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                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS"

              Blessings Involving The Holy Spirit (1:13-14)

INTRODUCTION

1. In studying verses 4-12 in which Paul is praising God for the
   "spiritual riches" in Christ, we have seen blessings which involve
   both the Father and the Son...
   a. Blessings involving the Father include our being:
      1) "Chosen by God", to be holy and without blame before Him in 
         love (1:4)
      2) "Predestined by God", to receive the adoption as sons of God 
         (1:5-6a)
      3) "Accepted by God", that is, to be highly favored by Him (1:6b)
   b. Blessings involving the Son also include the following:
      1) "God has redeemed us" through the precious blood of His Son 
         (1:7a)
      2) "God has forgiven us" of our sins by virtue of His grace 
         (1:7b-8)
      3) "God has revealed His Will to us" pertaining to His plan to 
         gather into one all things in Christ (1:9-10)
      4) "God has given us an inheritance" as part of His predetermined 
         plan (1:11-12)

2. Verses 13-14 close out this "doxology", by pointing out blessings 
   we have in Christ that relate in particular to the work of the Holy 
   Spirit

[What are these "Blessings Involving The Holy Spirit"?  The first one 
is...]

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR "SEAL" (13)

   A. DEFINING "SEAL"...
      1. The word is sphragizo {sfrag-id'-zo}, which means "to set a 
         seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal"
      2. A "seal" was used for various reasons, including:
         a. To guarantee the genuine character of a document (Esther 
            3:12), or, figuratively, of a person (1Co 9:2)
         b. To mark ownership (So 8:6)
         c. To protect against tampering or harm (Mt 27:66; Re 5:1)

   B. HOW IS THE HOLY SPIRIT OUR "SEAL"?
      1. It could be in every sense of the word...
         a. In Ro 8:16, the Spirit Himself "bears witness" that we are
            children of God (i.e., guarantees our genuine character)
         b. In Ro 8:9, the indwelling Holy Spirit is considered 
            evidence that we are truly Christ's (i.e., a mark of 
            ownership, cf. also 1Co 6:19-20)
         c. In Ro 8:13-14, it is by the Spirit of God that we "put to 
            death the deeds of the body" so we can live (i.e., to some 
            degree helping to protect against tampering or harm, cf. 
            also Ep 3:16)
      2. However, the context of Ephesians makes me think that "proof of
         ownership" is what Paul had in mind...
         a. He goes on to speak of the Holy Spirit as a "guarantee...until
            the redemption of the purchased possession" - Ep 1:14
         b. He later says that we were sealed by the Spirit "for the day
            of redemption" - Ep 4:30
         -- So until that "day of redemption", the Holy Spirit is given 
            to the Christian as evidence that we truly belong to God

   C. WHEN ARE WE "SEALED" WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
      1. It is AFTER (not before)...
         a. One hears the word of truth, the gospel - Ep 1:13
         b. One believes the gospel - Ep 1:13; cf. Jn 7:37-39
         c. One becomes a son of God - Ga 4:6-7 (which occurs when a 
            believer is baptized into Christ - cf. Ga 3:26-27)
      2. Thus it is only when we obey the gospel of Jesus Christ that we
         are "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise"...
         a. As Peter told the crowd on the Day of Pentecost - Ac 2:
            38-39
         b. And as he told the Sanhedrin Council - Ac 5:32

[This "seal" as a "mark of ownership" is something that might be of more
significance to God (and to Satan, who would try to steal what belongs 
to God) than it does to us, but we can take comfort in knowing that God 
considers us His property, and that the work of the Holy Spirit in our 
lives is to be evidence of such ownership.

Paul describes the Spirit in this passage as "the Holy Spirit OF 
PROMISE", which could be understood in two ways:

   1) the promised Holy Spirit (cf. Ac 1:4-5; 2:33,38-39); or 
   2) the Holy Spirit which gives promise of what else lies ahead.  

In view of what we learn next about the Holy Spirit, I suspect Paul refers
to the latter, for...]

II. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR "GUARANTEE" (14)

   A. DEFINING "GUARANTEE" ("EARNEST", KJV)...
      1. The word is arrabon {ar-hrab-ohn'}
      2. It is used to refer to "money which in purchases is given as a
         pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be
         paid"
      3. In the LXX (Septuagint Version of the OT), the word is
         translated "pledge" three times in Gen 38:17-20

   B. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A "GUARANTEE OF OUR INHERITANCE"...
      1. God has given the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a "deposit"
         ("earnest", KJV, and is the same Greek word) - 2Co 1:22
      2. He is a guarantee of what God has prepared for us - 2Co 5:1-5
      3. The blessing of the Holy Spirit working in our lives is only a
         foretaste of the glory that will one day be ours
      4. And yet, as an example of what the Holy Spirit can do for us 
         now, consider these passages: Ro 15:13; Ep 3:16; Ga 5:22-23

   C. HE SERVES AS SUCH "UNTIL THE REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED
      POSSESSION"...
      1. While in one sense we have been redeemed (Ep 1:7) through the
         blood of Christ, in another sense God has yet to redeem those 
         who are truly His (Ep 4:30)
      2. Until that day, the Holy Spirit serves as a guarantee that the 
         FINAL redemption will one day take place
      3. Hendriksen comments:  "At the moment when believers receive 
         THEIR full inheritance, which includes a glorious resurrection 
         body (4:30), the redemption of GOD'S own possession takes 
         place, that is, the full release to him of that which is his
         by virtue of the fact that he both made it and bought it."

CONCLUSION

1. So we have the Holy Spirit as a "seal" and a "guarantee".  What 
   should our reaction be?

2. For the third time (1:6,12,14), Paul says these blessings are "to 
   the praise of His glory"!

3. Thus our reaction should be the same as Paul as stated at the
   beginning of this section...
   a. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
      blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
      in Christ" - 1:3
   b. I.e., to praise God!

Are you praising God for His wonderful grace and mercy?  Later on, Paul
will tell us how we can "walk worthy of the calling with which you were
called" (Ep 4:1), but he sums it up very nicely in Ro 12:1-2...

   "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
   ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
   God, [which is] your reasonable service.  And be not conformed
   to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your
   mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and
   perfect, will of God."
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