In the previous post I examined Ephesians 1:9-14 (NASB). Through observation, I found some exciting promises from the passage regarding our union with Christ. I wanted to examine and further break down each of these promises in this post.
-God has purposed kind intentions in our union with Christ (v.5, 9).
What is this "kind intention?"
The Greek Word is εὐδοκία (eudokía).
It is the good pleasure, purpose, and benevolence of God (Zodhiates, 2000).
Many experts phrase it this way, "God desired or wanted to make this known." He had full intention and a plan.God worked this plan through Jesus Christ. Christ made it possible (Bratcher & Nida, 1993)!
-God has promised an "administration suitable to the fullness of times" both in Heaven and on earth!
The Greek Word follows that this is "administration" equates to a divine stewardship or ownership. All things have a divine purpose in His administration (Zodhiates, 2000). Another promise from this section would be "God will take care of everything, according to His purpose, when the time is right (Bratcher & Nida, 1993)."
-In Christ, we have a promised inheritance.
The Greek word used in Eph. 1:11 for "inheritance" is only used this one time in the New Testament. Although, it comes from the word that means 'lot' and is closely related to the words for 'inheritance' and 'heir.'
The idea expressed here is that Christians have become heirs of God due to the fact that God predestined them according to His purpose. In a manner of speaking, the “lot” fell to believers not by chance but solely because of the gracious and sovereign decision of God–Almighty to select them to be His heirs (Zodhiates, 2000).
-God has predestined our purposes according to His will. That is stress relief there!
Whether you are Calvinistic or not, verse 11 is pretty straight-forward. The Greek word for "predestined" means "To determine or decree beforehand" (Zodhiates, 2000).
Let's examine Eph. 1:11 again:"having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,"
If it was not enough that God had administrated order (from the previous verse) and predestined in verse 11, Paul goes ahead and uses three more strong words to make clear that God is in charge:
Purpose- to purpose or plan, a setting forth, presentation, an exposition, determination, plan, or will
Counsel- Will, purpose, intention
Will- to will. Used to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure (Zodhiates, 2000).
Make it simple: God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).
-Those who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His (God) glory.
In the full context, it is really God who did the choosing. “We were made God’s portion/lot.” The:emphasis is that the initiative and action are God’s alone: He made us His people.
The word "hope" means "to look forward with patience to something good.” Verse 12 may then be translated as “we who were the first to look forward to Christ should praise God’s glory” (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).
-Christ is the true message and hope of our salvation (v. 13)!
-One of my favorite promises, is that we are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit.
I have posted my position on this verse in a previous post and may explore this more later. I imagine I could spend a lot of time on this. In this context, the point is even stronger!
Christians whom God attests and confirms by the gift of the Holy Spirit as the earnest, pledge, or seal of their election to salvation (Zodhiates, 2000).
Here the “seal” is “the Holy Spirit of promise." The Holy Spirit is God’s stamp of ownership, the certification that they belong to Him. Another way of saying this would be “In order to show that you belonged to him, God marked you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised" (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).
Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. UBS Handbook Series (p. 19). New York: United Bible Societies.
Zodhiates, S. (2000).The complete word study dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
Examining some of the promises of our union "In Christ"
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