“also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.” NASVU
If it seems that Paul is saying the same things over again, it’s because he is repeating himself although he uses different terms. No matter how you look at it, all that God is doing through Jesus is to bring glory to himself. Those in Ephesus (who Paul was singling- out) received God’s gift of grace because they were faithful saints. Having put on Christ in baptism, they were now the eternal recipients of eternal grace.
Paul goes through the progression from start to end. I want us to look at it in reverse. What is the end of this passage? It is that those in Christ would become the praise of God’s glory. What happened earlier results in the praise of God’s glory. In the first eight verses of Ephesians, there are ten things that God has done for us. Three times in this first chapter we are told that these things are for the praise of His glory. (6, 12, 14)
Who is involved in this verse that would be to the praise of His glory? It is Paul and others who were the ones to become one in Christ. That’s what he has been saying. It’s how he began the chapter and the book. To those who are faithful saints.
How did this happen? It was according to God’s purpose. He determined before the world that the righteous should live by faith. He declared adoption to those who would be his children by faith. God predestined, predetermined that those who were faithful saints, the ones whose hope was in Christ, would be the ones who would praise him.
Why did this work out this way? God wanted children, and he obtained them by the process of adoption as we will see later. He had a promise for those children. It was the promise of inheritance. It and all the other gifts mentioned in this passage are a result of grace on God’s part and faithfulness on man’s part. God predetermined that any who had faith in his Son would be his children and inherit his promises.
This idea of predestination is sometimes faulty taught as if God did some form of eenie, meanie, miny, mo. They say that some are saved because God wanted them to be saved and the rest are lost because God wanted them to be lost. He just chose, and it’s his right to choose, and that’s all there is to it. Nothing could be further than the truth. The Bible is plain, “God does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) If God predetermined that some would be lost then why would he want them to repent? Repentance is one of the keys to salvation. God calls mankind to repent and turn and follow him.
God wants praise from his people. Those who are faithful saints give that praise. Those outside of Christ cannot give God praise for his glory because they have not received that glory. Read the first 12 verses again. God gives good gifts to the faithful saints so that the faithful saints will have cause to praise him. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. These are the spiritual blessing found in Christ. God chose the Ephesian Christians based on their obedience to His Son. Because of their faith he made them righteous. He made them his adopted heirs, showered them with grace and love. All to the praise of his glory.