We’re rejoicing in You oh God our Father, for You have made us Your children and heirs and given us the inheritance we hope for—eternal life in Your kingdom that is to come.
Spiritual blessings our Father has blessed us with in Christ stimulate rejoicing. Rejoicing accompanies praising, praising accompanies rejoicing (Ps 9:14; Ps 33:1; Lk 19:37).
Paul concisely gives us the big picture of how God our Father implemented His plan of salvation
He first blesses the readers and hearers of His letter to the Ephesians and us with the blessing of grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, then recounts the blessings. I have put each on in bold.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
With that greeting, Paul gives us the spiritual blessings
Spiritual blessings our Father has blessed us with in Christ stimulate rejoicing. Rejoicing accompanies praising, praising accompanies rejoicing (Ps 9:14; Ps 33:1; Lk 19:37). The following blessings I have put in bold are primary to our salvation.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved: in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him unto a dispensation of the fullness of the times [when the right time would come], to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth; in him, I say, in whom also we were made a heritage [ obtained an inheritance], having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, —in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph 1:1-14
God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless before Him in love.
Chose is “Of God the Father choosing Christians, as those whom he set apart from the irreligious multitude as dear unto himself, and whom he has rendered, through faith in Christ, citizens in the Messianic kingdom: (James 2:5) so that the ground of the choice lies in Christ and his merits only.” Outline of Biblical Usage
Holy means set apart unto God, being made holy to live holy. God has made us holy and consecrated us to Himself in His kingdom.
God foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. In the Hebraic culture, sons were heirs. Like the word brethren applies to men and women in the New Testament, so does sons.
So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. Ro 8:12-17
… “the adopted son of God becomes, in a peculiar and intimate sense, one with the heavenly Father” (“Conversion of the Roman Empire”).Merivale VWS … one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. Eph 4:6
God’s grace, which he freely bestowed on us, is powerful.
And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:—but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus: for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them. Eph 2:1-9
We have Redemption through Christ’s blood and the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace.
God’s purpose is being accomplished in our lives through redemption Ro 3:24 through Christ’s blood. Through forgiveness Lk 3:3; James 5:15; Ro 3:25 of our trespasses Mt 6:14. This shows the riches of theglory of God’s grace Eph 1:6; Ro 2:4.
Making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to God’s good pleasure which he purposed in Christ that when the right time would come, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth.
The mystery of God’s will is redemption, to sum up all things (not just mankind Ro 8:20-21; 1 Cor 15:28) in Christ. That will be in the kingdom that is to come in the new heaven and new earth Rev 21-22.
God made us, a heritage, a people of inheritance Deut 4:20; Dt 32:8-9, that we should be unto the praise of his glory.
In verses 11-13a, Paul is referring Jews who had come to Christ, their promised Messiah. In verse 13, he is referring to us Gentiles.
11in whom [Christ] also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; 12to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ. : 13in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,—
Sealed with the Holy Spirit, the eranest of our inheritance
— in whom [Christ], having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession , unto the praise of his glory. Eph 1:13b-14
The down payment—2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14
This future reality invades our lives by the Spirit. The Spirit is promised for the future age, but through him we can taste God’s presence and power in our lives in the present. That is why Paul speaks of the Spirit as the “down payment” of our future inheritance (2 Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:13-14). The Greek word sometimes rendered “down payment” here was used in ancient business documents for the first installment: no mere verbal guarantee, it is the beginning experience of what is promised. By experiencing the Spirit, we are experiencing a foretaste of the glories of the coming world in God’s presence. Craig Keener
… the Spirit not only prepares a man for the future Kingdom, the Spirit also enables the Christian to experience the future Kingdom in the present. The Spirit is the arrabon tas kleronomias (Eph 1:14) that is, the first installment and foretaste of the Kingdom, for ‘the inheritance is the Kingdom of God’. It is important to remember at this point that arrabōn means more than ‘guarantee’; as ‘first installment’ or ‘down payment’ the arrabōn is part of and the same as the whole. The Spirit not only guarantees the full inheritance; he is himself the beginning and first part of that inheritance. This is why Paul can describe the Kingdom in terms of the Christian’s present experience of the Spirit: ‘the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Ro 14:17); it does not consist in talk but in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 4:20). God’s call into His Kingdom is made effectual (kalein) through the Gospel by means of the gift of the Spirit and his sanctifying operation (1 Th 2:12-13; 4:7-8; 2 Th 2:3-14)-a present process leading to an ‘end’ result. Compare also Col 1:12-14 where transfer into the Kingdom is equated with sharing the inheritance of the saints in light and experience of redemption and forgiveness. James G. D. Dunn, Expository Times 80:2 (N 1970): 36-40.
Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which ye show toward all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. Eph 1:15-23
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for giving us the kingdom. We look forward to spending eternity with you in the new heaven and new earth.
For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known. 1 Cor 13:12
All scripture is from the ASV