Pondering Ephesians 1:13-14
This Week’s Passage: 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
In verses 4-5 we see one side of the divine free will/not free will paradox. In verse 13 we see the other: “heard…believed.” Scripture affirms BOTH that God chose us before the creation of the world AND we willingly choose to believe when confronted with the gospel. Some people have difficulty believing that both can be true. I do not. I may not understand it completely but that is what “mystery” is all about (verse 9). I think I would have difficulty believing in a God that I could completely figure out. The fact that there are mysteries fuels my faith to believe more.
The phrase “promised Holy Spirit” made me think – where in Scripture was he promised. So I started looking for references. Here are a few:
Ezekiel 36:26-27 – 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Joel 2: 28-29 – 28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” (This verse is echoed by the apostles in Acts 2)
Isaiah 44:3 – 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
Acts 1:8 – 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Much can be said about the work of the Holy Spirit. Suffice to say here that he is our GUARANTEE from God that we are saved and that we will receive an eternal inheritance from Him. So the question that this passage begs to be asked is this: Is there evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in my (your) life? As Romans 8:9 says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 1: 15-19a