In our text from the first chapter of Ephesians the apostle opens with a greeting of peace from Messiah Yeshua because peace comes to us from Him, as the result of His atoning sacrifice.
'He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed.'
So we see how we get that peace from Him; from the Father Who sent Him, but from Him also because He's the One Who died for us.
'The chastisement of our peace was upon Him.'
He has made peace through the blood of His cross.
There are different roles of the Father, of the Son, and of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit. The Father is the Source; the Son is the Mediator; the Holy Spirit is the Sealer. He seals all the benefits of Messiah's finished work on Golgotha; He seals them; He's the Sealer of our redemption, and of all the benefits of our redemption. They are equal: Father, Son, Holy Spirit - They are all equal; co-eternal, infinite, unchangeable, partaking of the same essence of Deity. But for our redemption, the Father has taken the role of the Head; the Son has taken the role of Mediator; and the Holy Spirit has taken the role of the Advocate; the Comforter; the Sealer of all our benefits.
So there we are; there's the salutation! And we see why grace (hesed) and peace (shalom), comes not only from the sender, but from the One who is sent. And where is the Holy Spirit in this? He is the One Who secretly, and quietly conveys these benefits to us. And because He is not mentioned, we have to ask ourselves, 'Why is that?' The answer is, YESHUA said He will not speak of Himself. He shall take the things of Mine, and show them to you. He is the most hidden of the Three, in the Triune GOD, He is the Person that is most hidden; that is the most self-effacing. And yet, He is there, otherwise we could never enjoy those blessings that are wished upon us here.
Now we see (from verse 3), Saul begins to mention the reasons why we should praise GOD. He says,
'Blessed be the GOD and Father of our LORD YESHUA, the Messiah, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah.'
Let's look at that first of all. When he says,
'Blessed be GOD,' he's not saying that we can literally bless GOD. The Bible says very plainly,
'Without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the greater.' And GOD is greatest, and therefore we cannot bless Him in the sense that we can bestow a blessing on Him. But we can bless GOD in this sense, that we can assert what is true of Him; we can give Him the praise that is due to Him, out of a heart of love and of gratitude. And in this sense, the Believer is said to bless GOD.
Can we look at some of the Psalms which show us this. Psalm 72, verses 18 and 19; here is David blessing GOD:
'Blessed be the LORD GOD, the GOD of Israel, Who only does wondrous things; and blessed be His Glorious Name forever. And let the whole earth be filled with His glory!' Amen and amen!
Then that famous Psalm, Psalm 103, the first few verses that have been put to song:
'Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.' There we see the Believer blessing GOD, and it is giving Him the praise that is due to Him for all His redemption mercies; as well as His temporal mercies. Not only His mercies that have saved us, but His mercies that sustain us.
So David says in Psalm 145:
'All Your works shall praise You, O LORD, and Your saints shall bless you.' That's one of the things that we should be exercised in doing every day. We should be thinking of the praises of our GOD; we should be blessing Him. It is, as I said last week, good Hebrew theology; good Hebrew practice. You'll find that there is a blessing in the code of Jewish Law; you'll find that there is a blessing for everything, almost. If you hear thunder, we bless GOD; if we see lightning, we bless GOD; when we smell a flower, we praise Him for the fragrance of that flower; when we see a wise man, we thank Him for giving wisdom to men. That's a good thing! Take every opportunity to thank GOD and to bless Him, and to praise Him.