Ephesians – Chapter 1, Part 4
God’s Plan for Salvation, Eph 1:1-23
After a brief glimpse of the Dispensation of the Millennial Reign of our Lord Jesus Christ and its coterminous Operation Footstool, which are topics of eschatology, we now get back to the present Dispensation of the Church Age and see more promises and blessings from God for the Church Age believer, as we continue to study the one long sentence of vs. 3-14. We now note vs. 11.
Eph 1:11, “Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
This verse begins by telling us that we are given an inheritance in Christ. It is beyond human imagination to fathom that God allows us to share the glory that belongs to Christ, the One to whom this total universe will ultimately be subjected to at the completion of Operation Footstool.
The phrase “we have obtained an inheritance,” is the Aorist, Passive, Indicative from KLEROO, κληρόω that means, “To make or obtain an inheritance, allot, or apportion.” It is only used here in the New Testament. This is a Gnomic Aorist that presents a timeless general fact, principle or axiom to present a doctrine which is absolute in its character. It describes something that has actually occurred. The Passive voice tells us that the believer receives the action of the verb. It indicates that they did not obtain it by themselves, but rather God in Christ gave it to them. The Indicative mood states a fact of reality, which is; once you believe in Jesus Christ, you are in the Plan of God destined to receive an inheritance.
As you know, God’s will not only includes the exaltation of Christ, it also includes our participation in His blessings because we are “in Christ.” And being one with Christ means we share in His eternal inheritance.
“Having been predestinated,” is Aorist, Passive, Participle of PROORIZO, προορίζω that means, “Set boundaries beforehand, appoint, or determine beforehand,” which we noted in vs. 5. It comes from PRO that means, “before” and ORIZO that means, “to design or to mark out” which comes to mean, “having been predesigned.” This is a Culminative Aorist that presents an event in its entirety but regards it from the standpoint of existing results. In other words, God the Father predesigned everything we would ever need. Therefore, the Father predesigned in eternity past everything we would ever need in time or eternity. The Participle means that this action preceded the action of the main verb, KLEROO. Therefore, God predestined us and then He provided for our inheritance.
Next we have a triple emphasis of God’s design or “purpose” for our lives based on His will. Paul uses three words that have the idea of “will” expressed in them, which is very typical of Paul’s epistles when he multiplies synonyms to amplify an idea:
- “Purpose,” PROTHESIS that means, “Setting forth, presentation, or purpose.” It is what God wants to happen.
- “Counsel”, BOULEN that means, “Plan, purpose, advice, or design.” It sometimes expresses the idea of “counsel,” but speaks to God’s decree, so it usually relates to His “purpose or will.” It describes His decision or choice, where He understands all the options and implications.
- “Will,” THELEMATOS that means, “Will, desire, determination, purpose, or inclination.” It is a general Greek term for “will” and indicates Divine purpose; the revelation of God’s intentions.
In regard to the purpose of God, He “works it after,” the counsel of His will. “Works” is the Present, Active, Participle of ENERGEO, ἐνεργέω that means, “work, operate, or accomplish.” It could be translated, “from the one putting into operation all things,” because it refers to all creatures of the universe, as well as all the laws of the universe. It tells us that God has done all the work necessary and has put it all together. For the believer, He has put together a predesigned plan for our lives where He has provided everything necessary for us to function and be victorious in this life, as well as providing us an eternal inheritance because we are “In Christ.”
So the idea expressed here is that believers have become heirs of God due to the fact that God predestined us according to His purpose. In a manner of speaking, the “lot” fell to believers not by chance but solely because of the gracious and sovereign decision of God-Almighty to select us to be His heirs.
Next in vs. 12, we see why God has done all of this for us.
Eph 1:12, “To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”
“To the end” in the Greek is EIS TO EINAI, literally “for the to be” that utilizes the verb EIMI in the Present, Active, Infinitive that means, “to be, exist, live, stay, reside, occur, or am.” Here it indicates the end goal of God; what our final state will be; how God wants us to live forever.
In the Greek, the final state of believers is given first and then the qualifier for that final stasis. But in the English, the qualifier is given first, “we who were the first to hope in Christ.”
This is not the typical Greek word for “hope” which is ELPIS, but a compound verb PROELPIZO, προελπίζω; from PRO, “before,” and ELPIZO, “to hope” that means, “Hope before, anticipate, or be the first to hope.” It is in the Perfect, Active, Participle to indicate completed past action by the believer. Therefore, this is a once saved always saved passage.
