The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 1:14-16 ~ The Sealing of the Holy Spirit Guarantees our Eternal Inheritance, Pt. 2 ~ Prayer-Rejoicing and Thanksgiving to the Lord

Vol. 14 No. 31 

Giving ThanksVs. 14

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

1.  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.

2.  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.”

3.  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.”

4.  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.

5.  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.”

6.  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.”

7.  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.”

8.  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.

9.  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.

1.  The fact of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Church Age is presented in 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20.

2.  The prophecy of the indwelling of the Spirit in the Church Age is found in John 7:37-39; 14:16-17, 26.

3.  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.

4.  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.

5.  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.

6.  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.

7.  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.

8.  Indwelling of the Holy Spirit sets the stage for 6 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, “5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Cf. 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.

9.  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.

10.  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.

1) The indwelling occurs at the point of salvation and never changes.

2) Filling is commanded, Eph 5:18, and lost through carnality, Eph 4:30.

3) Whether the believer loses the filling of the Spirit or not, he never loses the indwelling.

4) 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.

11.  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.

Vs. 15

Beginning in vs. 15 and running through the remainder of this chapter, vs. 23, we have another long sentence.

Next we see in vs. 15-16, Paul’s rejoicing because of the faith of those in the Ephesus region.

Eph 1:15, “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints.”

For this reason” is Paul looking back to vs. 3-14 and to all that God has done for the believer, including the acquisition of every spiritual blessing that includes your election, predestination, adoption, grace, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, understanding, knowledge of the mystery of His will, the sealing of the Holy Spirit, and an eternal inheritance.

“Having heard of the faith” is Paul stating that others have told him of the Ephesians great faith in Christ, as opposed to witnessing it first hand, although he had witnessed the faithfulness of many of them on His missionary journeys. Paul has been teaching now for about 25 years and every now and then he hears about someone profiting from his ministry.

In the Lord Jesus which exists among you,” identifies the one they have placed their faith in. Their faith is not in the church, Pastor or Paul, but in the person of Jesus Christ, just as ours should be today. This is the demonstration of their vertical faith.

“And your love for all the saints,” tells us that their faith in Jesus Christ led to obedience of Jesus Christ that was demonstrated in their AGAPE love for the “saints,” HAGIOS or holy ones, speaking about believers. This is the demonstration of their horizontal faith.

This is the principle of the witness of your life. If you are truly faithful towards Jesus Christ, you are going to express impersonal and unconditional love toward your fellow believers where you lay down your life for them, giving and helping without desiring anything in return, rather than making yourself and the fulfillment of your lusts, wants and desires the number one priority in your life.

  • It means that there are no mental attitude sins toward other believers and that you consistently display a relaxed mental attitude (RMA) towards others.
  • It means recognition of privacy of other believers.
  • It means, when necessary, friendliness toward other believers, courtesy and doctrine – constant intake of Bible doctrine.
  • It means respect for other people that means you do not have to agree or disagree with them, but you have consideration or thoughtfulness towards them.
  • It means that you give other people the benefit of the doubt at all times.

On the other hand, if you are not faithful toward Christ, you will be self-absorbed  having conditional love, bitterness, hatred, gossiping, maligning, and slandering towards your fellow believers, as well as turning a cold shoulder towards them when they are in need; not looking out for their best interests, cf. Mat 25:45.

Vs. 16

Eph 1:16, “I (Paul) do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers.”

Here we see two categories of prayer, PROSEUCHE, προσευχή:

  1. Thanksgiving, EUCHARISTEO prayers.
  2. Petition / intercessory prayers for others, which is from POIEO that means, “to make or do” and MNEIA, μνεία that means, “remembrance, recollection, to bear in mind or make mention of.” Cf. Phil 1:3; 1 Thes 1:2; 2 Tim 1:3; Philemon 1:1.

As Paul states he “does not cease” praying for them, which is the Geek negative participle OUK plus the Present, Middle, Indicative of PAUO, παύω that means, “to stop, cease, hinder, or rest from.” With the negative, Paul does not do these things on their behalf regarding his prayers. That is, he continually gives thanks to God for them and prays on their behalf, and he never stopped doing it

1.  Thanksgiving Prayers.

An intrinsic aspect of prayer is thanksgiving, in other words, gratitude to God for all that He has, is and will do for you. It is gratitude expressed in your prayers of thanks for your life, both physical and spiritual, and for the promises of God in your life, including the answers to your previous prayers. Thanksgiving offers homage to God in His own right for His wisdom, power and love, Eph 1:3; 2 Cor 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; James 3:9.

As a result of the faithfulness of believers in the Ephesus region, Paul is moved to continual thanksgiving, OUK PAUO EUCHARISTEO, to God for them and their faith. Paul is not thankful because they have done something for him. He is thankful that they are believers going forward in God’s Plan for their lives.

Ask yourself this question. Do you give thanks to God for the other members of your church? Do you give thanks to God when you see a fellow believer’s positive volition towards Bible Doctrine and Occupation with Christ? Do you give thanks to God when you see a fellow believer serving in some capacity within or outside the church?

Most people are thankful when someone does something good or nice for them, which is good and appropriate in its own right. But if you only give thanks to God when someone does something for you, it is an indication of your self-absorption, that you are lacking something and that you are missing out on somethings in the spiritual life.

Paul, in spiritual maturity, is thankful to God for the positive volition of his fellow believers. As a result, he gives thanks to God because He is the one who deserves all the credit and all the glory of praise.

As Paul did, we too should be offering up prayers of thanksgiving for our fellow believers around us; often and consistently.

2.  Petition / Intercessory prayers for others.

Petition prayers can be made on behalf of yourself, based on the needs you have in your life, or for the needs of others, which then become intercessory prayers. Intercession is praying for others, Eph 6:18; 1 Kings 18:36-37; James 5:16‑18, also called supplication or request prayers, from the Greek Noun DEESIS, δέησις.

Not only did Paul give thanks to God for them, but he also prayed for them and their needs consistently, “making mention of you in my prayers,” POIEO MNEIA PROSEUCHE.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#’s 15-091 through 15-093

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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you.  He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins.  He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

 

 

 

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