Salvation In Earnest
Ephesians 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
Ephesians 1:14 “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Hello readers, today I want to talk about the word “earnest” mentioned in the book of Ephesians. This is quite an important word in understanding salvation. And we need to understand our salvation. We have a redemption in earnest form at the moment. But obviously if you are not saved you have no salvation yet to understand. But once saved, understanding our salvation is integral to Christian growth, and it was Paul’s primary prayer for the church at Ephesus… a church that had been established at Ephesus when people there had received and believed the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in him to save them from their sins. And that’s how Christ’s church is established and who it consists of… people that believed on him to save them from their sins. So why are we trying to build churches off a different formula and foundation?
Then something happened to them the moment they believed… they were sealed by the holy Spirit of promise. That happens to all of us too. But what’s missing with a lot of professing Christians these days is a) the person and working of the holy Spirit in repentance and salvation but also b) the sealing work of the holy Spirit. What is this sealing? And where is this sealing of the saints of God? It seems barely anyone is sealed by God and to God anymore. They’re not sealed to their Bible and sealed to truth or even to Biblical salvation anymore.
And yet that’s what true salvation is. Because when we are saved, the sealing of the holy Spirit is the earnest that we receive as prelude to a far greater inheritance that we are entitled to in Jesus Christ. When the Bible says the sealing of the holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance… it means that it’s “what we’ve got so far” or to begin with. It is the beginning of our salvation, and with the promise of so much more to come. In other words, God is good for it. But yet many people are missing this “earnest” of the Spirit, which is what we are talking about today. Do you long for the redemption of the purchased possession? Is that what you’re living for and looking towards?
And so after salvation, the holy Spirit seals us. If that is absent in your life, check your salvation? Are you sealed? Because true salvation brings sealing. We have a saying “that seals the deal”… well the Holy Spirit sealed my deal when I first believed. Hopefully he did yours too. And so I do have “eternal security” because my salvation rests in God’s hands, not my own. Noone can break his seal off my life. And it’s better in hands, because if it was in my hands, well I have a propensity to “drop the ball” but God does not and will not with me. And because of this sealing of the Spirit of God, everything has changed now. I’m a new creature with new life in Christ, and now I have a new journey, new objective, new goal, new destination in life. We have an earnest salvation, and we earnestly look toward redemption. Because earnest always involves looking towards something that is promised, in this case, God’s promises in Christ Jesus to me.
And please notice this phrase in Ephesians “until the redemption”… but hang on, I thought we were already redeemed? And we are. The redemption price has been paid. We have been purchased out of the slave market of sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. His blood has “buying power”. And our redemption is complete in the sense of that what God has promised, he will perform, therefore it can be already considered as done. I mean, God had already determined that in Jesus Christ payment would be made and redemption of humanity provided for and obtained.
But yet our redemption is not complete. Because we are waiting for redemption “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” If we already had our redemption right now, why would it be drawing night? And even concerning salvation, the Bible says “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Hang on, I thought we already have our salvation? Then what is this salvation that is getting nearer?
It’s because we are only at the beginning of what God has planned, ordained and elected us for in Jesus Christ. Although it is sure, we are in time, and our time has not yet come. But the future most assuredly belongs to the sons of God, Romans 8 makes that clear. We can read about our future, but for now we have but a fraction of what we are entitled to in Christ, that is, what we will inherit in him. And that’s exciting. Because a big part of living the Christian life is living with future in view, and we must live with that future in view “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So according to the Bible, let’s know who we are, what we are, where we are heading, let’s see ahead to judgment, and the world to come. Because that helps us through what we are going through, knowing it’s not always going to be this way, it’s not always going to be battling a sin cursed body, it’s not always going to be this wretched world where evil and iniquity seems to prevail.