PROELPIZO is a very rare verb in Greek literature and in the NT it is only used here. This verb lends itself to two meanings: 1) to be the first to hope, or 2) to hope before the promise or expectation is confirmed or fulfilled. In the context of this verse meaning, “to hope in advance or before,” Paul is referring either to those apostles and disciples who first believed in Christ and brought the gospel message to the Ephesus region, or to Jews as having had of old the hope and promise of the Messiah in contrast to the Gentiles who had heard of Him just then. Compared with vs. 13 were Paul does not say, “we” again but says, “you,” and also comparing Rom 3:1ff.; 9:4ff, many scholars believe this to refer to the Jews who believed and vs. 13 to Gentiles who now also believe. In either of the above two interpretations, all believers in Christ now share in the inheritance of Christ to the glory of God.
Rom 9:4, “Who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises.”
Then we have the final status of the believer, Operation Glorification, in the phrase, “should be to the praise of His glory.”
“Praise” is EPAINOS that means, “praise or commendation.” It is from EPI, “full or complete,” and AINEO, “praise.” So this is full praise, complete praise, super praise, over praise, or maximum praise.” It should read, “for the purpose of maximum praise.”
What is being praised to the max? “His Glory,” DOXA! This phrase occurs in relation to each member of the Trinity: of God the Father in vs. 6; of Christ in vs. 12; and of the Holy Spirit in vs. 14.
The Doctrine of Glory
Glory is from the Greek words DOXA and DOXAZO meaning, “Glory, splendor, radiance, fame, renown, honor, to ascribe glory to, honor, or praise.” Glory always has the connotation of honor inherent in a person, distinction, greatness, renown, fame, nobility, or majesty.
The glory of God refers to the sum total of His Divine essence or to any part of His Divine essence. The essence of God is the glory of God. Since His essence is perfect glory, it is used for the totality of God’s essence or any individual attribute, especially His integrity made up of His righteousness and justice. Rom 3:23; Eph 1:17; Deut 5:24; Psa 21:5 are used as illustrations of where the word “glory” is used for the essence of God.
Rom 3:23, “… all have come short of the glory (essence) of God.”
Since God has an inherent glory, one of the objectives of Bible doctrine is the realization of this inherent glory and provision.
David, in recognizing God’s grace and rulership over Israel, states the principle of the glory of God in Psa 21:5-6.
Psa 21:5-6, “His glory is great through Your victory (salvation), splendor and majesty You place upon him. 6For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.”
Glory refers to God’s integrity; greatness refers to His other attributes. Deut 5:24, “Behold, the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness.”
There is a point at which we see God for the first time and we understand His glory. You cannot see the greatness of God until you can see the glory of God. Seeing the glory of God is seeing the integrity of God through pertinent Bible doctrine.
Rom 3:23 says that we all fall short of the glory of God. To fall short of the glory of God is to fall short of His integrity that is, not knowing and or applying it in our lives. His integrity is made up of His righteousness and justice. God’s perfect righteousness rejects our sin and His justice accepts our faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.
Glory is used to describe the strategic victory of Christ in the Angelic Conflict, Luke 24:26; John 12:20-24, 28; 13:31-32; Heb 2:10; 1 Peter 1:10-11.
John 12:20-24, “Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’”
1 Peter 1:10-11, “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.”
Luke 24:26, “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
- God the Father is the source of our Lord’s glorification and the Father is glorified as a result of the Son’s glorification, just as the Son is glorified in the Father’s glorification.
- The Humanity of Jesus Christ is glorified because He fulfilled the Father’s Plan of Salvation.
- When the Father glorifies the Son, the Father is also the recipient of glory. This reflects on their intimate relationship as noted in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one”, and Christ’s authority orientation as noted in John 13:16. “It speaks of the unity of “being” between the Father and Son, compared with John 17:5, “glorify Me together with Yourself,” which is speaking of simple unity of position,”F. Westcott.
- Heb 2:10, “To have led to glory many sons.” God brings many sons to glory by judging our sins, so that, when we believe in Christ, we are entered into an eternal relationship with His glory. We receive the imputation of God’s perfect righteousness, which is the potential for blessing from the integrity of God.
- 1 Tim 3:16, “Christ taken up into the place of glory,” refers to the third heaven, the location of the integrity of God, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God in glory.
- In John 13:32, “Immediately,” means that God the Father will raise His Son so that the Son will not see corruption or decay, Psa 16:10; 49:9; Acts 2:27, 31; 13:34-37. On the third day He will be raised. This fulfills the principle of 1 Sam 2:30, “…but now the LORD declares, ‘Far be it from Me—for those who honor Me I will honor…” It is speaking of the imminent resurrection, ascension and session of the God – Man Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union following His death, which results in the glorification of both the Father and the Son.
How the believer glorifies God.
God is glorified at the moment of our salvation through adoption into the Family of God.
Eph 1:5-6, “Having predesigned us to adoption (the appointment of adult) sons (for Himself) through Jesus Christ, according to the kind intention (benevolent purpose) of His will, to the praise of glory (from the source) of His grace, which He freely bestowed on (has pursued) us in the Beloved.”
