Saturday, 9 July 2016
…who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:14
It is right to look at this verse along with verse 13 for proper context –
“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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
The believer trusts in Christ after hearing the word. It is this word which is the gospel of his salvation. Once a person believes in Christ, he is sealed with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit “who is the guarantee of our inheritance.”
The word for ‘guarantee” is arrabón. It is a rare word, found only three times in the New Testament and it means “properly, an installment; a deposit (‘down-payment’) which guarantees the balance (the full purchase-price)… [It] is the regular term in NT times for ‘earnest-money,’ i.e. advance-payment that guarantees the rest will be given…[it] then represents full security backed by the purchaser who supplies sufficient proof they will fulfill the entire pledge (promise).”
Understanding the meaning of this word, it is impossible to see how anyone can believe in a loss of salvation for a person who has – at any time in his life – believed in Him and been saved. If God seals us with His Holy Spirit as a guarantee, and if we can lose that, then –
- It was not a very good guarantee.
- It diminishes the value of the blood of Christ which was used for the purchase of the possession.
- God made a mistake in sealing us with His “guarantee.”
- It is of our effort and not of God that we are saved. (If we can lose our salvation, at anytime after we are saved, then it means that it was never of grace, but it was up to us to maintain it by some type of work).
This word, arrabón, comes from the Hebrew word eravon which is also found only three times in the Bible, all in Genesis 38 in the account of Judah and Tamar. In that account, a picture was being made of the work of Christ, including the Gentile-led church age. The story is a magnificent one and a detailed sermon on its meaning can be viewed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezrTF468Q_I
As noted, the word arrabón is found only three times in the New Testament. The other two times are in 2 Corinthians 1:22 and in 2 Corinthians 5:5. In all three uses, it is referring to the pledge of the Holy Spirit. He is our surety and our guarantee. As this is the sealing of God in us, it represents the highest of all authorities. It further represents an eternal decree of God. It can never be undone without violating the initial decree.
Therefore, we are one hundred percent secure as we wait “until the redemption of the purchased possession.” What is being referred to here is “the complete and final salvation from sin and death” (Charles Ellicott). This indicates the result of the action, and not the action itself. In other words, we have already been purchased by and through the work of Christ. This is evidenced by the sealing of the Holy Spirit. What is being referred to is the action that will be taken, at some future point, based on the what has already been purchased. This action is noted in 2 Thessalonians 2 where Paul speaks of the revealing of the coming antichrist. There he writes –
“Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:5-7
The “He” referred to in this verse is the Holy Spirit with Whom we are sealed. Paul says that a day is coming, prior to the revealing of the antichrist, that the Holy Spirit will be “taken out of the way.” This is the rapture of the church. We will be taken to be with Christ during the time of tribulation which is coming on the earth. As noted above, if the Holy Spirit is taken out and we are not, then that was not a very good guarantee.
Rather, we are guaranteed of being taken out – just as the Bible states. God cannot lie and our hope is secure. And all of this is “to the praise of His glory.” Vincent’s Word Studies notes that this final clause is to be taken together with the words “you were sealed.” Our sealing is to the praise of God’s glory because it conforms to “God’s purpose as it respects Himself.”
His plan of redemption is that for which He is to be glorified. The sealing of the Spirit, based on faith in the work of Christ, is what brings Him this praise. He is glorified through the way He deals with His redeemed. And praise God for this wonderful plan!
Life application: If you have doubts concerning the doctrine of “eternal salvation,” then all you need to do is think logically about what God’s word says. If your salvation is up to you, then it is not by grace. If not by grace, then we are pursuing the wrong God, because the Bible says that God saves us by grace through faith. Works are ex-clu-ded.
Heavenly Father, Your word shows that we are saved by grace and through faith. If we can do something after being saved that will cause us to lose our salvation, then our salvation is up to us, and it isn’t really by grace. Rather, when we trust in Christ, we are sealed with Your Holy Spirit as a guarantee. The deal is done; the seal is from You. We have the surest hope of all that You will never leave us and never forsake us. Hallelujah and Amen!