Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV
“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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
Who are “We”?
We are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. So we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. If we don’t, we will not inherit eternal life.
Therefore, we are not to let sin reign (rule, be in control) in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for sin is to no longer have dominion over us. Instead, we are to no longer walk according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit. For, if sin is what we obey, it ends in death, but if we are obeying the Lord, it ends in eternal life with God. So, we are to be people who are putting off the deeds of the flesh and who are walking in obedience to our Lord in surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives.
So, we have only obtained this inheritance if we have first died with Christ to sin, and we have been raised with Christ to newness of life in him, and now we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. For if we walk (in practice, in conduct) in sin, according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if we walk according to the Spirit, then we have that inheritance as long as we continue in Christ steadfast in our faith in walks of obedience to him and in surrender of our lives to him to the very end.
[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24]
We’ve Obtained an Inheritance
We who are dying to sin and living to God and to his righteousness, in walks of obedience to him, have obtained an inheritance. For we were predestined by God according to his purpose and according to his expressed will for our lives which we can learn about by reading Matthew thru Revelation, word by word, in context, prayerfully, and with a full desire and intention to obey our Lord in doing what his word teaches that we as followers of Christ must do.
You have not obtained this inheritance if you have not died with Christ to sin and if you are not living to him and to his righteousness, but you are continuing in deliberate and habitual sin against God. No amount of words you say with your lips in the way of a confession of faith in Jesus Christ, if not followed with obedience to the Lord and the forsaking of your sins, will result in you obtaining this inheritance by God’s grace, through faith.
And these are not my words. This is what God’s word teaches (see verse references above). So, you can’t claim this inheritance for yourself if you do not meet God’s requirements for receiving that inheritance. Those who are to receive this inheritance are predestined according to God’s purpose and will for our lives, which is that we live godly, upright and holy lives in obedience to our Lord and in the forsaking of our sin until the very end.
And we are to be for the praise of his glory. It is not for the praise of his glory if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin and if we feel as though we do not have to repent of our sins or obey the Lord or submit to him as Lord of our lives. How is that glorifying God? It is not! It is insulting God and his grace when we continue in willful sin and we snub God and his will for our lives. It is only for his praise and glory when we die with him to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness in his power and strength.
The Guarantee of our Inheritance
Many people pull this out of context and they say that because they “believed” in Jesus Christ they are now sealed and heaven is guaranteed them no matter how they live or how much they sin. But we have to read this in context, not only in this chapter, but in the whole book of Ephesians, and in the context of the whole of Scripture, particularly the New Testament.
For belief in Jesus Christ is not just words we say. Faith comes from God and is authored by Jesus and is perfected by Jesus and is gifted to us by God and it is not of ourselves. So this faith must align with God’s word, with his will and purpose for our lives, and with the meaning of faith which means to be persuaded of God. And God will persuade us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to die with him to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness as slaves of righteousness, no longer as slaves to sin. For this is the purpose for which Jesus died.
If we have genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ which is being lived out in our daily walks, which is evidence that our faith is of God, and that it is genuine faith, we do have this hope of eternal life with God. But the Scriptures are quite clear that we must continue in that faith, steadfast, in walks of obedience, and not in sin, until the very end, or we will not inherit eternal life with God. So, please take this to heart.
Jesus said this: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt 7:21-23).
An Original Work / August 8, 2012
Based off Ephesians 1:3-10 NIV
Praise be to God, the Father of Jesus,
Who has blessed us in heavenly realms.
For He chose us in Him from beginning
To be His holy children of God;
All in accord with His will and pleasure;
To the praise of His glorious grace.
In Jesus Christ we receive forgiveness.
We have redemption through His shed blood.
Glorious grace God freely has given us
In the One He loves and adores;
All in accord with the riches of His grace
Which He pours out on those He loves.
With all His wisdom and understanding,
God has made known His will unto us,
According to His will and good pleasure,
Purposed in Christ till all be fulfilled;
To bring all things on earth and in heaven
Under our Lord Christ; be unified.