Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Guarantee



It has been said there are no guarantees in life. But Kinship Christian
Radio recently broadcast a sermon by Dr. Paul Nyquist in which he
talked about a guarantee in Scripture:

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of
your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised
Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire
possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV)

Of course, the “him” in the above verse is Jesus and the guarantee is
eternal life in heaven.

In that verse, “sealed” means to be claimed as belonging to the king.
We are certified as being God’s own possession and adopted into His
family as sons and daughters. As such, we are not just receiving the gift
of eternal life, but inheriting it as heirs to his kingdom! The Greek word
translated as “guarantee” here is “arrab┼Źn” which means a substantial
down payment, a pledge, given to let the person receiving the payment
know that the person giving it is earnest and committed to giving a
much larger payment in the future. Today we would use the phrase,
“earnest money down.”

And, Paul doesn’t just write this once in Scripture. He says the same
thing in his second letter to the Corinthians:

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed
us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our
hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ESV)

This is amazing to me. It means the Holy Spirit in our lives is a sample of
a guaranteed heaven that we get right here and right now in our lives.
It’s a kind of fellowship, a kind of oneness with God, a “sneak preview”
of what heaven will be like. If I think of those times when I could really,
truly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, (which, not coincidentally, has
almost always been during times of amazing worship) heaven must be
glorious indeed!

Added into all of this is the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is a gift we do
not in any way deserve or earn. Jesus paid our debt. Jesus paid it all on
the cross. Then, He gives us a down-payment as a guarantee of heaven
and eternal life--when it was Him who paid the debt we owed!

How can we ever even come close to understanding the kind of love it
took to do that?

To the Praise of His Glory!

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for
his friends. (John 15:13 ESV)

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