Online Bible Commentary
You Also Trusted
Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (NKJV)
Paul is writing to the church at Ephesus with instructions to circulate this letter through all the other churches of Asia. So he is writing, not to Jews but to Gentiles (non Jews). This distinction is important to understand when examining this passage.
Paul begins by writing that “we” were “predestined” by Christ (v. 11). Paul is a Jew, so when he writes “we” he means Jews. He is saying that Christ chose certain Jews to become His followers. The gospel was first taken to the Jews, who were “the first to put our hope in Christ” (v.12).
A sovereign God has the right to choose some, while not choosing others. By choosing some, he is not keeping others from being followers because they have the free will to choose to become followers. God has the right to choose anyone, Jew or non Jew.
The New Testament gives us examples of some Jews who were chosen by Christ. Jesus chose the twelve disciples that He had a divine appointment with as He travelled around early in His ministry. The official name for these twelve is “apostle” because they were to be with Jesus during His earthly ministry and then to be “sent forth” to preach the gospel after His departure from earth. The word “apostle” means “one sent forth”. The Apostle Paul was also chosen by Christ, on the road to Damascus. These meetings did not happen by chance. They were fore ordained by Jesus.
Christ predestined some Jews because it was His will to do so (v.11b). His purpose in doing this was so that they would glorify Him (v.12).
Paul then turns his attention to the Gentiles to whom he is writing this letter. He writes “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (v. 13a). Unlike the Jewish elect, the Gentiles were not chosen by Christ. They chose to follow Christ of their own free will.
The Gentiles chose Christ as a result of hearing “the word of truth, the gospel.” They heard the gospel, the good news, of Jesus Christ and “trusted”. They trusted their lives to Jesus. They became faithful followers.
When we become followers of Christ we receive the Holy Spirit (v. 13b). The Holy Spirit seals us in Christ so that we will never lose our salvation. True believers never lose their salvation. They may stray for awhile but if they truly accepted Christ they will find their way back. If they did not truly accept Christ they will not find their way back and, in fact, were never believers in the first place. We may not know who is a Christian and who is not but Christ always knows our hearts.
Paul has written to Jewish followers (we), non Jewish followers (you), and now to all followers (our) when he writes the Holy Spirit is “a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (v. 14a). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Christians guarantees inheritance of eternal life in Heaven (v. 14b).
So, you see, Christ chooses some to be followers and others choose Christ to follow. We all have the opportunity to go to Heaven. That is what is most important!