The following is from Dr. Jack Cottrell. While he is neither a member of SEA or a self-declared Arminian, his thoughts on Ephesians 1 are very insightful.
QUESTION: Calvinists say that Ephesians 1:1-11 clearly establishes the absolute and all-inclusive sovereignty of God, including the unconditional predestination of the elect to salvation. How do you interpret this text?
ANSWER: A right understanding of Ephesians 1:1-11 begins with the recognition that God’s purpose for Israel was from the beginning limited to preparing for the coming of the Messiah, namely, for the incarnation of God the Logos as the human person Jesus of Nazareth. Once the Messiah came, it was God’s eternal purpose to merge all believing Israelites and all believing Gentiles into one new body called the church. This is the main point of the book of Ephesians, and it is the key to understanding the often misused passage in Ephesians 1:1-11.