Today we will be looking at the hope we have in Christ, His promised gift and our inheritance. We looked at verse 11 in the last post but I wanted to repost it because verse 12 is directly tied to it.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
In verse 12, “we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ” refers to Jewish Christians like Paul. “The expectation of God’s coming deliverer was distinctive to the Jews.”1 They had been waiting for the Messiah to come that was promised in the Old Testament. Putting our hope in Christ brings praise to Him.
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth,the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The “you” in verse 13 refers to Gentile Christians, the Ephesians. After believing in Christ, they “were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit”. This concept of being marked with a seal has a lot of meaning. Letters were sealed with seal “in order to indicate where it had come from and to whom it belonged”.2 If you apply that to the seal of the Holy Spirit, it indicates that we came from the Lord and belong to Him. We, like the believers in Ephesus, have been sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit. We have been marked as belonging to Christ.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is also a down payment of our eternal inheritance. When we believe in Christ, we receive the indwelling of His Holy Spirit which allows us to receive His benefits while living here on earth. We are empowered, taught, corrected, led and guided by the Holy Spirit. His Spirit teaches us the ways of Christ, guides us in making decisions and leads us to follow His plans for our lives.
As we enter the weekend, let’s spend some time seeking the Lord and His plans for our lives. What is the Holy Spirit trying to teach you? How is the Spirit guiding you and are you submitting to His plans or are you clinging to your own? Praise Him for the presence of His Spirit and rejoice it is only a down payment on our eternal inheritance!
Picture by samarttiw at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Scripture references from http://www.biblegateway.com
1 quote from “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary”, Vol. 11, Zondervan
- 2 quote from “The Daily Study Bible Series, the Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, William Barclay, Westminster Press