Glory is used for the indwelling of Christ, Col 1:27, “To whom the God decreed to make known what is the riches (wealth) of the glory of the mystery among the gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope (confidence) of glory.”
The Royal Family is called to eternal glory since Christ is seated in the place of glory. The formation of the Royal Family comes under the phrase, being called to eternal glory,” 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Peter 1:3. This is the status of the Royal Family being called into eternal relationship with the integrity of God.
God is glorified by means of the Church, Eph 3:21, when believers attain spiritual adulthood and move to spiritual maturity. Those believers are said to be “filled with all the fullness of God,” Eph 3:19. There are three categories of spiritual adulthood.
- Spiritual Self-Esteem is cognitive self-confidence.
- Spiritual Autonomy is cognitive independence.
- Spiritual Maturity is cognitive invincibility, when you are manufactured into an invisible hero.
God’s glory is the source of the EPIGNOSIS doctrine in our right lobe, which causes spiritual maturity due to Occupation with Christ, Eph 1:17.
Eph 1:17‑18, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom even from the source of revelation by means of knowledge from Him…, That the eyes of your right lobe may be enlightened, in order that you all may have a permanent knowledge, knowing what is the hope of His calling (maximum blessing), and what is the riches from the source of the glory, the inheritance of His saints.”
Eph 3:16, “In order that He might give you according to the riches from His glory, to become strong by means of power through His Spirit with reference to the inner man.”
Phil 4:19, “Now my God shall fill up the deficiency of all your needs according to the standard of His riches in glory by means of Christ Jesus.”
As such, glory is used for the Edification Complex of the Soul. The first objective of the Christian way of life is the ECS, Eph 3:21; Col 1:27; 2 Thes 2:14; 1 Peter 1:8.
The mature believer has received this glory, 1 Peter 1:7‑8. Receiving glory is blessing from the integrity of God to the mature believer.
The believer glorifies God when he parlays the Life Beyond Gnosis, Eph 3:19, into the Life Beyond Dreams, Eph 3:20.
- The Life Beyond Gnosis is EPIGNOSIS, the consistent function of post-salvation renewing of your mind, Rom 12:2.
- This means cognition of the Mystery Doctrine for the Church Age through perception, metabolization and application, by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Learning Bible doctrine in the Old Testament will not advance you in the Life Beyond Gnosis. You must understand the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age, which is found in the New Testament epistles. It contains all the mechanics for the Plan of God in this Dispensation.
- The result is the attainment of spiritual adulthood. Then you begin to gather fantastic and dynamic momentum.
- Therefore, spiritual maturity parlays the Life Beyond Gnosis into the Life Beyond Dreams, which becomes the basis for maximum glorification of God.
The pattern for glorifying God includes suffering for blessing, not divine discipline or self-induced misery, under the law of volitional responsibility.
2 Tim 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
John 12:25-26, “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
- There are three categories of suffering for blessing that align with the three stages of spiritual adulthood.
1) Providential Preventative Suffering.
2) Momentum Testing.
3) Evidence Testing.
God will not only reward those who glorify Him, but He will also sustain them in their suffering, Heb 2:7-9; 1 Peter 1:6-8; 5:4, 10.
Glorification of God is then related to the distribution of your escrow blessings for time and eternity, 1 Cor 3:10-15; Rev 2-3. When God is able to reward you, He is glorified because your rewards where based on His Word, His Spirit, His Plan, His Provisions, and your non-meritorious faith in Him.
God is glorified and receives glory forever in the function of ultimate sanctification and the deliverance of the ultra supergrace believer, 2 Tim 4:18.
The Mechanics of Glorifying God.
The Lord is glorified through our hymns, songs, and psalms, Ex 15:1-20; Judges 5:3; 2 Chron 5:13: Psa 7:17; 21:13; 22:22ff; 66:1ff; Acts 16:25.
Ex 15:1, “Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. 2The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him. 3The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name.”
The Lord is glorified through the confession of our sins, Joshua 7:19-20.
Joshua 7:19, Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I implore you, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.”
The Lord is glorified through our priestly service, 1 Chron 16:4; 23:5, 30; 2 Chron 7:6; 8:14; Ezra 3:10; Neh 9:5.
The Lord is glorified through our prayers, 1 Chron 29:10-20.
The Lord is glorified through our thanksgiving, Psa 106:47; 2 Cor 4:15; Heb 13:15; Rev 7:12.
2 Cor 4:15, “For all things are for your sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.”
Rev 7:12, “Saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen”.”
The Lord is glorified by submitting to governing authorities, Rom 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-15.
The Lord is glorified as a result of faithfulness in suffering, 1 Peter 1:6-9.
We will glorify the Lord in the eternal state, Isa 45:23; Rom 14:11; Phil 2:10-11; Rev 5:11-13; 19:1-6.
