Ephesians 1:11, 12   "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."

The inheritance is already ours.  We are not yet in possession of it, but we have already obtained it.  We obtained it because we are in Christ.  Sometimes children are given an inheritance but they have to wait until they reach a certain age until they come into full possession of the inheritance.  Sometimes they are given an earnest of their inheritance.  The same can be said of the elect children of God.  We have an inheritance based on the covenant of redemption and what God has done for us.  Yet we will not come into full possession of that inheritance until the resurrection.  Until the resurrection, however, we are given the earnest of our inheritance (see verse 14). 

Among the three things that God has predestinated the elect unto is an inheritance.  We have this inheritance through the predestination of God.  God has fixed the final destiny of the elect to include an eternal inheritance. 

This eternal inheritance is by the covenant promise of God and not by the works of the law: Gal. 3:17 "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."  We do not work to earn this inheritance, but we have it because God promised it to us before the foundation of the world.

We have this inheritance, also, because of the atoning blood of Christ: Heb 9:15 "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."

1 Peter 1:3 tells us of the nature of this eternal inheritance: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."  This inheritance is an incorruptible inheritance.  We currently dwell in corrupt bodies which will continue to corrupt until death.  In the resurrection, we shall be raised incorruptible.  Our bodies are defiled by sin, but after our change in the resurrection, we will no longer be defiled with sin and further cannot be defiled with sin.  The life, that we now live, fades away.  We get old and then we die and even the memory of our lives by others fades until no one remembers us except God.  In the resurrection, there will be no aging, no dying, and no fading away.  This eternal inheritance is reserved in heaven for us.  Our names are written in the Lambs book of life.  We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.  By covenant arrangement we will one day stand before God and receive the full possession of our eternal inheritance. 

In Romans chapter 8 we are told of the extent of our eternal inheritance: Rom. 8:16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."  Being a joint-heir with Christ means that everything that Christ possesses everyone of us also possesses.

"According to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."  The counsel of God's will is set forth for us in Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."  It was God who first trusted in Christ.  This trust in Christ was that Christ would fulfill the covenant work in the covenant of redemption.  God was confident that Christ would fulfill this work.  Our obtaining this eternal inheritance is to the praise of God's glory.  It has to be God's glory, because is the one who is responsible for us having this inheritance and we did nothing to earn this inheritance. 

Ephesians 1:13, 14   "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

Verse 12 had expressed to us the fact that God had trusted in Christ to fulfill the covenant of redemption.  It says that God first trusted in Christ.  Now we see the trust of the children of God in the covenant work of Jesus Christ.  This trust in Christ to fulfill the covenant of redemption came after we heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation. 

There are two belief systems as to what the gospel is.  One belief system calls adherence to a set of rules or commandments to get born again, or to be saved from sin, or to get eternal life the gospel.  The other belief system says salvation from sin, being born again, and getting eternal life is by the grace of God alone and comes through Jesus Christ fulfilling the covenant of redemption.

Paul had this to say about the two belief systems in Galatians chapter 1: Gal. 1:6 "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."  Paul called the gospel of the grace of Christ the true gospel.  He called the other belief system a perverted other gospel and those that preach it accursed. 

The true gospel gives all the praise unto God for our eternal salvation from sin and the new or spiritual birth.  The other perverted gospel shares credit between God and man for eternal salvation from sin and for the new birth. 

When God's children hear the true gospel of the grace of Christ and believe it, they trust in Christ that he fulfills the covenant of redemption.  In this covenant work, he saves them from their sin, caused them to be born of the Spirit and ultimately raises them from the corruption of their mortal bodies by changing their mortal bodies into sinless immortal bodies. 

 When God's children believe the true gospel of the grace of Christ, they are sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.  This sealing is not the new or spiritual birth, for they are already born of the Spirit when they hear and believe the gospel.  This sealing is like the king's ring that is used to authenticate a document.  The Holy Spirit impresses upon our heart and mind when we believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ that we are a part of God's covenant children and that all the promises of God found in that covenant are made to us.  Ultimately, we will be in full possession of that eternal inheritance that awaits us in the morning of the resurrection.  Now, we have the assurance of that inheritance by covenant promise and through belief in that promise, we have the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.  Christ has already purchased us and will come to take us home in the resurrection.   

