Ephesians 1:11-14 The twin powers of Predestination & the Spirit
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, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
God has reserved an inheritance for every one of His sons. And He has predestined the events of the believer’s life with the intent of guiding him towards fulfilling his call so that he could obtain his inheritance. God has also given the Holy Spirit as a Helper to help the believer overcome temptations so that he may not be detracted from his life goal. The twin powers of predestination and the indwelling Spirit guarantee believers the possession of their inheritance. We can say predestination as God’s working outside of man and the Spirit as God’s work within. Therefore, we can be confident to face every challenge and circumstance knowing that these twin powers are at work.
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, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
The word “inheritance” refers to all the good things within God’s kingdom (also see John 14:1-3, 1 Corinthians 6:9). As believers of Christ are reinstated as sons; every son has a right to his inheritance. It is here that God predestines our circumstances so that we may not be detracted by temptations that we cannot bear. In other words, God has determined beforehand certain events in our lives: who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we may continue on the course towards fulfilling our call on earth. God does not predestine some to be saved and some to be condemned for two reasons. Firstly, the decision to be reconciled with God lies solely in man for God has given him a sovereign choice. Secondly, God desires all men to be saved and Christ’s sacrifice was made with the intention to restore all creation under His rule: to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. God is actively working in the circumstances of a man’s life, so that through predestination he may be protected from temptations that he could not bear; with the hope that he may obtain his inheritance.
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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit who is central to possessing our inheritance. The believer’s possession of his inheritance is conditional upon fulfilling God’s call for him. The Holy Spirit’s role is to keep the believer on the course of his calling despite temptations and difficulties. The word “guarantee” is God’s way of saying that He will be with us to do all to ensure that we possess our inheritance. From the time a person becomes a believer, the Holy Spirit is given to guide and to enable him to overcome difficulties and temptations until he takes possession of his inheritance. God is actively working within man, so that through the Spirit he may be strengthened to overcome temptations of life; with the hope that he may obtain his inheritance.
1. A child may have legal right to his inheritance, but access to his inheritance is given only when the child has reached a stage of maturity. Therefore, the main work of the Holy Spirit is to cause every child to mature in the Father’s virtues so as to obtain his inheritance. A believer’s mindset and response towards God’s guidance or discipline will determine his growth and stage of maturity. Inheritance differs from wages in that the latter is earned through his work whereas the former is given because of his position as a son. Hence, our focus should not be in doing things, but more so in being like God in His character and mindset. Wages is earned by doing, inheritance is obtained by being.
2. Knowing that God works all things according to the counsel of his will, He has total control over every situation in my life. Hence, I will never be in a situation of helplessness, but am fully able and equipped to deal with the challenges at hand. God, having full knowledge of my abilities, will not allow me to be exposed to challenges that I cannot bear. Thus, I am confident that with the Spirit, I could emerge victorious in every circumstance. God’s predestination of my circumstances gives me confidence to face every challenge that may come.
1. List down your current responsibilities either at work or family. In an effort to focus more on “being” rather than just “doing”, ask God to reveal to you if a certain character trait is missing or needed strengthening.
2. Bearing in mind that God has predestined your challenges either at home or work place, how should our attitude be when faced with these challenges?
Dear Lord, I thank You for predetermining the circumstances and events of my life. I thank You for giving me the Holy Spirit to help me until I acquire my inheritance. Having the assurance of my inheritance, I am free to serve You with all that I possess and be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.