- The resurrection body is described in terms of glory, 1 Cor 15:43. Our resurrection body is raised in glory because we are in the status quo of everlasting life. We will live forever in a state of glory.
In 2 Thes 2:14, “The attainment of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” refers to having a resurrection body exactly like our Lord’s and being in union with Him.
Glory is used in a number of ways in the scripture.
The right woman is the glory of the right man, 1 Cor 11:7, 15. When a right woman finds her right man, she so responds to him as to become his glory. The woman’s long hair is the sign of her glory, but her soul’s function is the actual glory. Just as the ECS reflects the glory of God, when a man finds his right woman, she reflects his glory.
The grace of God is also described as glory, Eph 1:6. That is another way in which the believer demonstrates the glory of God with his capacity for grace in the super-grace life. In the super-grace life, grace pursues him. The pursuit of grace means living by grace and living by grace glorifies God.
The provision of God’s grace is also called wealth, “the riches of His glory,” Eph 1:18; 3:16; Phil 4:19.
There is a negative use of the word glory in scripture. Human glamor is described as glory in 1 Peter 1:24; Phil 3:19. This is a limited use of the word that describes human glamor which is temporal.
There is a glory in the future which is beyond human cognizance. This is called the glory of eternity. Heaven and eternal life are described as glory in 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 2:10; 1 Peter 1:3, 7; 5:10.
Glory is used to describe the wonders of the universe, 1 Cor 15:40-41.
Glory is associated with Operation Footstool and the presentation of the Church as the bride of Christ at the Second Advent, Heb 2:9-10.
Summary of vs. 11-12.
To be in the predesigned purpose, PROTHESIS, of God you first must be saved through faith in Jesus Crist. You cannot be in the plan of God until you believe. Once you are in the plan of God to fulfill His purpose/plan for your life, you must have hope, PROELPIZO, that is, confidence in Christ, i.e., His saving work on your behalf, eternal security, and His Word as applied in your life. With that confidence, you can now be the super-praise, EPAINOS, of God’s glory. There is no limit as to the amount of super-praise you can bring to God. The only limitation is imposed by negative volition toward Bible doctrine. The limitation relates to neglect, rejection, or indifference to Bible doctrine resulting in becoming a spiritual moron or reversionist.
Eph 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
As we noted in vs. 12, it spoke of how God was glorified through believing Jews. Now in vs. 13 we see how God is glorified through the believing Gentiles, as Paul transitions from the 1st Person Plural of EGO which is HEMAS used in vs. 12, to the 2nd Person Plural of SU which is HEMEIS here in vs. 13.
This verse tells us the way of salvation.
- “Listening to the message of truth,” AKOUO LOGOS ALETHEIA.
- Which is the “gospel of your salvation,” EUANGELION SOTERIA.
- “Having also believed,” PISTEUO.
As a result of believing in the good news of Jesus Christ, you receive one of forty things given to us by God’s grace at the moment of salvation, “sealed with the Holy Spirit,” which is in the Aorist, Passive, Indicative of SPHRAGIZO that means, “seal, seal up, set a seal upon, affirm, authenticate, certify, or acknowledge,” with HAGIOS PNEUMA.
This sealing is also based on being placed in union with Jesus Christ as the words EN HOS for “in whom” are used once again, at the beginning and end of this verse.
Doctrine of the Sealing Ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
Definition and Description.
From the Greek verb SPHRAGIZŌ σφραγίζω meaning, “seal, seal up, set a seal upon, affirm, authenticate, certify, or acknowledge,” linked with HAGIOS PNEUMA for “Holy Spirit,” we understand the doctrine of the Sealing Ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
In ancient days sealing was a signature guarantee. It was equivalent to a signature on a contract that guarantees something. When a king sealed a proclamation, it became a law. When people signed a contract by using a wax seal, it was their guarantee from their integrity that they would fulfill their part. Therefore, sealing as a signature was used as a guarantee of transactions, authentication of invoices, contracts, laws, directives, orders, and policies of kings or rulers. Sealing was used to ratify treaties or agreements, and the sealing of tombs, libraries, or treasuries indicated ownership.
Three passages of Scripture specifically speak to the “Sealing of the Holy Spirit,” including; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30.
The Sealing of the Holy Spirit is something never mentioned in the Old Testament. Therefore, it appears to be something God has done for Church Age believers only, since the Day of Pentecost. The sealing of believers in the Church Age serves as a classification and identification peculiar to heaven and the outworking of the Divine purpose.
It is the very presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer which constitutes the seal. Therefore, this doctrine is closely related to the doctrine of the Spirit’s Indwelling.
As noted above, a seal signifies security, safety, ownership, and authority or responsibility. The seal is provided as the token for the believer of what will be brought to its conclusion at the “Day of Redemption.”
