Home > Ephesians with the Church Fathers > Ephesians 1:11-14

Ephesians 1:11-14

Biblical Text
"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory."
(Ephesians 1:11-14, TNIV)

Commentary from the Early Church Fathers(1)
Our Inheritance Is Secured. Chrysostom: By this seal God shows great forethought for humanity. He not only sets apart a people and gives them an inheritance but secures it as well. It is just as if someone might stamp his heirs plainly in advance; so God set us apart to believe and sealed us for the inheritance of future glory

My Comments
Ah, the predestination verses from Ephesians. I will admit that there was a day when these verses dominated my thinking like nothing else, primarily because of my training in Westminster Calvinism (aka TULIP). But, in more recent years my thinking has broadened out and I now take more seriously the question of what does it mean that "In him we were also chosen…" What does it mean to view election/predestination through Jesus the Christ?

The part about these versus that caught my attention were the ending – "When you believe you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…" and "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation". The phrase, "in Christ" is one of the most common in the New Testament (perhaps the most common, depending on how you define a phrase) and is worthy of great consideration. It is this spirit that joins us to Christ and allows us to share in his life.

John Chrysostom (344/354–407; fl. 386–407). Bishop of Constantinople who was noted for his orthodoxy, his eloquence and his attacks on Christian laxity in high places.

  1. All comments taken from: M. J. Edwards, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture NT 8. (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1999), ???.
  2. Biographical information is from: ACCS Introduction and Bibliographic Information, Ancient Christian commentary on Scripture. (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2005).
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