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. 13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 14: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
My prayers for you
15: Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16: Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19: And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20: Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21: Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23: Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
Paul is describing the wonders of Christ and of his blessing to us believers. He says that, ‘In Christ’ we have been assigned already (from Gods eternal point of view) to be Christ’s inheritance. (In the OT this meant a set portion of the land. However in the case of the Church is probably means a position of authority in the Messianic kingdom.) And this authority and service in Christ was preordained by God who works out everything according to his purpose. (Again the idea here is not predestination to salvation but preordination to divine service.) We are ordained to live in such a way that all who see us bring praise to Gods glorious grace, we (the Jews) who in the beginning, first believed in the hope of the Messiah, And Paul says, You Gentiles after you heard and believed the Gospel of your salvation, you also were sealed with the Holy Spirit, who was promised beforehand. This Holy Spirit was the ‘down-payment’ which we receive until the whole church of God is completely gathered into the redemption to the praise of Gods glory. Believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the time when the whole church is complete and comes into the glory of the Messianic kingdom. Paul says, since l heard of your faith, l have not ceased to give thanks for you and mention you in my prayers. And then Paul tells the Ephesian believers exactly what he prays about, for them. He prays, that God the Father might give the Holy Spirit to them to bring godly understanding by the revelation of the knowledge of God. He further explains what this will be like. The eyes of your mind (a strange expression) will be opened, so that you might have Hope in God in the sense that they might know what is the glorious inheritance, which we have ‘in Christ’. And the exceeding greatness of his mighty resurrection power, in us who believe. This was the power of God which raised Christ from the dead and set him at his own right hand in heaven itself. There he is far above all princes, powers, might and dominion and every name of authority that is named. And not only in this world but in the world to come. (The phrase – ‘princes, powers, might and dominion’, speaks of four levels of authority in angels and men. Princes are those who rule like kings and presidents. Powers speaks of those who rule under the Princes, the politicians and ministers of government. Might speaks of those who enforce their decrees such as generals and judges. Dominion speaks of the furthest extent of territory over which the rule of the Princes touches every individual. And the human rule of men has its counterpart among the angels) Christ is far above all princes. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords and the Prince of princes, both in heaven and earth. When everything is brought under the authority of Christ, (in his Messianic kingdom and beyond it), then all men will be said to be ‘under his feet’. But there is another thing that God is doing – God has given to him authority over everything in the Church – which is his body, and he fills the church in every way.
- In what way has God preordained us to service?
- What do we learn about Paul’s prayer life from this passage?
- How does Paul describe the glory that Christ has?