The Sealing of the Holy Spirit.
Who Are Sealed.
As with indwelling, sealing belongs to believers only and to all believers. Only those who believe are sealed and thus the act of believing becomes logically, though not chronologically, the cause of the sealing, Eph 1:13. In 2 Cor 1:22, in spite of the Corinthians many failures, Paul says all are sealed. He makes no exceptions. All are sealed. In comparison to Eph 4:30, if the sealing of the Spirit was a reality only for the “spiritual,” it would not be necessary to exhort such to cease grieving the Spirit. But all are exhorted because all are sealed with Him. From the fact that all believers are sealed by the Spirit, it is apparent that sealing occurs once and for all, as demonstrated by the fact that all who are sealed are “sealed unto the day of redemption,” Eph 4:30. Every reference to sealing contemplates it as a finished act, dependent only upon saving faith. Therefore, every Christian receives by faith the fact of the indwelling Spirit as God’s seal, setting him apart to eternal redemption.
The Time of Sealing.
Like indwelling, sealing takes place at the moment of our salvation. Therefore, the Spirit is given to us and we are sealed in Him when we believe, Acts 2:38. In Eph 1:13, the phrase, “having also believed,” is not necessarily significant of time but of cause. The sealing was immediate upon believing in Jesus Christ, whenever that occurred in your life. It was “after”, in the sense of cause and result.
In addition, sealing is not an “experience” that confirms the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, nor can the believer pray for the sealing of the Spirit. It is a great gift “given” from God, 2 Cor 1:22; a great truth to be accepted by faith as a token of the unfailing purpose of God in salvation.
The Agent(s) of Sealing.
Sealing is a work of God since there is no appeal to any person, saved or unsaved, to pray for or to strive for this reality. Since it belongs to all believers, it is evidently wrought by God at the moment one is saved and as an essential factor in salvation. The sealing of the Spirit marks off the full measure and intent of God with respect to those who are saved according to His purpose, cf. Rom 8:28.
Clearly God the Father does the sealing of believers, 2 Cor 1:22. Less clear is the question of whether the Holy Spirit is also an agent. Eph 4:30 seems to indicate that He is because it uses the phrase “by whom.” However, this could mean “in whom,” based on the use of the preposition. Eph 1:13 is ambiguous; no preposition is expressed. The Spirit may be the Agent or the sphere of the sealing, or both, i.e., we are sealed by the Spirit and in the Spirit.
The Duration of Sealing.
Sealing is to the “day of redemption,” Eph 4:30. This refers to that future day when our redemption shall be fully accomplished; including receiving our resurrection bodies cf. Rom 8:23. Thus the sealing guarantees the complete fulfillment of God’s promises to us. No believer can become unsealed on his way to heaven. Therefore, sealing represents our eternal security.
Rom 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
The Significance of Sealing.
- Security. The greatest significance in the sealing of the Holy Spirit is the eternal security of the believer. It is plainly stated that the seal is placed on the believer with a view to keeping him safe “for the day of redemption,” Eph 4:30, the time of complete deliverance from all sin. The matter is not left in human hands, but is dependent entirely on the power of God.
The concept of sealing includes the ideas of ownership, authority and responsibility, but above all security. Sealing assures us of the security of God’s promises to us, especially our salvation. We can be certain that:
1) He possesses us.
2) We have a secure salvation sealed by and with the Spirit.
3) His purpose is to keep us to the day of our full redemption.
4) We have an eternal inheritance waiting for us in heaven.
The person of the Holy Spirit, possessing all the attributes of God, by His presence is the pledge or guarantee of the abiding grace of God the Father given to us. As God has promised that His Spirit will abide in the believer, so the Spirit Himself as the seal of our salvation should bring all assurance to our hearts.
- Purity. In addition, Eph 4:30 mentions, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you are sealed.” Grieving the Holy Spirit means we are walking in sin. The thought of “the day of redemption,” when we will be perfected and without sin any longer, should shame us about sin in our lives today. The fact that we have a relationship with the Holy Spirit who is grieved when we sin should motivate us to purity. What sins grieve Him? Any and all sins! But in the context of Eph 4:30 are the sins of the tongue; verbal sins are in view. As you know, what comes from our mouths is indicative of what is in our hearts. Therefore, the thought of being sealed by and in the Holy Spirit should cause us to guard our minds and lips, so that we do not grieve the Spirit by which we have been eternally sealed.
- Praise. In addition, though there is no corresponding experience connected with the sealing of the Spirit, this peculiar ministry is, nevertheless, real and should call forth ceaseless praise to God as faith lays hold of that which God has revealed, Eph 1:14, “…to the praise of His glory.”
God the Holy Spirit Makes Five Signature Guarantees.
