Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, having been decided beforehand according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of his will, (Ephesians 1:11)
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance. The Greek in verse 11 begins, “In whom also we have obtained.” The prepositional phrase “in whom” or “in him” refers to Jesus Christ, and what Paul meant I that the chosen ones of the Christian church are receiving a heavenly inheritance, joining Jesus as his “brothers.” (Eph 1:14; Col 1:12; 1Pe 1:4-5) God redeemed Israel out of Egypt; they became “a people whom he has chosen as his heritage.” (Deut. 32:9; Ps 33:12; 74:2; Mic 7:14) They prefigured the “nation” of spiritual Israel that God sees as his “inheritance” that he possesses, as he has bought them with the blood of his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. – 1Pe 2:9; 5:2, 3; Ac 20:28.
Having been decided beforehand. After the fall of Adam into sin, it has been God’s will and purpose to finish what he had intended for man and vindicate his name, through his Kingdom, against the accusations Satan had leveled against him in the Garden of Eden and at the time of Job. (1) Satan called God a liar and said he was not to be trusted regarding the life or death issue. (2) Satan’s challenge took into question the right and legitimacy of God’s rightful place as the Universal Sovereign. (3) Satan also suggested that people remain obedient and submissive to God only for their benefit. (4) Satan all but said that humankind could walk on his own; there was no need for dependence on God. (5) Satan argued that man could be like God, choosing for himself what is right and wrong. (Gen. 2:17; 3:1-5; Job 1:6-11; 2:4-5) God foresaw the potential future even before these things unfolded. We will repeat some of what has already been said on foreknowledge and foreordination previously.
Foreknowledge does not equal foreordain. It is better to understand that God knows in advance what choice people will freely make. The free decisions of human beings determine what foreknowledge God has of them, as opposed to the reverse. The foreknowledge does not determine the free decision; it is the free decisions that determine the foreknowledge. In this, we can distinguish what we might call Chronological Priority and Logical Priority. Chronological priority would mean that Event “A” [God’s knowledge], as it relates to time, would come before Event “B” [the event God foreknows]. Thus, God’s knowledge is chronologically before the event that he foreknows. However, logically speaking, the event is before God’s foreknowledge. In other words, the event does not happen because God foreknows it, but God foreknows the event because it will happen. The event is logically prior to the foreknowledge, so he foreknows it because it will happen, even though the foreknowledge is chronologically prior to the event.
We can see foreknowledge in this as the foreshadowing of something. When you see the shadow of someone coming around the corner of the building, you see their shadow on the ground before you see the person. You know that person is about to come around the corner because of their shadow, but the shadow does not determine the person; the person determines the shadow.
God’s foreknowledge is like the foreshadowing of a future event. By seeing this foreshadowing, you know the events will happen, But the shadow does not determine the reality; the reality determines the shadow. Therefore, we should think of God’s foreknowledge as the foreshadowing of things to come. Therefore, just because God will know something will happen, this does not prejudice or remove the freedom of that happening. In fact, if the events were to happen differently, God’s foreknowledge would be different as well.
According to his purpose. The word here rendered purpose (πρόθεσις prothesis) means the quality of being determined to do or achieve something (plan, purpose, will). Therefore, God is determined to carry out his will and purpose through Jesus Christ and his Kingdom. His intention is on behalf of all his genuine people since the fall of Adam. Those who have chosen the path of salvation and those “who endure to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 24:13) What God intended when creating the heavens, earth, and man, he always meant to do and is his purpose or plan until it is accomplished. – Isa. 45:18; Rom 9:11; Eph 1:11; Eph 3:11; 2Ti 1:9; Jer 51:29.
They are not saved by chance or hap-hazard. God does not convert people without design; and his designs are not new, but are eternal. What he does. he always meant to do. What it is right for him to do, it was right always to intend to do. What God always meant to do, is his purpose or plan. That he has such a purpose in regard to the salvation of his people, is often affirmed; Rom 9:11; Eph 1:11; Eph 3:11; 2Ti 1:9; Jer 51:29. This purpose of saving his people is,
Who works all things. You will recall that all things are twofold: heavenly and earthly. The first things to be brought together in Christ are “the things in the heavens” preparing “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:16, 17; Eph 1:11; 1Pe 1:4) The second things to be brought together in Christ are “the things on the earth,” preparing for those who will live on the earth under the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ and his fellow heirs, who will serve as kings, priests, and judges. They will restore this earth to the paradise condition he had originally purposed for it through this kingdom, filled with billions of perfect humans. – John 10:16; Rev. 5:9-10; 7:9-10; 21:3-4.
After the counsel of his will. Here it means that his plan, purpose, and intention are his will, not what humans may reason or desire. By chance, his will does not come about randomly, and it is not illogical.
The unsurpassed imaginable evidence that something can be done in perfect wisdom and goodness is the history in God’s Word of him doing it in one situation after another. When we have come to the realization of this, our faith will be strengthened a thousandfold.