Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ephesians 1:11-14

11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

Questions to Consider
  • Verse 11 says we have obtained an inheritance. From whom? What kind of relationship does that imply we have with God?
  • What relationship is there between those who “first” set their hope on Christ and those who later hear the word of truth?
  • What is this inheritance? Do we have it yet? Are we still in some sense waiting for it?
  • How about our redemption (our release from slavery)? Do we have it yet? Are we still in some sense waiting for it?
  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the unfolding of God’s plan?

Possibilities for Prayer

This short little passage uses the phrase “the praise of his glory” twice. “Glory” literally means “brilliance” and is often taken figuratively to mean something like “reputation.” God’s glory is built through the things God does because of what they reveal about who God is. A more theological definition of glory, then, would be something like “the brilliance of God’s love. for the beloved.” Ephesians says that we are to live for the praise of God’s glory (v. 12), that the ultimate end of God’s plan is the praise of God’s glory (v. 14). Given what we’re learning about God’s plan to free us from sin, adopt us as His own, and give us His Holy Spirit, we have a lot of evidence of God’s love—we’re seeing God’s glory. Let’s give Him praise and ask that not just our prayers but our lives could praise God’s glory.