The honor of inheritance

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
Ephesians 1:11–12 ESV

The “inheritance” is a powerful proof of family identity. From the perspective of honor and shame, it was regarded in ancient times as proof of bloodline—of respect, honor, wealth and blessing conveyed by the father to his son. It is still thought of in this manner, but in ancient times the significance is magnified many times compared to our modern day.

Verse 11 says, “we have obtained an inheritance…” Concerning this inheritance, some comments:

  1. It is “in him”—in Christ. Through our union with Jesus Christ, what we have received is of inestimable honor and value.
  2. This was decided along ago, “predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” … there is a sublime, divine intelligence … a divine social pact in the Trinity that through “counsel” developed a “purpose” and then put the plan into action.
  3. There is an Author and a Story, indeed, and “we have obtained an inheritance,” we are included in the Story! This is an awesome honor and privilege.

In verse 12,

The “inheritance” is a powerful proof of family identity. From the perspective of honor and shame, it was regarded in ancient times as proof of bloodline—of respect, honor, wealth and blessing conveyed by the father to his son. It is still thought of in this manner, but in ancient times the significance is magnified many times compared to our modern day.

Furthermore, “we have obtained an inhertance”…

  1. In him, in Christ. Through our union with Jesus Christ, what we have received is of inestimable honor and value.
  2. This was decided along ago, “predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” … there is a sublime, divine intelligence … a diviine social pact in the Trinity through “counsel” developed a “purpose” and then put the plan into action.
  3. There is an Author and a Story, indeed, and “we have obtained an inheritance,” we are included in the Story! This is an awesome hono and privilege.

In verse 12, Paul speaks of the immediate context of his time and role in the grand Story, when he says, “so that we who were the first to hope in Christ…” He is aware that,

  1. Paul and his fellow believers have a special honor: that of being “the first to hope in Christ.” They are part of the first generation, the first in their local lineage, the first in their respective families to put their hope in Christ.
  2. They are among the very first ones, therefore, to have the privilege of living in Christ, “to the praise of his glory.”

This passage overflows with honor and glory.

speaks of the immediate context of his time and role in the grand Story, when he says, “so that we who were the first to hope in Christ…” He is aware that,

  1. Paul and his fellow believers have a special honor: that of being “the first to hope in Christ.” They are part of the first generation, the first in their local lineage, the first in their respective families to put their hope in Christ.
  2. They are among the very first ones, therefore, to have the privilege of living in Christ, “to the praise of his glory.”

This passage overflows with honor and glory.


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