Ephesians 1: 3-14
The key phrase in this passage is “in Him” and “in Christ”, which appeared 7 times. This is Paul’s prayer to God the Father. Paul mentioned the Father in verses 3-6, Jesus Christ in verses 7-12, and the Holy Spirit in verses 13-14.
VV 3-6, 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Greek for blessed is “eulogos”, from which we get the word eulogy. ”Eulogos” means to speak good of someone. God is good and blessed. God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Greek for Christ is “Christo”, Hebrew is Messiah, which means the anointed One. The Father blessed us (Christians) with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm. The Father chose us before Genesis 1:1, ie before creation. He sanctified and consecrated us.
1 Cor 1: 21-22, “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight’.
Jude 24: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”.
By grace, the Father predestined and adopted us into His family as His children through Jesus Christ, according to His will. Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
VV 7-10, 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in Him.
On the cross, Jesus Christ redeemed and purchased our freedom us with His blood. Greek for redemption is “apolutrosis”, which means freedom procured through the payment of a ransom. Redemption is a slave market word. In first-century Israel, slaves were bought and sold in the slave market. A slave would be set free if someone redeemed him by paying the price required. We were once slaves to sin. Jesus Christ died on the cross, paid the penalty for our sin, and set us free from sin.
Romans 6: 23, “for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord”.
According to the riches of His grace, Jesus Christ generously gave us wisdom and understanding and revealed the mystery of His will to us. In His second coming, Jesus Christ will gather all Christians in heaven and on earth to Him.
VV 11-14, 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
In Christ, according to God’s will and divine predestination, we have received an inheritance.
Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together”.
In Christ, we heard the truth of the gospel, believed, saved, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee of heaven to Christians. Greek for guarantee is “arrabon” which means down payment or deposit. When you buy a house, you pay the down payment as an earnest deposit and pledge that you will purchase the house. God gave us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that Christians will be resurrected and glorified in Christ’s second coming.
2 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever”.
2 Corinthians 1:22: “Who has sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
2 Corinthians 5:5, “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee”.
Do not be caught up with the Calvinist-Arminian debate. Calvinism and Arminianism are two extremist positions on salvation. Divine predestination and human decision worked together in unison for the salvation of a soul. Predestination will not preclude anyone who comes to God of his own free will. God gave us the freedom to choose but will not force His will on anyone. He made salvation available to whoever believes.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.