A scene from the Leben der heiligen Altväter (1482)

To Be God is to Be HappyEnjoying Divine Blessedness

Desiring God

When Paul says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us,” he uses the same word twice: blessed (Ephesians 1:3). A moment’s thought, however, shows that God blesses us altogether differently than how we bless God.

When God blesses us, he takes the initiative, doing the kind of mighty acts that Paul recites in the next dozen verses: electing, redeeming, forgiving, adopting, sealing, and lavishing grace on us. When we bless God, we praise him in response. It’s a beautifully appropriate response, but just because it’s the same verb doesn’t make it the same act. The deep reason that we can never bless God the way he blesses us is that God is already blessed. God is blessed with perfect, plenary, personal blessedness.

The blessedness of God is a classic Christian doctrine, and one that we could stand to hear more about in our time. It gives us big thoughts to think about God in three domains: God’s relation to the world, God’s essential perfections, and God’s experience of his own life. Consider these three domains as concentric circles. We can think our way in toward the inner circle from a starting point in the outer circle, at the outskirts of God’s ways.

Read the rest at Desiring God.