“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were first in to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14
In more cases than not, God uses His Word to draw His elect unto Himself. Isaiah 45:22 was the external call of the Spirit to which Spurgeon answered in faith. Romans 13:13 convicted St. Augustine of his sensuality and drew him to repentance. A verse which marks the moment of conversion might generally be considered the most special in a person's life. For me, however, Scriptures confirming the certainty of my salvation and the absolute sovereignty of God are especially significant and beautiful.
Two summers ago, I found myself face to face with a very serious sin. Once I had dealt with the temporal, immediate consequences, I began to worry about the spiritual and eternal ramifications of my sin. In my shame, I wondered how a true child of God could commit such a flagrant offense, and I became nervous at the thought of “falling into the Hands of a holy God.” In the months that followed, however, I found increasing comfort in Ephesians 1:13, which assured me that I have been “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Who is a guarantee of [my] inheritance.”
I find hope, peace, and comfort in knowing that my Heavenly Father has foreordained all events and has predestined me for glory; my salvation is secure in Him forever. The entirety of Ephesians 1 encourages me as I struggle with internal sin as well as the evil that besets me externally. It also reminds me that God is sovereign over all things, including the distressing events of life. I find particular assurance in verse 11, which affirms that He “works all things according to the counsel of His will.”
The first chapter of Ephesians has profoundly affected how I interpret what is happening within and around me. In my battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil, I am strengthened knowing that my salvation is secure in Jesus Christ and that I will acquire possession of an inheritance to the praise of His glory.