THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
1:11-12 - The Study
"The Father, The Father, The Father"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


WHAT YOU HAVE IN CHRIST, 1:3-2:22
THE TRIUNE BLESSING 1:3 -14
Blessed In the Inheritance given to Every Believer. 1:11-12
 

11 In Him also we have IN CHRIST
                obtained an inheritance,  
                having been predestined according to His purpose FATHER'S PURPOSE
                                who works all things  
                                                after the counsel of His will, FATHER'S WILL
12                                           to the end that we  
                                                                who were the first to hope in Christ IN CHRIST
                                                                should be to the praise of His glory FATHER'S GLORY

COMMENTARY - "The Father, The Father, The Father," 1:11-12

As we turn our attention away from verse 10 we need to bring a few things along with us. First would be a reminder that "The Mystery" (The Body of Christ, the assembly of those who believe on Christ, "the Church") is one of God's major themes and is centered in God's will. It is an economy, an epoch, a dispensation that is headed up in Christ. Secondly, God's will in this matter is directed toward this "Body of Christ" in such a way that God predestined it to be His portion, His inheritance, His heritage, or His dividend. 

Matthew 13:45-46 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46  and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it."


In Him
(1:11)
also
we (Lit., "in whom also") have already obtained an inheritance (Alt., "were made an heritage"),
   
having been predestined
        according to His purpose
            who works all things
after the counsel of His will,

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance,
The inheritance of God, that we have obtained, is very much like a man who goes to a bank and invests his money. The money that He invests is known as the "principle." The result of the "investment," which happens over a specified period of time, is called the "return," or "interest," or "dividend." When the man takes his money out of the bank he receives back the principle plus the dividend, which is the result of his investment.

We must remember the tense of the word "have." In this instance it is in the simple past - "We ALREADY have obtained...." A simple action in the past was the obtaining of this inheritance.

 God the Father invests His "principle," Jesus Christ into the "bank" of the world. The work that is done through Jesus Christ in the salvation of the lost becomes the "dividend." Upon the finishing of the specified period of time (the age of The Church) He then has His principle (His Son) and His dividends (The Body of Christ) as a final result.

 The meaning of the word translated in many bibles as "inheritance" has its roots in words like heritage, portion, or dividend. That which God the Father did, through Jesus Christ the Son, was to bring about the establishment of a people who would be His as a personal possession. They would be His dividend, His inheritance, forever.

Having been predestined according to His purpose
We who believe are His inheritance, His dividend, that is predestined according to His purpose. First, His purpose is to create, by way of reconciliation, a new category of man out of the preceding two categories, the Jew and the Gentile. Both qualify for this entirely new manhood whether they were part of the Abrahamic covenant or not. This is a new covenant. Having believed we become a part of this new covenant whether we were part of the old one or not. Secondly, His purpose is the creation, through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, of eternally living human beings, destined to be conformed to the Image of His son, and live eternally in His presence.

Who works all things after the counsel of His will
Our modern understanding of the word counsel leads us astray of the intended meaning. The Greek word bouleen is the word for brilliance and luster. It is often translated intelligence. God's will is brilliant, God's will is intelligent. Back in verse 8 of this chapter Paul states that we were blessed in all wisdom and insight by the revelation of His will, and God is seen to be brilliant in doing so. Then by these words we now must understand that God's plan to reconcile, redeem, and make an inheritance for Himself is a brilliant plan made and executed by a brilliant God.


(1:12)
to the end that
   
we who were the first
        
to hope in Christ
            should be
to the praise of His glory.
To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
We've talked about all the blessings that God the Father has brought about In Christ; the gift of all spiritual blessings; His blessed choosing; Our adoption as Sons of God; The redemption provided through His Son; The revelation of His will to believers; His consideration of the results of the plan of salvation as His dividend from the investment of His Son; and the list that Paul presents is not finished yet. All these things are TO THE END THAT we, Paul and the Apostles and the first generation of believers, were to be TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY.
Some men build buildings, some highways, some bridges. Some men enter politics, education, or public service. But God, working His brilliant will, brought about a new creation, a new people, mortal, sinful people, called by His calling, hearing His voice and His words, redeemed by simple faith in His invested Son, predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, … that He would proclaim them, and His work in them, through the Power of His Holy Spirit, and in Christ – "the Praise of His Glory!"
If you haven't seen it before, you should see it now. Our response to this proclamation should be that we live our lives with the sole purpose of demonstrating that we are to the Praise of His Glory. We should have no other purpose in life, it should be voluntary, and it should be spontaneous. He alone is worthy of our adoration. Let us walk in a manner worthy of His brilliance and His glory.
Paul writes of those who were the first to hope. Many commentators say many things about this so I'll add my two cents worth here. Different groups of people have been special to God at different times. The Old Testament has many examples especially of the individuals. It's not really until we are introduced to Abram (Abraham) and we meet Melchizadek that we should see that, along the way, groups of men and women in the world who loved and worshipped the One God and did so in a corporate sense rather than as a single individual. Melchizadek was the One God's High Priest and King of Salem. This city became Jebusalem under the Jebusites before the time of King David. It was David who conquered the city from the Jebusites and renamed it Jerusalem. We do not know much about this man Melchizadek or his followers in the One God. Our bible is the story of the Son of God coming through the family of Abraham, so it is largely a Jewish book and not Melchizadekian.
Abraham, being a man who loved God, and who was loved by God for it, received a blessing and promise from God that the Messiah, Savior of the world, Prophet of God's Word, King of Kings, High Priest of all, would come through the generations of his family. This made the resulting nation God's special people. No where is there found that this special covenant relationship with God would bring about corporate salvation for the nation. Salvation is, and always has been about the individual who loves the One God with all of his heart. Ezekiel wrote that the corporate Jew had no hope (37:11).
Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.'
The nation of Israel was never a part of the family of God as a corporate entity. Individuals along the way of history believed God and looked forward to His blessing, and became members of His family, but never did the Nation of Israel believe en masse.

