Verses to review today: Ephesians 1:1-10 (repeat 3x, 3x a day)
New Verses: Ephesians 1:11-12
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. (ESV)
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (KJV)
Greek: 11 Ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἐκληρώθημεν προορισθέντες κατὰ πρόθεσιν τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐνεργοῦντος κατὰ τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ 12 εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς εἰς ἔπαινον δόξης αὐτοῦ τοὺς προηλπικότας ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ.
Transliterated Greek: 11 En hō kai eklērōthēmen prooristhentes kata prothesin tou ta panta energountos kata tēn boulēn tou thelēmatos autou 12 eis to einai hēmas eis epainon doxēs autou tous proēlpikotas en tō Christō.
Literal Word for Word Translation: 11 in whom also we were assigned a portion having been predestined according to the purpose of the one who works all things according to the counsel of his will 12 so that we should be for the praise of his glory who hoped beforehand in Christ.
Vocab: ἐκληρώθημεν, eklērōthēmen, assigned by allotment (inheritance); προορισθέντες, prooristhentes, was predetermined; πρόθεσιν , prothesin, purpose (a presentation of an offering, in context, God’s purpose of doing what He predestined); ἐνεργοῦντος, energountos, of his working; βουλὴν, boulēn, counsel; θελήματος, thelēmatos, of will; ἔπαινον, epainon, praise; δόξης, doxēs, of glory; προηλπικότας, proēlpikotas, prior hope.
Commentary: God had said that through Abraham He would bless all peoples (Gen 12:3; 18:18). The riches of His grace are far more abundant than anything we can imagine (Eph 3:20). Thus, through Christ, those who place their faith in Him are assigned a portion of the blessings which God had predetermined according to His own wisdom, insight, and perfect will. Abraham was just one step in God’s overall predetermined purpose of how He was to bless all peoples. Indeed, God is glorified in bringing nations to Himself through those who have and do trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord (see Rev 7:9-12 below). It is one thing to know that God has saved us through Jesus Christ, but it is so much more to see His full plan of how He did this, and how He is still working out things for good (Rom 8:18-39). Jesus didn’t just show up on the scene one day, die, and rise. Rather, all things through redemptive history, from the giving of new covering to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:21, to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the Babylonian captivity, and so on, all play a part in making sure God presents His plan for the entire world to see, to His magnificent glory! The stage was set in history for the first coming of Jesus, just as it is being set now for His return (Matt 24:3-14; Rom 8:19-25).
It is not clear whether the “we who were the first to hope in Christ” in verse 12 is the apostles, the Jews, or just some of the believers in Ephesus. It is probably not the Gentiles in Ephesus given in verse 13 Paul says, 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. It seems that Paul is speaking of at least the apostles, or those who brought the message to the Ephesians by which they would hear the gospel and become saved.
Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”