In the last post, we discussed verses 11 and 12. Now, let’s look at verses 13 and 14.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
We have four definite things concerning the work of the Holy Spirit here. For example, everyone who puts his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ is born of the Spirit. Now that speaks of relationship. You have it also in Rom 8:14-15—For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Or take Joh 1:12-13: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
That’s what our Lord meant in Joh 3:5, when He said—Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
You see, that’s the first thing; that means relationship. We’re members of His family.
And the second thing the Spirit of God does is indwell us. That means that these bodies become the temples of God. Why? That we might show forth something of the character of God. You remember, you also have this in Joh 14:16-17—And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
He speaks of the Spirit of God who is with you and He shall be in you and will not leave you orphans in Joh 14:18—I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
What for? That you might reveal the Father, even as I have, He says. In other words, the Christian becomes God’s channel to express His character and His love to men.
And then the third thing that the Spirit of God does the moment we’re Christians: He baptizes us into the body of Christ. And this speaks of union with Christ. You remember, in 1Co 12:13, we read—For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
In Joh 7:37-39, we have—In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
One could go on about the ministry of the Spirit of God; suffice it to say that God does four definite things the moment a person accepts the Saviour with respect to the Spirit of God. He’s born of the Spirit; that’s relationship. He’s indwelt by the Spirit; we become God’s channels of expression. We’re baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ; and that speaks of our union with Christ and it speaks of our preservation.
Now the fourth one is this in Eph 1:13-14—We are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God, which is the earnest of our inheritance. Earnest means the foretaste of our inheritance. You remember, in Ephesians 4:30, we have—Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. In 2Co 1:22, we have—Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
These are the three times we have this in the New Testament, just these three places—Eph 1:13, Eph 4:30 and 2Co 1:22 where you have the Spirit of God sealing the believer. One could enlarge on this by referring to Jude where he says we’re preserved in Christ Jesus.
You see, that indicates a finished transaction. When you seal something, the thing is finished. It indicates ownership. We belong to Him. It indicates identification or distinction. That is, we’re marked out as the sons of God. Just as our Saviour was marked out as the Son of God by His Spirit, so the believer has been marked out from all others by the Spirit of God. Outside forces cannot come in to spoil the one who belongs to Him.
So we are sealed in Christ, chosen in Christ, placed in Christ, preserved in Christ. I tell you, it’s a wonderful thing. As 1Co 1:30 says—Of him are ye in Christ Jesus. In Eph 1:4, we are chosen in Christ. What better place can you be, my friend, than to be in Christ? This means life. And how long are we sealed? It says in Eph 4:30 that we are sealed until the day of redemption. “What day is that?” you say. “I thought we were already redeemed.”
Yes. But Paul is talking about the completion of our redemption. In Rom 8:18-25, we are saved by hope. He talks there in those verses about the redemption of the body. You see, I’m saved. I’m a three-part man. I’ve a spirit, I’ve a soul, I’ve a body. My body is not yet redeemed. I am redeemed, but my body has not yet experienced that redemption; but it will.
As that passage in Rom 8:1-39 declares, the very creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God when these bodies will be fashioned like unto His glorious body. My friends, it’s a wonderful thing. We’ve been redeemed and we’ve been sealed until the day of redemption. Not until the day we backslide, but until the day of redemption. That’s what Paul means in 2Ti 1:12—I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to guard my deposit until that day. What day? The day when I stand in His presence, conformed to the image of His Son.
As, Eph 1:1-23 states that we were brought into the purpose of God and that He works all things out after the counsel of His own will. None can say to God, “What are You doing?” God either breaks us or He transforms us. He either judges us or He saves us. When He saves you, He saves you with an everlasting salvation; He makes the thing sure by sealing us by the Spirit of God until the day of redemption.
By the way, this is what Peter means in 1Pe 1:5—Of a salvation yet to be revealed. And you have it in Rom 13:11—And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. He’s talking about the completion of our inheritance. And the Spirit is given to us as the earnest or the guarantee of that completion. The earnest is the same as the inheritance. Christ in glory guarantees our access, and the Spirit of God in us guarantees the finished work. It’s all to the praise of His glory, as you have in Eph 1:14.
Just go back a little bit. In Eph 1:5-6, we have the Father’s work—To the praise of the glory of His grace. In Eph 1:12, we have the Son’s work—That we should be to the praise of His glory. And in verse 14, we have the work of the Spirit—Unto the praise of His glory.
Did you ever think of it? All to the praise of His glory. The ultimate purpose of all redemption is the glory of God.
One of these days, you and I will stand in His presence. We will not only be conformed to the image of His Son, just like the Lord Jesus, but we’ll know that through eternity we’re going to bring eternal praise to Him.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if you and I lived today just for the praise of His glory? Instead of living for self, instead of living for mere material gain, instead of living for the lust of the flesh and the desires of the mind, why not live today for the praise of His glory? Just to live today for the Lord Jesus. Oh, that we might glorify Him in our actions, in our words, in our very attitudes.
You’ve been living for yourself; you’ve been living for your own pleasure, and for some reason or other you’ve become so occupied with yourself that you’ve made yourself miserable and everybody else miserable. Now why don’t you live for the Saviour? Live for His praise today. Be for the praise of the glory of His grace today and you’ll not only be happy yourself but you’ll make everybody around you happy.