God the Holy Spirit guarantees that your faith alone in Christ alone is effective for salvation. He takes the unbeliever’s faith alone in Christ alone and makes it effective for salvation. He guarantees His ministry of making that faith effective for salvation. God the Holy Spirit puts His seal on the unbeliever’s faith alone. This is also called Efficacious Grace.
The Holy Spirit guarantees eternal life at the point of salvation to everyone who believes in Christ. He does this by the creation of the human spirit, to which God the Father imputes eternal life. God the Holy Spirit seals that eternal life, Eph 4:30.
Eph 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed (SPHRAGIZO) for the day of redemption.”
God the Holy Spirit guarantees the eternal security of the believer at the moment of salvation. You cannot cancel the forty things God does for you at salvation. You cannot undo what God has done. You cannot renounce your faith in Christ and no longer be saved. There is nothing you or all the power of hell can ever do to cancel this guarantee.
God the Holy Spirit guarantees the Portfolio of Invisible Assets for every Church Age believer. There are two guarantees of our Portfolio of Invisible Assets: the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit at salvation and the indwelling of Christ as the Shekinah Glory, 2 Cor 1:21-22.
2 Cor 1:21-22, “Now He who establishes, (Portfolio of Invisible Assets), us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts, (part of the portfolio), as a pledge.”
As noted above in Eph 4:30, God the Holy Spirit guarantees the redemption of the body on the day of redemption. Redemption of the soul occurs at the moment of salvation, Rom 3:24; Gal 3:13; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14. Redemption of the body occurs at the Rapture or resurrection of the Church, Rom 8:23, “…the redemption of our body.”
Col 1:14, “In whom (Jesus Christ) we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise as a guarantee of our eternal inheritance, Eph 1:14, “given as a pledge” is from the noun ARRHABON that means, “deposit, pledge, or a first installment.” In the NT it is used figuratively and speaks of the Holy Spirit, which God has given to believers in this present life, to assure them of their future and eternal inheritance in Christ. See also 2 Cor 1:22; 5:5.
2 Cor 1:21-22, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
2 Cor 5:5, “Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.”
All five sealing ministries of the Holy Spirit are equal in force. All five have the same power and the same equality. Therefore, the Sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantees the believer of their salvation, Divine assets, resurrection, and eternal inheritance.
As our next verse tells us, this sealing ministry of God the Holy Spirit is given to us as a “pledge of our inheritance” in Christ.
Eph 1:14, “Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
In this verse we see that the Holy Spirit is God’s pledge and our guarantee that we will receive an inheritance.
“Given as a pledge” is from the noun ARRHABON, ἀῤῥαβών that means, “deposit, pledge, or a first installment.” In classical Greek this word was used for part of the price paid to purchase something that is paid beforehand to confirm the transaction. It is part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest. As such it is a down payment or collateral held in escrow guaranteeing something.
For the purchaser, an ARRHABŌN secured legal rights to an article which had not been paid for in full and which had not been received. To the seller, this initial down payment guaranteed that he, at the specified time, would receive the remaining amount of the purchase price.
ARRHABON is used in the NT only in a figurative sense and speaks of the Holy Spirit, which God has given to believers in this present life to assure them of their future and eternal inheritance in Christ.
Here we see that God, who purchased us from the slave market of sin through our Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice upon the Cross, has not yet received His property, (i.e., you and I – the believer), in full to Himself in heaven. Nor has He physically given us our inheritance. As such, He has given us the indwelling of His Spirit as security on His legal rights towards us. For you and I, it is a guarantee that we will, in fact, go to heaven one day and receive our inheritance. Therefore, the gift of the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit is like a first installment payment that guarantees that everything God has given and promised in Christ will eventually be realized. Cf. Rom 8:32. This will guarantee the promise that God has made to us; that we will be fully redeemed, body, soul, and spirit, and receive our eternal inheritance. At the same time, it ensures that God will receive His purchased possession, you and I, (i.e., believers in the Lord Jesus Christ).
Rom 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
The indwelling of God the Holy Spirit not only empowers us to fulfill God’s plan for our lives to His glory, but it is also a pledge or guarantee from God the Father of the greater blessings waiting for us in the eternal state. See also 2 Cor 1:22; 5:5.
2 Cor 1:21-22, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
2 Cor 5:5, “Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.”
Because believers have received the Spirit, God has claimed them as His own. The Spirit simultaneously is the seal and guarantee. To believers the Spirit is the assurance of our inheritance, to God He is the seal which has been put upon us as a mark of His claims over us.
Next we have the reason for the pledge of the indwelling Holy Spirit, our “inheritance,” which is the Noun KLERONOMIA, κληρονομία that is a compound word that comes from KLEROO, which we noted in vs. 11, that means, “an inheritance,” and the noun NOMOS that means, “law.” So KLERONOMIA means, “a lawful inheritance,” speaking of the inheritance God is lawfully able to give to us that is waiting for us in heaven, because of His Son’s completed work upon the Cross, cf. vs. 18; Col 3:24; Heb 9:15; 1 Peter 1:4.
