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.
we have obtained an inheritance (v.11) — the best manuscripts say “we were made an inheritance” or “we were designated as a heritage”
also (v.11) — we have been made an inheritance in addition to the hoe we have in the future (v.10). God not only told us the mystery of our future hope but He also has made us an inheritance.
predestinated (v.11) = to mark out the boundaries or limits beforehand — so, “in whom we were made an inheritance, having been previously marked out (for this) according to the purpose of His will.
all things (v.11) — absolutely all — not just things pertaining to us
counsel (v.11) — with the idea of intelligence and deliberation
will (v.11) = desire that comes from the emotions — so, the emotions are governed by reason — and for reasons known only to God
trusted (v.12) = to hope before, to repose hope in a person or thing before events confirm it
in Christ (v.12) = in the Christ — in the Messiah
should be (v.12) — not indicating obligation (here) because our position in Christ is in view, not our experience. Here it refers to God’s ultimate objective.
One of my commentaries says that the “we” in these verses were Jewish Christians who were the first to be offered salvation. That doesn’t make sense to me because Paul’s letter was addressed to Gentiles and I don’t see how the readers could have known that suddenly Paul wasn’t talking about them anymore.
So, are the “we who first trusted” those Christians who believed under grace when it was first offered, like Paul and those who worked with him?
Or is it saying that all those (including those of us who believe today) who have trusted Christ should be to the praise of God’s glory? In other words, was it God’s will that any who trust Christ for salvation will (should in the sense of will in the future), by that very act, be to the praise of God’s glory? That’s the view I lean toward at this point.
I asked my pastor friend and this was his response:
Israel should have been those who first trusted in Christ. Instead it’s the body who first trusted in Him. When Paul says the Ephesians “also” trusted in Him, he’s merely saying that they have become a part of those who first trusted in Christ. In other words, those who first trusted consists of “we” and “ye also”.