Previous to Abraham, and running concurrent alongside of the Nation of Israel, were the Gentiles (Abraham was a Gentile), and they did not have a family relationship to God as a corporate entity either. Individuals along the way of history believed God, love Him, and looked forward to His blessing, and became members of His family, but never did the Gentiles believe en masse. The Gentile had "no hope" (Romans 15:12, there would be a time in the future when the Gentiles would have hope).

And again Isaiah says, "THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE." (see: Isaiah 11:1-10)

But God, predestined through His will whereby His investment of His Son, and the hearing of Him, would result in a people who loved God – because they wanted to – who would become those who have "The Hope of Glory," a thing to be possessed, not hoped for.

 So it is those under the new covenant, beginning with Pentecost, who have been incorporated into a new corporate relationship with God whereby every member is a person of faith. Someone who loves God through the Power of the Holy Spirit, IN CHRIST. There is no member of this body who has not believed. This is the only group of people who ever have had guaranteed hope. They have it because they are all IN CHRIST. This body of believers are so by God's redemption that we would be God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

VISUALIZED TEXT - "The Father, The Father, The Father," 1:11-12

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1  (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

In Him
(1:11)
also
we (Lit., "in whom also") have already obtained an inheritance (Alt., "were made an heritage"),
   
having been predestined
        according to His purpose
            who works all things
after the counsel of His will,


(1:12)
to the end that
   
we who were the first
        
to hope in Christ
            should be
to the praise of His glory.
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "The Father, The Father, The Father," 1:11-12

(1:11)
"also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,"

(Pleas see, "The Believer and Their Inheritance" reference document)

1.    The word "also" is used, what came before that now something new is to be added to?
        The making known the Mystery of His will and the summing up of all things in Jesus Christ.
2.    Who is the "we"
        Believers in Christ Jesus.
3.    What does the tense of the verb "obtained" indicate ("have obtained")("have already obtained")
        This obtaining of an inheritance has already taken place.
4.    What is an "inheritance?"
        Those rights and possessions that are passed down from one generation to another within a family.
5.    What can you find out about our "inheritance?"
        We've already obtained it and obtaining it was predestined and purposed by God the Father.
6.    Forgetting all the controversy you may have heard about "predestination" what does it say about it in verses :11-12
        That if you are a believer in Jesus Christ it has been determined that YOU WILL BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!
7.    Does this sound like a "bad" thing?
        No, even though many discussions and arguments concerning "predestination" seem to be "bad" and hurtful arguments.
8.    According to whose purpose?
        Almighty God the Father.
9.    Does God "purpose" things?
        Yes.
10.    What does he "purpose" here?
        That believers will be to the praise of His Glory.
11.    Who works all things after the council of His will?
        God the Father.
12.    Can you describe what "the council of His will" means?
        Imagine sitting in the center of a circle of chairs, and God sitting in every chair (Father, Son, Holy Spirit - over and over again filling all the chairs) and asking for the clarification of one point of His will. The discussion that would follow in answering your question as each chair member clarifies one more facet of the complete answer. That is the Council of His Will.
13.    According to the text how many things work in this manner?
        All!
14.    Does God act impulsively?
        No, He acts after the council of His will.
15.    How much power must God have to work all things after the council of His will?
        All power.
16.    How big is your God?


(1:12)
"to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory."
1.    To what end are all things working after the council of His will?
        Speaking to the Ephesian church, or to all the Asian churches, Paul intimates that they are the "First" (the First Gentile Churches) to hope in Christ, and that they would be, in their hope in Him, to the praise of His glory.
2.    Who is the "we" here?
        First Gentile Church members.
3.    What does it mean to "hope in Christ?"
        To place one's hope, to place one's expectations for the future of one's life.
4.    Review Ephesians 1:1-2 Commentary concerning being "In Christ." (
In Christ, In Jesus, In Jesus Christ - Reference document)
5.    What does the phrase "the praise of His glory" mean?
        The Glory of God is the sum and total of all that is good about God. Being a member of the Body of Christ, a member of this revealed mystery that Paul talks about, is seen as a reason for all who see His glory to praise it even more.
6.    Is this what you were predestined to?
        In verses 1:5-6 the believer is predestined to Adoption as Adult Sons, and in verses 1:11-12 predestined to be to the Praise of God the Father's Glory.
7.    Where then do you stand "In Christ?"

BIBLE REFERENCES - "The Father, The Father, The Father," 1:11-12

(1:11)
"also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,"
Titus 2:14 - The "we" of this verse
Deuteronomy 4:20 - "a people for His own possession"
Deuteronomy 9:26 - "thy people, thine inheritance"
Deuteronomy 9:29 - "thy people, thine inheritance"
Deuteronomy 32:9 - "the Lords portion is His people"
Ephesians 1:5 - Predestined
Ephesians 1:14 - an inheritance
Ephesians 1:18 - "the riches of the glory of His inheritance"
Ephesians 3:11 - the eternal purpose
Romans 8:28 - "called according to His purpose"
Romans 9:11 - "God's purposes according to His choice"
Hebrews 6:17 - "The heirs of the promise"


(1:12)
"to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory."
Ephesians 1:6 - "to the praise of His glory"
Ephesians 1:14 - "to the praise of His glory"


1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."


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