be well off" or "to prosper" and the word λὸγος (Strong's #3056) which means "word" or "speech." When combined to form the word εὐλογὲω, and when used of man expressing to man or man expressing to God, it means "to speak well of." When this same compound is used of God expressing to man, it means "a favorable expression toward." Basically, εὐλογὲω means to express a good attitude or to speak well of something or someone.

Εὐλογὲω is a cognate for the adjective form εὐλογητὸς (Strong's #2128) which means "blessed." When used of a person receiving from God, it designates one who has received a favorable expression from God. When used to describe a person's expression toward God, it means that God is well spoken of. Εὐλογὲω is also the cognate for the noun form εὐλογὶα (Strong's #2129), which means "blessing" or "praise." All three of these words are found in Ephesians 1:3:

"Blessed (εὐλογητὸς) is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the One who has blessed (εὐλογὲω) us in every spiritual blessing (εὐλογὶα), in the spirit realm, in Christ." (Literal Translation)

The first thing Paul says in this verse is that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be praised or to be spoken well of. Here, Paul is expressing his attitude toward God.

Next, Paul shares why God is to be well spoken of: God has blessed, or has had a favorable expression toward, His people.

The third thing Paul says is that God's blessing, or favorable expression, is found "in every spiritual blessing..." Within this phrase are two adjectives that give important detail to the description of God's blessing. First, Paul tells us that God's blessing is spiritual in nature. Then he uses the word "every" in conjunction with God's blessing to let it be known that Christians do not lack any blessing that is available from God.

Next, Paul uses a prepositional phrase to modify "every spiritual blessing." He indicates that God's blessing is found "in the spirit realm." The traditional translation of the plural form of this adjective ἐπουρὰνιος (Strong's #2032) is "heavenlies," but literally it is a reference to the spirit realm. Paul is saying that every spiritual blessing in the spirit realm has been bestowed upon the believer.

Paul uses another prepositional phrase to show that every spiritual blessing in the spirit realm is found "in Christ." For understanding, it is important to know that Scripture teaches an orderly chain of command in the spirit realm. The highest position in that chain of command is the throne of God. Jesus Christ is seated to the right of the throne of God. This positions Him far above all rulers and authorities (spiritual forces both good and evil) in the spirit realm (Ephesians 1:21). Paul's presentation in Ephesians 2:6 shows every believer as "seated together in heavenly places (spirit realm) in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6). Consequently, we who believe are also far above the forces of evil, secure in the spirit realm because we are seated in Christ.

In summary, Paul is teaching that the blessings of the true Christian are not to be evaluated by things in the physical realm, specifically by our material possessions or social positions. He is saying that God has already blessed us "in every spiritual blessing" which is found "in the spirit realm," specifically "in Christ." The perception of this reality is what enabled Paul to speak well of God in every situation.

The believers of today stand in the same position. Our blessing is spiritual, our blessing places us above all principalities and powers in the spiritual realm, and our blessing is found totally in Christ. We do not lack any spiritual blessing that is available from God because through Jesus we experience all that the Lord is. In Him we are blessed with all the favor that the Father has bestowed upon His Son. Therefore, at this time of Thanksgiving, when we reflect upon our blessings, we need to use the right gauge. Instead of glorying in your material possessions or social positions (or wallowing in the lack thereof), glory in belonging to Christ. He is the true, all encompassing blessing that God has expressed to us.

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