Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 5:5
It’s truly amazing how many believers in Christ, and unfortunately pastors and theologians in particular, can’t simply read these words and accept them at face value. Because of this, there is much stress and anxiety among many who have received Christ as Lord and Savior. The reason for this will be detailed as we go along.
First however, we look to Paul’s words, “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God.” This is speaking of what he said in the previous verse which spoke of our being clothed in our heavenly body “that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” It is God who prepared this wondrous abode for each person who has called out to Jesus Christ in faith. And further, it is God “who has also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”
It can’t be certain what part of the word “guarantee” is misunderstood by so many, but apparently the word isn’t clear enough to avoid confusion. The word translated here as “guarantee” is arrabon and is a transliteration from the Hebrew word eravon which is used three times in the Old Testament, all in Genesis 38.
The Greek word is found three times in the New Testament as well, all from Paul’s hand – in 2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 5:5, and Ephesians 1:14. It means “an earnest, earnest-money, a large part of the payment, given in advance as a security that the whole will be paid afterwards.” More specifically HELPS Word Studies says it is “an installment; a deposit (“down-payment”) which guarantees the balance (the full purchase-price).”
What Paul means in each instance of its use is that at the moment we receive Jesus Christ we are “sealed” with the Holy Spirit. It is a “guarantee” that we have been saved. Because of this, it is beyond the pale that many seminaries, churches, pastors, and teachers claim that a person can “lose” there salvation. If this is true, then the guarantee that was made wasn’t worth the seal which accompanied it. In other words, it calls into question the very truthfulness of God.
The doctrine which teaches that a person can “lose” their salvation calls into question the reliability of God, the truthfulness of His word, and it completely diminishes the work which Christ wrought on behalf of those who have believed. Further, it is bondage to those who are held in this misguided belief because they can never know just how good they need to be in order to “remain saved.” Thus their pastor can wield control over them as he practices his flawed theology, causing them unnecessary anxiety and harm.
Life application: Jesus Christ saves. When He saves, He is fully capable of ensuring we remain saved – despite ourselves. Don’t call God’s word into question because of your personal failings. He knew you would fail and counted that into the equation when He first saved you.
Heavenly Father, there is one sure truth that I have gleaned from Your word – I am saved. Your word says that when I received Jesus I was sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise and that He is a guarantee. I don’t know what anyone else thinks “guarantee” means, but when it comes from You, I know it means – “deal done.” Thank You for eternal salvation wrought by Christ on my behalf. I rest in His work. Amen.