By Martin Bragg
Ephesians 1:3 (NIV) 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
It is sometimes thought that the term “spiritual blessing” refers to only non-visible and intangible blessings like peace and joy; that God’s promise of “every spiritual blessing” excludes the tangible blessings of health, provision, a healthy marriage and so on. One can hear statements like, “Don’t expect God to remove this tumour because our blessings are only spiritual.”
Actually, the word “spiritual” in Ephesians 1:3 means it is pneumatikos (in the original Greek text) which in this context means having properties and characteristics belonging to the Spirit of God. So if you have the pneumatikos blessing of health, for example, it means that it is of the Spirit of God, and therefore does not depend on your exercising or dieting! Of course exercise is very important but our health is not solely dependent on exercise alone which is why some “physically well exercised” people suffer some chronic failures within their bodies. I have received two miraculous healings in my life that on both occasions left the medical profession somewhat confused! My wife has also received a miraculous healing that could have resulted in a shortened life span, had the condition persisted, so it is evident within our small household that our God is a divine healer. Absolutely not doubt whatsoever! My God is never confused and when He heals it is right first time, perfect in every way and goes beyond the original state.
So in summary, Spiritual blessings here indicates the source of the blessing. That is, it arises from the life of God’s Holy Spirit that has been granted to us when we believed on Jesus . This Spirit is the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, and that was very physical. Paul confirms this in Romans 8:11 indicating that we have this life in our mortal bodies not just our spiritual bodies. Matthew indicates this too when he shows us that it was prophesied that the Messiah would come and heal and the context of the passage includes physical healings (Matthew 8:17). That is how John the Baptist identified Jesus as being the Messiah. Isaiah shows us that the redemption that we have entered into includes the provision of healing (Isaiah 53:4-5). Paul also said to the Galatian Church that Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Those who failed to keep the Law were under a curse, the curse of sickness and disease (Deuteronomy 28). Peter shows us that healing was included is what Jesus did for us in His redemptive work (1 Peter 2:24).
As I am naturally quite a thoughtful person, I have often considered how my healing has come about and there can be no doubt it is His supernatural spiritual healing within my life. I cannot, and I do not know who can, explain why healing is not evident in every situation but all I know is that I must stay true to my God and in this I shall live a blessed life. I also know that if I try to understand why healing is not always evident I shall enable Satan and his “nagging doubts” to enter my thoughts and that shall only cause me to drift from the true source of all blessing that is from my God … our God! I know that He does not inflict illness on us because that is not what the Bible teaches us and it is not my heavenly Father who gave His only Son to set me free and in whom I am an heir apparent!
I very much believe that we have received every pneumatikos blessing, and we will find ourselves enjoying blessing that is eternal, just as God is eternal, and of a quality that only the Spirit of God can give!