11In 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, 12that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (NKJV)
The Greek word for “first trusted” is proelpizō. It’s a compound word “pro” meaning before and “elpizo” meaning hope. This is the only place in scripture that this word is used. Commentators think the “we” who first hoped in Christ the Messiah were the believing Jews who Paul considers himself to be. These were the ones who were the first to hear the good news and place their trust in Jesus.
First, the important thing here is that they put their trust, hope and belief in Jesus. So many people are putting their hope and trust in things and people who will let them down. Many have trusted in religious figures such as Buddha and Mohammed. That will not bring praise to God’s glory. There is only one way to bring praise to God and that is to trust in Jesus.
It’s interesting as a side note that the word trust is used a great deal in the Old Testament. Trust in the Lord. It’s used very little in the New Testament and only a couple of places about trusting in the Lord. The New Testament is faith—believing. “And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” (Matthew 12:21)
Second, I think this is for us all. Verse 13 adds that the Ephesians also hoped. I see this as passing on the baton. Paul and the believing Jews passed the good news on to the Gentiles and over the centuries that was passed on to us. Each passed on the good news to the glory of God. Some of the details may have gotten distorted along the way, but the central most important point is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.
It’s our turn to run with the good news and pass it along to the generations that follow. This is our legacy and our inheritance. Praise the Lord for those who hoped in Christ before us.