Excerpts From Ephesus – Part 4

Sealed With the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13-14

Ephesians 1:13-14 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, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Introduction

So far, we have been reviewing the “spiritual blessings in heavenly places” which are “according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7). The spiritual blessings have been from eternity and history past. Today we will look at those things that the church at Ephesus currently had and experienced. Therefore, we as Christians in the 21st century can also enjoy.

The Gospel First

Ephesians 1:13a 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,

The Apostle Paul reminds the readers that these blessings are only available to those that heard the Word of God, trusted in those scriptures and believed.

Notice with me how personal salvation is: “ye also trusted, ye heard the word of truth, your salvation, and ye believed.” They personally heard and they personally trusted. It was their personal belief and it is their personal salvation. No one else is responsible for your salvation but you.

Note: Trust stands in contrast to those that simply embrace salvation. My favorite question to really find out if a person is sure of their salvation is; “If you were to die today, are you 100% sure that you will spend eternity in heaven?” The answer to this question is very revealing. You can find out if the person trusts the Gospel or is simply in agreement with the Gospel. The Gospel may seem like a good idea, and it is, but to trust in the Word of God for your salvation is not the same than those that simply know about the Gospel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. (NLT)

The Gospel of Christ is the power of God at work unto salvation. The power of salvation is the Gospel. Gospel is translated as “God news” or “Good news.”

Also, please note God’s method of getting the Gospel out. Salvation comes through hearing, then trusting and finally believing the Gospel. The Gospel message is simply defined as the “death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.” The truth of the Gospel message is placing your trust in God’s Word and trust brings belief and belief brings salvation.

The Gospel message is preached, and the Holy Spirit works in the hearer. The Apostle Paul wrote the book to the Romans and he clearly defined the role of Christians today in the process of Salvation.

Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Therefore, an important part of the plan of Salvation, after God and Jesus did their part, is that those that believe are to preach. Preach means to proclaim the Word of God. That is everybody’s task. We are to …be witnesses unto me [Jesus the Christ] both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

Our Jerusalem is the town in which you live. Judaea is the state of Texas. Samaria is North America and the uttermost part of the earth is the world. We all have been called to spread the Word of God. There is no way around it.

The Holy Spirit has sealed us

Ephesians 1:13b 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, “…ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”

Not long ago, I had to have a document notarized, to prove that I was the person in the document and that the signature was mine. I took the document to a Notary Public and in front of the notary; I showed some Id and signed my name. Then the notary signed her name and put a seal on the document. The seal was then imprinted to show that the contract was completed. The seal also implies that I was who I said I was and that I had the right to sign the document.

The Roman seal on the grave of Jesus carried the meaning of security and ownership. No one would attempt to enter the grave or else they would find themselves being pursued by the government of Rome until they were caught, arrested and judged. That grave became the property of the Roman government until that seal was removed.

In much the same manner, that is what the Holy Spirit does. He put His seal on us. God has transferred the title of our life unto Him. So, when God puts His seal on the believer, they are the property of God with all the security and ownership of the Lord himself.
And most importantly, the transaction is finished! The seal also shows that the believer is genuine.

that holy Spirit of promise” – Jesus promised that the Comforter would come:
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
(See also John 16:7-11; 13; 15:26; 14:16-17)

The Holy Spirit gives the earnest of our inheritance

Ephesians 1:14a Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Which is the earnest of our inheritance”. In the time of Paul, earnest was the down payment that guaranteed the purchase of property to seal the deal. The down payment was the guarantee that the buyer was serious. In this way, the Holy Spirit is God’s earnest to the believer of the salvation that is offered. God is serious about salvation and gives the earnest, Holy Spirit, to the believer.

Earnest is also translated as “engagement ring.”

Ephesians 1:14b Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

“…until the redemption of the purchased possession”. Redemption is an interesting word. When we become believers, we are redeemed. I love that old hymn, “Redeemed”. That is what I am. But redemption has three parts:

  1. I have been redeemed from my sins by my faith in Jesus the Messiah
  2. We are being redeemed as the Holy Spirit does His work in and through the believer.
  3. We shall be redeemed when Christ returns, and we become like him.

Ephesians 1:14c Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

“…unto the praise of his glory.” – All of this, the believer’s sealing, the Holy Spirit as the earnest, for our inheritance is to the praise of God’s Glory!

Conclusion

The work of the Holy Spirit in God’s plan of salvation is amazing.

  1. Each of us must grasp the importance of the proof of our faith is “being sealed by God with the Holy Spirit and
  2. Each of us must grasp that just as God gave Jesus to the world so the world through him might be saved, God sent the Holy Spirit as the earnest of our salvation.
  3. The Christians future rests in the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Fruit of the Spirit

The Apostle Paul, in writing the epistle to the churches in Galatia, was doing so to correct several areas, one of which was the false teaching that the Law of Moses was still to be followed (particularly circumcision) in the life of the Gentile believers. In the 5th chapter, Paul focuses in on what it means to have a life dedicated to the Lord, by the work of Jesus on the cross and the Holy Spirit dwelling within the believer

In chapter 5:19-21, Paul compares the lust of the flesh, as “works”, (ἐργα [erga]). In Galatians 5:22-23, he parallels the result of the work Holy Spirit in the believer’s life and “fruit.”  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Fruit is often used as a metaphor for a “good.” In the New Testament, and specifically in this passage, fruit is associated with a good outcome (Matt. 3:8; 7:16; John 4:36; 15:8; Rom. 1:13; 6:21). Paul’s writing conveys several uses for fruit: Fruit of light (Ephesians 5:9), fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11), fruit of labour (Philippians 1:22), fruit of the lips (Hebrews 13:15). According to Paul, fruit is normally result of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer. Paul looks at the believer as a beautiful, fruit producing tree, with gorgeous, beautiful and satisfying fruit upon it.

It is important to note that Paul refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer as “fruit” and not “fruits.” Therefore, when the believer dies to himself (Galatians 2:20), the Holy Spirit exhibits all nine of these traits. It is not a best of 9 traits, but a culmination of each of these.

Paul declares that the result of the work of the Spirit in the heart of a Christian is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Therefore, if the Christian would exhibit these fruit, he would be imitating the Holy Spirit, the very nature of God.
 God is love – Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13
 God is joy – 1 Timothy 1:6; Nehemiah 8:10; Matthew 25:21
 God is peace – Isaiah 9:6; John 16:33
 God is longsuffering – Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Romans 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:16
 God is gentle – Luke 6:35; 2 Timothy 2:24
 God is goodness – Psalm 25:8; 33:5
 God is faith – Psalm 89:1; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 6:23
 God is meekness – Psalm 18:35; Matthew 11:29; 2 Corinthians 10:1
 God is Temperance – Galatians 5:23

Therefore, the believer is to walk in the Spirit, in the very nature of God. There is a battle within, between the lust of the flesh and the work of the Holy Spirit in our life. We are to be clean before the Lord, not falling for the desires of the wicked heart. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer will keep them clean and acceptable unto the LORD.

Let us live our live that it will be pleasing unto Him!

If you have some verses to add to the attributes of God as used in the listing of the Fruit of the Spirit, let me know what verses or passages you have found as showing the nature of God.