“…who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it…” (Ephesians 1:14)
Bible Reading: Ephesians1:13-14
Paul mentions another special truth when talking about the inheritance that awaits us in glory. He says that those who believe the gospel of salvation are “sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
The gift of the Holy Spirit to believers serves as a “seal”, something that secures and confirms our salvation. This is not some special influence of the Spirit that Paul is referring to but the actual indwelling presence of the Spirit. Those who have the Spirit belong to Christ, and the presence of the Spirit bears witness to the certainty that they shall inherit all things with him.
But more than just a certifying seal entitling us to that inheritance, the Holy Spirit is also a “guarantee” that the inheritance will surely be given. Here, the word “guarantee” is sometimes likened to a “deposit” guaranteeing full payment and future possession. That is the thought Paul has in mind here, for he says that the Spirit serves as a “guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it” (v. 14). We don’t yet enjoy the inheritance God has prepared for us, but God has made it certain through the gift of the Spirit.
Paul connects these ideas also in his second letter to the Corinthians. Speaking of the grace of God which has established the Corinthian believers in Christ with himself, he adds, “and has anointed us, and has also put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The “anointing” he refers to is the pouring of his Spirit upon them. That Spirit acts both as a seal and a “guarantee”.
What a blessing that is. God seals and secures us for the glory that awaits us. He also gives us a foretaste of that – a “down payment” as it were, a measure of the life in the Spirit that shall be fully ours when we take possession of our inheritance.
There are times when even the sturdiest Christians waver in their faith. They wonder if the sacrifice of position, power and pleasure in the world is worthwhile. What if it is all a delusion? As Paul writes, again to the Corinthians, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Most of us at times have thoughts like these passing through our minds.
While the sure promises of Scripture are enough to banish our doubts, God has given us something more than that. He has given us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who guarantees that our hopes are not empty.
The best counter to plaguing doubts about our future is to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Every evidence of his presence in our hearts is grounds to be sure that a great and glorious destiny awaits us.
- Are you aware of the Holy Spirit within you?
- Does this give you hope for the fuller happiness of things to come?
– Andrew Young