|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:9-14 Blessings were made known to believers, by the Lord's showing to them the mystery of his sovereign will, and the method of redemption and salvation. But these must have been for ever hidden from us, if God had not made them known by his written word, preached gospel, and Spirit of truth. Christ united the two differing parties, God and man, in his own person, and satisfied for that wrong which caused the separation. He wrought, by his Spirit, those graces of faith and love, whereby we are made one with God, and among ourselves. He dispenses all his blessings, according to his good pleasure. His Divine teaching led whom he pleased to see the glory of those truths, which others were left to blaspheme. What a gracious promise that is, which secures the gift of the Holy Ghost to those who ask him! The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit seal believers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven. These are the first-fruits of holy happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that he has done for us; let all be ascribed unto the praise of his glory.
Verse 12. - That we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ. The "we" which hitherto has been applied to the whole Church, Jewish and Gentile, begins to have a more limited reference, and to contrast with "you" in ver. 13. The first "we" in this verse embraces all, as in the preceding part of the chapter; the second (omitted in the A.V.) is conditioned by the words following, and is applicable to the Jewish Christians, who, through the promises given to the fathers, had seen Christ's day afar off, and had thus hoped in him. This special reference to ἡμᾶς is followed immediately by a reference to ὑμεῖς.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That we should be to the praise of his glory,.... This is the end of predestination to the inheritance; and the sense is, either that the praise of the glory of God, in his grace and goodness, might be discovered and made known unto the saints, as it is displayed in election, redemption, justification, pardon, adoption, regeneration, and eternal salvation; or that they should praise and glorify him on account of these things, by ascribing all to his grace, and nothing to themselves; by giving him thanks for all his benefits; by ordering their conversations aright as become the Gospel; and by doing all things with a view to his glory:
who first trusted in Christ; the Jews, the apostle, and others of the Jewish nation;
who before hoped in Christ, as the words may be rendered; who hoped in Christ before the Gentiles did; and indeed the people of Israel hoped for Christ before he came; the promises of the Messiah were made to them, and he was the peculiar hope and expectation of that people; and to them he first came, and to them the Gospel was first preached; and some of them first believed in Christ, and trusted in him, and not in their own righteousness, strength, wisdom, and riches, nor in their own hearts, nor in any mere creature, nor in their carnal privileges; all which they renounced confidence in, and dependence on, when they came to the knowledge of Christ; in whose person they trusted for acceptance, and in his righteousness for justification, and in his blood for pardon, and in his fulness for supply, and in his power for protection and perseverance: this supposes knowledge of him, and a sense of the frailty and vanity of all other objects; and was a betaking themselves to him, a leaning and staying on him, a committing all unto him, and an expectation of all good things from him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. (Eph 1:6, 14).
who first trusted in Christ—rather (we Jewish Christians), "who have before hoped in the Christ": who before the Christ came, looked forward to His coming, waiting for the consolation of Israel. Compare Ac 26:6, 7, "I am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come." Ac 28:20, "the hope of Israel" [Alford]. Compare Eph 1:18; 2:12; 4:4.
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