Ephesians 1:15-23  "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

Paul describes to us a prayer that he had for the saints at Ephesus.  Notice when Paul began to pray for the brethren at Ephesus.  He began praying for them after that he heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus and of their love unto all the saints.  The faith and love of the saints at Ephesus were two evidences of the fact that they had been born of the Spirit of God.  While we do not know nor are we required to seek to know who has or has not been born of the Spirit of God, we do feel a desire to pray for them especially after we have seen evidences of their spiritual birth.  The things of which Paul prayed for the saints at Ephesus require that they be born of the Spirit of God in order for them to receive those things.

"Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers."  After Paul heard of their faith and love he told them that he ceased not to give thanks for them.  Paul was given thanks to God for them.  Certainly, this is appropriate that we give thanks to God for the born again children of God and their faith and love to the saints.  It is God who chose them before the foundation of the world to be his children.  Further, it is God who quickened them into spiritual life.  In addition, it is God who leads them by his Spirit to an understanding of the doctrines of grace and to a desire to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth.  Moreover, it is God that gives them a desire to serve him by manifesting the love in their hearts to the saints of God.  Thus we also should cease not to give thanks to God for the saints we come in contact with and to make mention of them in our prayers.

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:" The spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ comes from the Father of glory.  We can receive this spirit of wisdom and revelation from no other source.  True wisdom comes from God.  James tells us that we should pray for that wisdom and that God will give it to us: James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."  While we should pray that God will give us wisdom, we should also pray that God will give each of his children wisdom and a revelation in the knowledge of Christ. 

The reason you understand the doctrine of the grace of Christ is because God revealed unto you.  The reason others of God's children do not understand the doctrine of the grace of Christ is because it has not yet been revealed unto them.  Our prayers should be like that of Paul in Romans chapter 10:1 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling," It is through the work of the Spirit of God and through the preaching of the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ that the eyes of our understanding are enlightened.  We should pray that God would enlighten the eyes of understanding of his people that they may know the hope of his calling.  There is a reason that God has called you to spiritual life or to the spiritual birth.  Once a person has been born of the Spirit we know that the scriptures teach that they were embraced in the covenant of redemption.  The end result of that covenant of redemption is the glorification of the elect in the resurrection of the dead so that they are conformed to the image of Christ.  The glorification of our vile bodies is the hope of God's calling.  Through the knowledge of the truth of salvation by grace through the covenant work of God we come to know (understand) the hope of our calling.  We should be in continual prayer that God's children may know the hope of their calling.

"And what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,"  All that God does in the covenant of redemption is to his name's praise, honor, and glory.  All the work of that covenant is God's work.  All the results are because of God's work and none is the result of man's work.  God's inheritance in the saints abounds to the riches of his glory.  Our justification is to his glory.  Our spiritual calling is to his glory.  Our resurrection is to his glory.  Our knowledge of his covenant work is also to his glory for he has revealed these precious truths unto us.  We should pray that God's children would have their eyes enlightened to know what God has done for them so that they may give all the praise, honor, and glory unto God.

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe."  In the next part of this verse we see how that we came to believe, but now we see that it was Paul's prayer and desire that God's people would come to understand the exceeding greatness of God's power toward them.  This power is manifest in the new or spiritual birth.  We were born of the Spirit when we were dead in trespasses and sins and totally unable or desirous to be born of the Spirit.  Further, we were justified by the blood of Christ when we were without strength, ungodly, sinners, and the very enemies of God.  Finally, we will be glorified in the resurrection when our vile bodies that lay in the dust are changed and given life and glorified into the very image of Christ.  Certainly all of this is brought about by the exceeding greatness of God's power.

"According to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places."  Our belief is a result of the working of God's might power.  Paul compares the mighty power of God that enabled us to believe with the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.  It does not take any less of God's power to raise us up to spiritual live than it took to raise Christ from the dead.  Without the power of the Spirit of God we could not believe the gospel of the grace of Christ.  Our ability to believe the gospel is because of the exceeding greatness of God's power.  Man cannot generate this ability to believe through his efforts.  It takes God to quicken us into spiritual life before we can believe.

"And set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."  When God raised Christ from the dead he positioned him in the very highest of positions.  He is far above all principalities, powers, mights, and dominions.  He is above every name that is named.  He sets and reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.  Furthermore, he is over all things to the church.  The church is complete in him and has every thing that it needs to properly and orderly and completely function.  In addition, the church is the body of Christ who is the fullness of him that filleth all in all.  Praise be to God for his wonderful works to the children of men.