Summary: 1) The Ground (Ephesians 1:11–13a), 2) The Guarantee (Ephesians 1:13b–14a), and 3) The Goal of our incomparable inheritance in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:14b).
History is rife with stories of murder, extortion and robbery by siblings taking family possessions by force. They rationalize that they either deserve it or will eventually inherit it, so why not take it now? They imagine what they can do with the money and possessions to achieve their dreams.
That for which every person in one way or another yearns, the Christian already possesses or is one day assured of possessing. In Ephesians 1:11-14 Paul shows us the awesome and wonderful potential of Christian believers. The apostle gives us a glimpse of the glorious blessings God has planned for and promised to those who come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
For believers, our inheritance is the aspect of salvation which is primarily future. We were elected, or predestined, before the world or time existed (v.3-6a) ; we have been redeemed in this present age (v.6b-10); and we will receive our completed inheritance in the ages to come,
Foreshadowing the completion when we enter fully into the Father’s eternal heavenly kingdom, Ephesians 1:11-14 shows us 1) The Ground (Ephesians 1:11–13a), 2) The Guarantee (Ephesians 1:13b–14a), and 3) The Goal of our incomparable inheritance in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:14b).
1) The Ground of Our Inheritance (Ephesians 1:11–13a)
Ephesians 1:11-13a 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, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 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), (ESV)
"In Him", clearly refers to Jesus Christ (v. 10), who is the ground or source of our divine inheritance. Not only did we, in vital union with Christ, receive such blessings as redemption, forgiveness of sin, and spiritual illumination (wisdom, insight), favors which have already been mentioned (verses 7–10 above) but, in addition to these initial favors, which, though they have abiding significance, focus the attention upon the past (deliverance from that terrible power by which we were bound, pardon of past sins, banishment of former darkness), the right to future glory was bestowed upon us (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Ephesians (Vol. 7, p. 87). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)
Apart from Jesus Christ, the only ultimate and eternal thing a person can receive from God is condemnation. God bestows sunshine, rain, and many other good things generally, on the righteous and unrighteous alike (Matt. 5:45). But His spiritual blessings are bestowed only on those who are: in Him (cf. vv. 1, 3–4, 6–7, 10). “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Please turn to 2 Peter 1 (p.1018)
We have obtained an inheritance translates a single compound word in the Greek (eklçrôthçmen). When something in the future was so certain that it could not possibly fail to happen, the Greeks would often speak of it as if it had already occurred (as here, where Paul uses the aorist passive indicative). We, that is, believers, are Christ’s inheritance. Jesus repeatedly spoke of believers as gifts that the Father had given Him (John 6:37, 39; 10:29; 17:2, 24; etc.). Our inheritance with Christ is yet another of the amazing and magnificent blessings with which the Father has blessed us in the Son. As Paul makes clear in verse 3, our inheritance includes “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” In Jesus Christ, believers inherit every promise God has ever made. The passive implies that God gave the lot, that it is received by grace alone (Lenski, R. C. H. (1937). The interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians, to the Ephesians and to the Philippians (p. 377). Columbus, O.: Lutheran Book )