288. Praying Our Way Through Paul’s Letter To The Ephesians. Ephesians 1:11-14. “Praising God For All We Have Now In Jesus And For Our Full Inheritance In Him.”

“Children of God! Through faith in Jesus! With an inheritance! An inheritance which is ours in Him!  No wonder the people of God in every generation are motivated to praise Him for His amazing grace to us and for His amazing love for us in Jesus.

THE PASSAGE. Ephesians 1:11-14

Eph 1:11 “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, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

NOTES ON THE PASSAGE. Ephesians 1:11-14

  • 1:11. “Obtained an inheritance.” The word is used only here in the New Testament. [κlēroō; κληρόω meaning to make a choice or to determine something. The inheritance was given as an act of grace to those whom God predestined to receive it, based, of course, on His foreknowledge about who would respond to Him in faith.] {See 1Peter 1:1-2, re “elect … according to the foreknowledge of God.”]
  • “Predestined according to [His] purpose.” Before we look at what was His purpose, we note the description Paul gives about the Lord.
  • “Who works all things according to the counsel of his will.” “Works” is [energeō; ἐνεργέω] where “energeo” means to be active or to work to establish a result. Our English words ‘energy’ and ‘energize’ come from this Greek root. God is actively pursuing His will in the world which comes into being, in His way and in His time.
  • Paul then declares what is the purpose of God in HIs election of His people. It was this, 12 “so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Paul and his readers in Ephesus were among the first generations of believers. The description of God’s purpose could be taken in two ways. It could be that the witness of these early believers would lead others to praise God because of  their faithful witness to Him. Or it could mean that God chose them to live to praise Him and His glory. Both would be true.
  • 1:13. In this verse we see the combination of divine sovereignty and human responsibility. In God’s sovereign working He allowed the Ephesians to hear the gospel message of salvation. Then they exercised their human responsibility to respond to the message about the salvation that Jesus came to bring and they put their trust in Him. 13 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him.”
  • God responded to their commitment of faith and gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell them and to “seal” them. They were “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” The seal denoted two things. It was a mark of ownership and it was a mark of permanence. It’s as though God was saying to the believers when they believed in Jesus and as He sealed them with the Spirit, “You are mine! And You are mine forever!”
  • The sealing by the Holy Spirit was also a promise of things to come. Paul used the term “guarantee” of a future inheritance in the Spirit. The Greek word is [arrhabōn; ἀῤῥαβών meaning a pledge or deposit or a down-payment] 14 “who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” [ I am told that in today’s modern Greek, “arrabona” is an “engagement ring” a pledge of things to come.]
  • Later in the chapter Paul tells his readers that he was praying for them that they might come to know the riches of their inheritance, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” Eph 1:18. “Know” is [oida, οἶδα] and has the meaning to perceive and even to experience personally. Paul is wanting his readers to perceive and also experience their inheritance to the extent they were able to do so as humans.

A SUGGESTED PRAYER BASED ON Ephesians 1:11-14

“Heavenly Father, we thank You that in Your plan and purpose for this world You enabled us to hear and respond to the gospel message of salvation.  We thank You that as You did so, You bestowed on us the Holy Spirit to seal our relationship with You so that we might inherit all the blessings You have given us in Jesus. Enable us, by Your Spirit, to become more and more a people of praise so that You may be glorified in and through our lives. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.”

Blog No.288. Posted on http://www.jimholbeck.blog on Thursday 6th September 2018

About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
This entry was posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Praying our way through Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Salvation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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