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The Holy Ghost, The Guarantee of Our Inheritance
So far in our study of Ephesians, we see that we have been accepted by God and blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. We sit in heavenly places with Him, all because of God’s grace. God saw us before time began and in spite of this decided to redeem us by the blood of Jesus. Which brings us up to the inheritance that we have in Him.
Ephesians 1:11-14 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 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. NKJV
We all hope to leave an inheritance for our children. Thus we plan and work and lay aside so that we can leave something for our children when we pass. God has provided an inheritance for us also, but He did things a little bit differently.
God gave us the gift of His Spirit as an earnest (KJV) or guarantee of our final inheritance in Christ. He gave us a portion of that inheritance to enjoy now. When we hear and obey the gospel, God has promised to seal us with His Spirit. This seal signifies that we have been accepted in the Beloved (vs. 6). When we are accepted in Him, we don’t have to worry about anything else. Our eternal destiny has been signed, sealed and delivered.
I believe that when we believe and receive the gospel that we are born of God (Jn. 1:12-13). However the word of God is clear that we don’t stop there. We must continue on and obey all that the word of God commands us to do.
Jesus commanded water baptism; He didn’t make it an option. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles in fulfillment of Lord’s commandment for water baptism ( Matthew 28:19), commanded converts to be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, with the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit to follow (Acts 2:38-39).
Throughout the book of Acts we see a pattern of: Believing the gospel, repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus and the reception of the Holy Ghost with visible signs.
In Acts 8, we have the example of Samaria receiving the word of God. They had shown works of repentance and had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:16) They had a great revival accompanied with miracles and great joy. However, they had not received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The apostles came up to Samaria and laid hands upon them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost came upon them in some visible sign causing Simon the sorcerer to desire to buy the power to bestow the Holy Ghost upon whomever he laid his hands on.
Also in Acts 8, Phillip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch from the text of Isaiah 53. Phillip evidently mentioned water baptism, because the eunuch desired to be baptized. Phillip baptized him and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:26-39).
In Acts 10:44-48 we see the example of Cornelius and his household accepting the word of the gospel and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the visible signs of speaking in tongues.
In Acts 19 we have the example of Paul asking some of John’s disciples if they had received the Holy Ghost since they had believed. They hadn’t heard of it, but after Paul presented the gospel to them, he baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:5-6). After their water baptism, Paul laid hands on them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. They received the Holy Ghost with the accompanying signs of speaking in tongues.
The baptism of God's Spirit is for all believers, which He offers to us as a free free gift (John 4:10). To have an effective and powerful life, we need all that God has made available for us (Ac. 1:8). Jesus likened the Holy Ghost to fountains of living water available to all who had believed on Him (John 7:38-39). He promised that His Spirit would be for us forever (John 14:16) and be our Teacher who would bring all of His commandments to our remembrance (John 14:26).
The Holy Ghost that we enjoy now is just a down payment of what God has in store for us when we, His purchased possession,receives our ultimate redemption. We may pass from this scene and be dissolved in the dust, but it won’t be long before the trumpet of God will sound and saints of all the ages will rise triumphantly from the grave and be gathered together as one entity - the body of Christ - to be forever more with our Lord.
At that time we will receive the fulness of our inheritance as joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We don’t know all that God has in store for us, but having the Holy Ghost as a sample, we know that it will be great. Most of all we will see Jesus. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The first mother asked, "And what position does your son play?"
The second mother responded, "I think he's one of the drawbacks."
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