Doctrine of Inheritance
Jesus Christ is the heir of all things, Heb 1:1‑2.
Heb 1:1‑2, “In the past, God, (The Father), spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days, (New Testament times), He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed the heir of all things, because of whom, (Jesus Christ), He has also made the ages, (dispensations).” This inheritance begins at the point of the millennium.
Our heirship is based on personal faith in Christ, Col 3:24; Titus 3:7; Rev 21:7.
Col 3:24, “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Titus 3:7, “That being justified by His grace, we might become heirs on the basis of the confidence of eternal life.”
Rev 21:7, “He who overcomes, (victory of salvation for eternal life, 1 John 5:4-5), shall inherit these things. Furthermore, I will be his God; and he will be My son.”
Heirship is based on being called by God, Heb 9:15 cf. 11:8.
Heb 9:15, “And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
Heirship is based on Sonship.
- The son becomes the heir. Sonship occurs at the moment of faith in Christ.
John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.”
Gal 3:26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Gal 4:7, “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”
- This fulfills the concept of heirship found in Rom 8:16‑17, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our (human) spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint‑heirs with Christ.”
Heirship is based on Positional Sanctification and resultant adoption.
- The Church Age believer is Royal Family of God. So not only are we sons by birth, but because of positional sanctification (union with Christ), God has adopted each one of us Roman style, i.e., aristocracy naming His heir, Acts 20:32; 26:18.
Acts 20:32, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
- Positional Sanctification is the means of forming the Royal Family of God in the Church Age, through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation. It provides equal privilege, under the asset of predestination.
- The Roman custom of adoption emphasizes the fact that we are not only sons by regeneration, but we are sons by adoption, which makes us heirs of God, Eph 1:11.
Eph 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
- The unbeliever has not received positional sanctification from God, and therefore is still in their sins. Therefore, they are not adopted into the family of God and do not have a share in the inheritance in Christ, Eph 5:5.
Eph 5:5, “For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
The Holy Spirit at salvation provides the signature guarantee of our inheritance, Eph 1:13-14, “Who is the guarantee of our inheritance, for the release of your possession (assets – inheritance) for the praise of His glory.”
The invisible assets of our inheritance are found in our very own portfolio provided by God the Father, prepared in eternity past, and given to us at the point of salvation, Eph 1:14, “Who is the guarantee of our inheritance for the release of your assets for the praise of his glory.”
The believer’s inheritance is secure forever, 1 Peter 1:4‑5, “We have an inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are guarded by the power of God through faith (doctrine) resulting in a deliverance, ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Our attitude toward our inheritance should be thanksgiving, Col 1:12, “Constantly giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Having noted the “sealing ministry” of God the Holy Spirit, as a pledge and guarantee of our “eternal inheritance,” we now will review the co-termed name of “sealing” that being the “indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.”
The Doctrine of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Though there is much more to this overall doctrine, here we note the highlights of the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.
The fact of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Church Age is presented in 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20.
The prophecy of the indwelling of the Spirit in the Church Age is found in John 7:37-39; 14:16-17, 26.
No believers were indwelt by the Holy Spirit in other dispensations, but all believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit in the Church Age. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in other dispensations was technically the enduement of the Holy Spirit. For example, David said, “Do not take Your Spirit from me,” Psa 51:11.
The Holy Spirit indwells the body of the Church Age believer at the moment of salvation, Rom 8:11; Gal 3:2-3; 4:6.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is also called “anointing,” CHRISMA, χρῖσμα in 1 John 2:20, 27. This term is used emblematically of the Divine Spirit descending and abiding upon the believer as sent by God.
The purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to provide a temple in the body of every Church Age believer for the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the Shekinah Glory and the indwelling of God the Father, John 14:16; Rom 8:9-11; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 4:6; 2 John 9.
The Holy Spirit also indwells the body of the believer because the Old Sin Nature lives in the body of the believer. In the life of every believer, human ability must be superseded by Divine ability. Therefore, the dynamics of the Holy Spirit are clearly important so that the believer can execute and fulfill God’s Plan for their lives, Gal 5:16-18; cf. 1 Cor 3:10-15.
Indwelling of the Holy Spirit sets the stage for six ministries the Spirit performs for the Church Age believer.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Identifying you as a member of the Royal Family of God, Acts 1:1-8, “5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 1 Thes 4:8; Titus 5:3-7.
- The Sealing of the Holy Spirit: He seals us and is our pledge of eternal life and inheritance, Eph 1:13-14.
- The Gifting of the Holy Spirit: He gives each believer a spiritual gift at salvation, 1 Cor 12:4, 9; Heb 2:4.
