Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”(Emphasis mine)
Here it is from the NJKV:
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
I wish I could recall exactly what Howard Mooney used to say about these verses because I remember him mentioning it often. He would say, “the Holy Spirit given like a down payment or earnest money, promising more to come”. What I don’t remember him ever saying is that these verses give us the wonderful assurance that our salvation is now guaranteed when we are in Christ. I would have remembered this. Howard alluded to something yet to come but, it seems, never saying exactly what it was.
There was/is such fear in the meeting church to ever assume something as huge as our salvation. It was highly presumptuous. Ask just about any professing person if they are saved and they will say, “I hope so.” It’s very difficult for them to make the leap and say, “Yes, I am.” Perhaps part of the hesitation lies in the awareness that we are not worthy of salvation. True, none of us are. But our salvation isn’t based on our worthiness but our willingness to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and repent of our sins.
The other reason for the hesitation to confidently say, “Yes, I am saved” is not believing and/or accepting the above verses. They do almost seem too good to be true, but they are true!
Here is what the NIV Life Application Study Bible says about those two verses:
“The Holy Spirit is God’s seal that we belong to him and His deposit guaranteeing that He will do what He has promised. The Holy Spirit is like a down payment, a deposit, a validating signature on the contract. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us demonstrates the genuineness of our faith, proves that we are God’s children, and secures eternal life for us. His power works in us to transform us now, and what we experience now is a taste of the total change we will experience in eternity.”
Matthew Henry’s commentary says about the portion of the verse that says “you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” – He makes us holy. He is the promised Spirit. “By him believers are sealed and set apart for God.”
“In Him you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of salvation…” (Eph. 1:13 – NKJV)
This tells me I trust Him now because I have heard the word of truth, which is the gospel of my salvation. The gospel story is all about salvation! I cannot picture Jesus playing games with us regarding the subject of our salvation. It cost him too much. He wants us to rest in the fact that we are saved; not live a life filled with anxiety about it. It is a gift from Him. He told us to not be anxious about tomorrow. Why, then, would He want us to be anxious all the time about whether or not we are saved?
Another verse that is dear to me this morning is Ephesians 1:17
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better.” (Emphasis mine)
I pray this verse to God for myself, so He will give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and that I may know him better and I pray that for the readers of this blog and for those still in the meeting system. I keep asking.
Never under estimate the power and worth of prayer. It does accomplish things. I will also pray that those of us in Christ will have the confidence and the assurance of our salvation and then walk in the joy of that reality!