Ephesians 1:11-14 – The believers’ inheritance

June 3, 2020 at 7:19 PM Leave a comment

Paul concludes his lengthy spiritual blessing by writing about the believers’ inheritance from God. Both to the Jewish believers first, and then to the Gentile believers.

v.11,“Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.” Paul when writing “we are united with Christ” is specifically referring to the Jewish believers (himself included). Paul writes that God chose the Jewish believers in advance or predestined beforehand to receive “an inheritance from God” before he included the Gentiles (Rom 1:16). The Jews were were given God’s inheritance as God’s chosen people (Deut 4:20) or they were claimed by God as his portion.“He makes everything work out according to his plan” is talking about everything is under God’s sovereign control. Because God controls everything, he will carry out his plan “according to his plan” or “in conformity with the purpose of his will” NIV and bring it to completion in his timing. God’s design was that the chosen people or the children of Israel or the Jews would bring salvation to the rest of the world but he had chosen the Jews as his personal possession or his portion first (Deut 32:9). Paul uses “we” to refer to the Jewish believers but later on this this passage he uses “you” to refer to the Gentile believers.

v.12,“God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.” Now it is clear when Paul uses “we” he is specifically speaking of the Jewish believers. Salvation was first brought to the Jews, they “were the first to trust in Christ.” This means that the Jews were the first to believe in Christ because the gospel was preached first to them and that the gospel message would then be offered to the Gentiles through the Jews which brought unity in Christ to all believers, resulting in bringing “praise and glory to God.” God’s ultimate plan for all of his creation was to glorify himself.

v.13,“And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, who he promised long ago.” Now Paul writes specifically to the Gentile believers using “you.” The Gentiles “also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves” which simply was speaking of “the Gospel of your salvation” NIV. The Gospel conveys the “truth”, which is able to save the believer. But while “hear[ing] the truth” brings knowledge, it does not bring salvation. These people also “believed in Christ.” When they believed, “he [Christ] identified you as his own” showing that they were included “in Christ.” How did he do this? He “stamped [them] with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]” AMP. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is a once-for-all act at conversion, that gives believers continued assurance that they are saved—believers.

v.14,“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” Paul is using a term “guarantee” for the Holy Spirit that was used in ancient time to describe an engagement ring. It is like a promise to your fiancée that you are planning to marry them. In the same way God’s deposit of the Holy Spirit in believer’s lives is like an engagement ring that shows that we belong to Christ until we go to be with him forever in heaven. Our “guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people” is that God, unlike most people, never breaks his promises. If you have trusted Christ, you are his forever! “He did this so we would praise and glorify him” is a phrase Paul has used in the past (1:6, 1:12). Paul is saying the reason for this guarantee is so that God will be praise and glorified.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? God has given all believers (Jews and Gentile believers) an inheritance, that is being saved from our sins if we believe in Christ and his sacrifice. And the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that we will receive this inheritance. And all of this was to bring praise and glory to God.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  So thankful that God chose to give me an inheritance and that the Holy Spirit guarantees it. I have assurance of my salvation and I want to give all honour and praise to God for it!

Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Ephesians 1:9-10 – God’s secret plan Ephesians 1:15-16 – Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving

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