In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)
In continuing going through Ephesians, we come to Ephesians 1:11-14. We’ve looked at verses 1-10, and came across the amazing truth’s of what we have in Christ when we become Christians. We continue this theme in verses 11-14.
The saints have obtained an inheritance. This is an interesting phrase because it’s past tense. We already have our inheritance, Paul is saying. Yet, the last verse indicates that we don’t have possession of it right now, and because we can’t get to our inheritance yet, God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit, who guarantees our inheritance.
I want to emphasis something that is explicit in this text but many ignore.
Christians have obtained this inheritance, why? Because they have been predestined. By who? By the one who works all things according to the counsel of his will. Who does his own will perfectly? God. So God has predestined a people to be his people and obtain an inheritance because he is working all things according to his purpose. And in God’s purpose, he works all things according to his will for that purpose. This is strong language.
God does what he wants and he works it all according to his own will. And part of that will was predestining “we.” The we is referring to Christians. The we is referring to “Paul” and “the saints who are at Ephesus.” Which, in this letter being intended as a circulatory letter, was intended for all the saints. Or all Christians who are in Christ.
Paul then continues to say that this purpose was for God’s glory and praise. God seeks to glorify and magnify himself. He does so by electing a people, predestining them, adopting them, forgiving them, uniting them to Christ, uniting all things to Christ, and giving them an inheritance.
When Paul says, “so that we who were the first to hope in Christ,” he’s literally talking about to and about that generation of Christians who were the first to hope in Christ. They were predestined to be the first, according to God’s glory, power, wisdom, and purpose, so that they’d be the first to the glory and praise of God and Christ.
God deserves all worship, praise, and glory. He does not share his glory with another. Which means God also glorifies himself. And he does so by orchestrating the entire universe according to his purposes, for his glory.
Next Sunday (Lord willing), I’ll finish with verses 13-14.
May God give you grace.