- The Teaching Ministry of the Holy Spirit: We learn God’s Word by means of the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP), which is the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, John 14:26; 16:12-15; 1 Cor 2:9-16; 1 John 2:27 that is also part of His Common Grace ministry. This is:
1) The comprehension of Bible doctrine when taught.
2) The cycling of Bible doctrine, storing and retaining God’s Word within your soul.
3) The building of your Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS) with doctrine.
4) The application or exhaling of Bible doctrine from your soul.
5) The believer functioning under the super-grace life in doctrine.
- The Praying Ministry of the Holy Spirit: He intercedes in our prayer life, Rom 8:26.
- The Filling of the Holy Spirit. This is another important topic which is unique to the Church Age and part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the Church Age believer. The Filling of God the Holy Spirit is the operational ministry of the Holy Spirit for empowerment and enablement of the Church Age believer to execute God’s Plan for their life. Through the Filling of the Spirit, we are empowered and enabled to execute the unique spiritual life of the Church Age believer, Eph 5:18; cf. Eph 4:30; 1 Thes 5:16-22.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from the indwelling of Christ. In the Church Age, every believer is indwelt by Jesus Christ and every believer is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ indwells the believer for the purpose of fellowship, Rom 8:10; 2 Cor 13:5. Maximum fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ comes through the ECS and the super-grace life, Eph 3:17-19.
- The Holy Spirit indwells the believer for the purpose of function. He makes the Christian life function in the believer’s life.
The Holy Spirit indwells the body of every believer, but only controls the soul of the believer under the title “filling of the Holy Spirit” or “walking in the Spirit,” Gal 5:1, 16, 25. Therefore, the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from the “filling” of the Spirit.
- The indwelling occurs at the point of salvation and never changes.
- Filling is commanded, Eph 5:18, and lost through carnality, Eph 4:30.
- Whether the believer loses the filling of the Spirit or not, he never loses the indwelling.
- If the filling of the Spirit is lost due to sinning, which also results in loss of fellowship with God, it is regained through the confession of your sins to God the Father, 1 John 1:5-9.
The universal indwelling of the Spirit is necessary because of the intensification of the Angelic Conflict, John 7:37-39.
Then we have in the second half of vs. 14, “with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
“With a view to the redemption” is the Genitive Singular noun APOLUTROSIS, ἀπολύτρωσις that we noted in vs. 7 that means, “release, redemption, or deliverance.” It comes from the root words APO and LUTROO. APO means, “from, out of, because of” and LUTROO means, “redeem by paying a ransom, set free, or rescue.”
It stands for the payment of the penalty of our sins by the person of Jesus Christ upon the Cross by which the believer has been purchased from the slave market of sin. It speaks to the completed work of ransoming or paying for our souls and bodies. As we noted previously, redemption of the soul occurs at the point of believing.
Yet, the context here refers to Phase Three, when we are taken home to be face to face with the Lord, either through death or the Rapture, and includes the receiving of our final resurrection bodies. This redemption is the redemption of the body, which is receiving a resurrection body in the eternal state. A body that is capable of receiving and handling the inheritance that is waiting for us. So, it is the believer receiving a resurrection body in phase three and refers to the culmination of the process, which will become a reality, when Jesus returns to this earth and believers are resurrected.
“Of Gods’ own possession,” is the Genitive Singular of PERIPOIESIS, περιποίησις that means, “possession, preservation, saving, or gaining.” From its root words PERI and POIEO, we could say, “caused to be made His.” Here it means, “acquired possession”, which is what the believer is to God. It is linked with our previous word “pledge,” which was a down payment for the acquisition of something. We are something that was acquired, but God has not fully received us to Himself as yet. Nevertheless, the believer is God’s property and this is going to result in something.
It results in “to the praise of His glory,” which is EPAINOS that means, “praise or commendation,” which we noted in vs. 6 and 12 as super-praise. With this is DOXA AUTOS for “His glory.” Therefore, we see that our redemption that was sealed by the Holy Spirit, who is our pledge of guarantee of our eternal inheritance, is given to us by God to the praise of His glory. Because He has done all the planning and work, He deserves all the praise and is glorified as a result.
In conclusion of the long sentence of vs. 3-14, all these promises should make us burst into praise as they did the apostle Paul. Now we can understand a little better why it is a mistake to take only a few of these statements out of this complete sentence. God does not give us only part of the total picture and leave us confused. He has clearly informed us about the function of each member of the Trinity in the work of redemption. The Father planned, the Son provided and the Holy Spirit protects the ones who accept God’s provision! And as a result, we should and will praise Them as They are glorified for all of eternity.
Next in Part 5 of Ephesians, Chapter 1, we will study:
Principles of Prayer Related to our Royal Priesthood
Doctrine of the Lordship of Jesus Christ
The Mechanics of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, GAP