Paul writes in Ephesians 1:11 that we have received an inheritance. 

As Christians, it is not only important to know that we have received an inheritance but actually know what the inheritance is.

As we investigate the first half of Ephesians 1:11-12, you will discover in this lesson the inheritance we have in Jesus Christ and how the Old Testament pointed to this reality even before the Cross.

By its end, you will not only have a grasp on your inheritance as a believer, but you will also know that Jesus desires to be your focus, provision, and life.

Lesson 021:
Our Great Inheritance as Christians

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A Simple Study Outline

Passage: Ephesians 1:11-12
Our Great Inheritance as Christians

Ephesians 1:11-12 – In Him also we have received an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will, that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, should live for the praise of His glory.

  • The Purpose: “for the praise of His glory” (verse 12, also see verse 6, 14)
  • Inheritance – found in Ephesians 1:11 – (ἐκληρώθημεν – eklērōthēmen) comes from the concept of casting lots or chosen in accordance with the will of God
    • the root word (klēroō) can be seen in verses such as Matthew 27:35
    • In the Old Testament, lots were used several times in the ministry of the high priest (see Exodus 28:30 and Leviticus 16:6-10), to select individuals (see Joshua 7:14-18, 1 Samuel 14:41-42, and Jonah 1:7), to assign priestly duties (see 1 Chronicles 24:5 and Nehemiah 10:34), to settle disputes (see Proverbs 18:18), or to divide the land (see Numbers 26:54-56; 34:54; and Joshua 14:2; 18:10)
  • Ephesians 1:14 – the Holy Spirit “… is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession …”
  • Ephesians 1:18 – “… know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance among the saints …”
  • Ephesians 1:4 – we were chosen “before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love”
  • Romans 8:16-17 – “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.”
  • Titus 3:5-7 – “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, being justified by His grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
  • Ephesians 3:4-6 – “… you may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members, and partakers of the promise in Christ by the gospel.”
  • Hebrews 1:2 – [God] “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the world.”
  • Deuteronomy 4:20 – [Moses speaking to the Israelites] But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be to Him a people of inheritance, as you are today.
  • Deuteronomy 9:29 – [Moses speaking to God about the Israelites] Yet they are Your people, Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your mighty power and by Your stretched-out arm.”
  • Deuteronomy 32:9 – For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19 – “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own?”

A LEVITICAL PICTURE (Old Testament foreshadow of Christians in the New)

  • Numbers 18:20 – The Lord said to Aaron: You will not have an inheritance in their land, nor will you have any territory among them. I am your territory and your inheritance among the children of Israel.
  • Joshua 13:33 – Yet Moses did not assign land to the tribe of Levi as an inheritance. The Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as He said to them. (also see Deut 10:9; 18:2)
  1. Jesus is our focus
    Just as the Levites were focused on God and ministering unto Him in the temple, our focus and ministry is Jesus Christ. In Revelation 2-3, the ministry of the churches was to be a lampstand holding up the lamp (Jesus). The lampstands may look different, with different emphasis in ministry, but our focus is all the same: the lamp itself (Jesus).
  2. Jesus is our provision
    God provided the Levites their food, resource, shelter, safety, and security.
    • Psalm 5:11 – But may all those who seek refuge in You rejoice; may they ever shout for joy, because You defend them; may those who love Your name be joyful in You. (also see: Psalm 20:1, 59:1, 91:14; Isaiah 31:5)
  3. Jesus is our life
    He is our inheritance, and the Spirit is the downpayment of that fullness.
    • 2 Peter 1:3 – “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and excellence …”

NRJohnson Commentary on “Our Great Inheritance as Christians” in Ephesians 1:11-12

» sorry for the delay on the commentaries, I am working on it and will have it available on here shortly. Thanks for your patience.

In Our Next Study Together …

Next time we are going to study the second half of Ephesians 1:11-12 and examine what Paul says in the statement, “being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will.” If you have time I’d encourage you to study ahead and prepare for our time together in the next lesson.

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The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series

The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is an in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. These studies will guide you through this life-changing book of the Bible and give you practical application to help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, experience the victorious Christian life, and help you build your life around Jesus Christ. 

About NRJohnson 

NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps Christians discover and experience a passionate love for God and His Word so that they can grow in their faith, live victorious lives, share the Gospel boldly, grow in their intimacy with Jesus, and transform the world through the indwelling life of Christ.
Read more about him here.

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