I keep asking

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!

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2 thoughts on “I keep asking

  1. Here are some other thoughts from John MacArthurs Ephesians study that I love.

    “The seal used by princes and kings in the time of the Bible was a sign of security.
    Listen, when you became a Christian God put His Holy Spirit in you, stamped His signet which is the Holy Spirit and said, This is secure, and no one can ever touch this life unless he be a higher authority then Almighty God. And there is none.

    The only authentic Christian is the one who possesses the Holy Spirit, who’s sealed with a mark of authenticity.

    Another thing that seal means is that it is a sign of a finished transaction.
    Beloved, we are not in the process of getting saved, see.
    When you put your faith in Jesus Christ God gave you the Holy Spirit
    And said – that is a finished transaction.

    So, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of promise guarantees the inheritance,
    It secures us. It authenticates us as genuine. It delegates to us divine
    authority. And it symbolizes a finished transaction. Beloved, when God
    gave you the Holy Spirit, He gave you the guarantee and all the guarantee
    you’ll ever need that every promise in Him is yes. Amen.”

    Look at verse 14, the beginning of the verse says ‘The Spirit is the guarantee
    of our inheritance until the time we acquire possession of it to the praise of His glory.’

    What is the earnest? The Greek word is Arrabon… It means 2 things in the Greek
    1) down payment 2) engagement ring
    God is saying to us Hey, I’ve got a promise for you; I’ve got an inheritance for you
    that’s so incredible and just so you’ll know I’m not kidding, here’s my down payment,
    here’s my engagement ring, here’s my Spirit of promise.
    And beloved, the Spirit lives in us to constantly confirm to us that we’re the
    sons of God who are in the process of seeing the fulfillment of all
    the promises of God”

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  2. I just had a long conversation with one of the “faithful” friends that we used to go to meeting with here in the Dallas area. He was saying that Christ’s death on the cross gave us a “hope of salvation”, which I have often heard from both friends and workers. To me, this is the most frustrating and disappointing belief in the meeting system. I pray fervently that all in the fellowship would come to understand the true source of our salvation – faith in what Christ did on our behalf which we can not do for ourselves.

    I tried to discuss that the only reason we can enter into God’s very presence is the fact that Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us and suffered God’s wrath for our sin. As a result of Christ paying our debt in full, we get to exchange our sin soaked rags for Christ robes and be seen as righteous in God’s eyes. Faith in Christ and his sacrifice is the basis of our relationship with God, not anything we do that is seen as righteous to God. We do not gain God’s acceptance as a result of our right(eous) behaviour, but instead, as a result of our trust in Christ and repentance from our sin.

    I have been really studying this topic of the security of our salvation and found Romans 5 to be a real comfort.

    NIV Romans 5: “6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

    At the end of verse 6 it says, “Christ died for the ungodly”. This is how we know that God’s love is unwavering, that God’s love will never fail us in the future or indeed in the present, it is not based on how lovable we are but is based on the constancy of God’s character. If God came to us when we were in our most unlovable state as sinners, how can we ever doubt that he is going to keep on saving us today, tomorrow and right into eternity when we become his children?

    Unfortunately, many people believe that the words “being saved through his life” mean Christ’s life on earth as the pattern minister and elder brother who showed us how to live. How thankful we are that is really means his RESURRECTED LIFE!

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