THE SPIRIT OF PROMISE

Pastor Floyd Koenig

Text: Eph. 1:13-14

INTRODUCTION

It is the work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth to assure us that Godís people are secure (Phil. 1:6).

The Holy Spirit has another part in making salvation sure. He is called "that Holy Spirit of promise" because His very presence is a promise of security to the child of God (Eph. 1:13).

In this regard He is viewed as both a seal and an earnest. While these two concepts are very different, yet they are studied together because they both relate to the believerís security (Eph. 1:13-14).

In another place, Paul informs us, as believers, that God has sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (II Cor. 1:22).

Letís consider the Holy Spirit as a seal and as an earnest.

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT AS A SEAL

The seal is used to assert ownership. The presence of the Spirit in an individual is proof that he belongs to God.

The seal is also used to confirm something as being genuine or authentic. We find an example of this in the earthly ministry of our Savior (Jn. 6:27; Isa. 42:1-4). The genuine saint is recognized by the fact that he is indwelt by the Spirit (I Jn. 3:24).

The main concept of the seal, however, is that of security.

1. The tomb in which the body of our Lord lay was made secure by sealing the stone (Mt. 27:66).

2. A seal will be put on Satan to secure him in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1-3).

3. The believer is sealed and confirmed in his state by the eternal decree and counsel of God (II Tim. 2:19). The children of God are sealed until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). They are preserved until the return of their Lord, at which time they will receive their glorification.

A. THE SEAL.

1. The Holy Spirit Himself is the seal.

2. It is important to notice that we are sealed by the presence of the Spirit and not by the work of the Spirit.

B. THE NATURE OF THE SEALING. 1. The sealing with the Spirit is not to be viewed as a special experience.

2. The Bible never describes sealing as an experience.

3. The Spirit may work to produce Christian experiences, but it is His presence which is the seal.

C. THE OBJECT OF THE SEALING. 1. If we confuse the sealing with assurance then we must believe that weak saints are not yet sealed.

2. The Bible assumes the sealing of every saint (II Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).

3. No one is ever instructed to seek this sealing.

4. It is regarded as a fact for all believers to rejoice in.

D. THE PURPOSE OF THE SEALING. 1. Christians are sealed to make them secure.

2. Sealing is the basis, not the knowledge of security.

3. The Holy Spirit is a wonderful seal:

a. Because of His power (I Jn. 4:4);

b. And because His work in salvation insures that He will never leave us (Phil. 1:6; Jn. 7:38-39; 4:14; 14:16)..

E. THE TIME OF THE SEALING. 1. Believers are sealed when they receive the Spirit.

2. This occurs when they believe on Christ.

a. The believer receives the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:14).

b. The moment a person puts his faith in Christ, he is supplied with an abundance of spiritual influences (Jn. 7:38-39).

c. A person hears the gospel, believes it and is assured of his eternal inheritance by the Spirit of God (Eph. 1:13).

II. THE HOLY SPIRIT AS AN EARNEST

In proving our security, the Holy Spirit is viewed, not only as a seal, but as the earnest of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14; II Cor. 1:22; 5:5).

A. AN EARNEST IS A TOKEN PAYMENT THAT REVEALS THE INTENTIONS OF THE GIVER.

B. AN EARNEST IS PART OF THE WHOLE.

1. Our Savior died to purchase for us all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3).

2. By faith we receive the Holy Spirit, which, as a gracious gift, comes to us through the work of Christ (Acts 2:32-33; Jn. 7:39).

C. AN EARNEST IS A PROMISE OF THE FUTURE. 1. An earnest acts as a pledge that the rest of the purchase or purchase price is forthcoming.

2. Our Savior has purchased a wonderful inheritance for us (I Pet. 1:3-4).

- This includes a glorified body and a home in Heaven.

3. We may be assured that because we have the earnest of the Spirit, that the rest of our inheritance is sure to come to us (Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 8:23).

4. Once the earnest is given, the giver cannot back out.

5. In calling the Spirit an "earnest" God offers us full assurance of His intention to glorify every one of His people.

D. THE BELIEVER IS SAID TO HAVE THE "FIRSTFRUITS" OF THE SPIRIT (Rom. 8:23). 1. The "firstfruits" confirm that the rest of the harvest is on the way.

2. Just as the Spirit now dwells in us and gives us a new nature, so someday we will receive a new home and a new body.

3. That the idea of security is implied, may be seen in that Christ is the "firstfruits" of the resurrection (I Cor. 15:20).

- Because He arose, those in Him must also rise.

4. The "firstfruits" may be viewed as an "earnest" of the harvest.

5. In business, the "earnest" gives a person security and peace of mind.

a. Letís enjoy this in regard to our inheritance.

b. God is not holding us in suspense, but rather gives us every assurance that our inheritance is "reserved in Heaven" (I Pet. 1:4).

Conclusion

This lesson should help us to see in the indwelling of Godís Spirit, not only our present source of life and spiritual ability, but also a certain hope for the future.
 
 

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