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 the first 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 ESV)
Thus far in this letter to the Ephesians we’ve learned that God came up with a plan to cleanse us from our sins and adopt us into His eternal family. [Ephesians 1:3-5]. We also learned that Jesus executed that plan and through Him we have an inheritance of blessings waiting for us in heaven [Ephesians 1:5-11]. Today we learn that the Holy Spirit – the 3rd person of The Trinity – guarantees that inheritance.
The Greek word translated “guarantee” is αρρηαβον (pronounced: ar-hrab-ohn’) and means “something (usually money) that is given as a pledge that the full amount will be paid in the future”. We still have this concept today. When we purchase a home we make a down payment as proof that we will go through with the transaction.
God gives believers the Holy Spirit for the same reason. At the moment a person is adopted into God’s family as a result of believing in the work of Jesus’ [John 1:12], he or she receives the Holy Spirit, which is God living inside that person [Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:16].
At the moment a person “believes in Him”, God seals that person with the Holy Spirit and gives Him to him/her as His pledge that he/she will inherit all the blessings of heaven for all eternity [2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5].
A seal in biblical times was usually made of hot wax, impressed with a signet ring or other official insignia. It represented ownership and security. Being sealed with the Holy Spirit means the same thing.
Believers who are “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” are owned by God. Much like a brand on cattle, the Holy Spirit in a believer indicates that person belongs to God. Believers are also secure – they will never be taken away from God. No believer ever need worry about losing their place in heaven. Once a person is saved he/she is forever saved.
God offers everyone eternal life through His son. First a person must “hear the word of truth” and then believe. When he/she does, God seals the deal with the Holy Spirit. That person forever belongs to God.
The Holy Spirit is also a down payment – a pledge – from God as proof that He will complete the transaction in the future by making us 100% holy and taking us to heaven.
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