And so Ephesians says that the sealing of holy Spirit at salvation “is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” And I want to consider this word “earnest”, because we have an earnest salvation. Our salvation is “in earnest”. If you already know what an “earnest” is in our society, it’s basically like a deposit, something that you pay or give in advance with the assurance of what’s to come. And so the first thing we receive from God when we are saved is the Holy Spirit, and the promise that he will never leave us or forsake us, who saves us and tells us we are saved, and who enables us to live this Christian life. Note: once you have the holy Spirit you are sealed… that sounds like eternal security to me. The Holy Spirit doesn’t have a leaky seal on our soul. And that’s why he’s the Comforter, because it’s a comfort to know we’ve got God’s pledge and he’s going to come for us because we’ve got a sure token of our salvation in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God.
But I want to look at two definitions of earnest, both as an adjective and a noun from Webster’s dictionary to help us understand this “earnest” business more. Earnest as an adjective means “Ardent in the pursuit of an object; eager to obtain; having a longing desire; warmly engaged or incited.” Because once we get saved we are pursuing someone and something… our Saviour, and our future, our home, our place with our Saviour “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Is this you? Or is something wrong and there is no earnest in your Christianity? And just like the book of Song of Solomon, when saved, there is a longing for a realization and consummation of a relationship which burns for each other “ardent in the pursuit”. We are longing for something that we are promised that we do not have yet. But often we don’t live with any earnest of the Spirit of God in our hearts.
God’s saints all had an earnest salvation and an earnest walk with God. Look at Abraham’s life, he was earnestly in pursuit of God’s promise in his life. What about Paul, who wrote in Philippians 3:13,14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” And what about in Hebrews 12:1,2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” See when you’re running a race, you’re earnestly in pursuit of that finish line, and we’re looking for a finish line, and the prize is God “I am thy exceeding great reward”.
But with most Christians, there is no pursuit, much less ardent pursuit of Jesus Christ and our fellowship and place with him. With most Christians there is no longing, no burning desire, there is no fire that has been lit, that gets lit in our heart at salvation “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.” Has God lighted your candle? And because there’s no lighting, there’s no shining, and then there’s no one coming to the light in your life, because there’s nothing to come to check out when everything is darkness. And maybe it’s like you’ve already got all you wanted, because many Christians want just to “not go to hell” but nothing more. But salvation is far from just getting out of hell, it’s so much more than that.
And I guess it really is because we love the world just as God commands us not to. Because we are so invested in here, we are not earnest towards our Saviour. There’s no earnest because our prizes and goals and investment is here. Where’s your prize? And would anyone looking on see or say you have an earnest salvation? Look at that word definition “eager to obtain”. What are you eager to obtain? Lusts or Jesus Christ?
And here is the second definition, and it’s a bit long, but please read it. Here is “earnest” as a noun “First fruits; that which is in advance, and gives promise of something to come. Early fruit may be an earnest of fruit to follow. The first success in arms may be an earnest of future success. The christian’s peace of mind in this life is an earnest of future peace and happiness. Hence earnest or earnest-money is a first payment or deposit giving promise or assurance of full payment. Hence the practice of giving an earnest to ratify a bargain. This sense of the word is primary, denoting that which goes before, or in advance. Thus the earnest of the spirit is given to saints, as a pledge or assurance of their future enjoyment of God’s presence and favor.”
So I really hope you do have this earnest of the Spirit of God living in you. Because that’s what we’ve got so far of what’s promised to us. If you don’t have the earnest in your heart… why would you get anything else from God… if that’s what you get first? Because the very first thing we get after trusting and believing is the sealing of the holy Spirit of God. You get him, and you get what he does… he seals you. I mean when you “seal” something it’s to give it a stamp of authority, like a king’s letter with the king’s seal on it. The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on our soul and spirit. We are his, secured, confirmed, assured, salvation done. My salvation is sealed! No need to doubt in it! It’s a done deal. So wait for me, be patient, hold the faith, hold the line. So I do hope you are saved and sealed “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.” And know that this is just beginning of a “so great salvation”, so look up, lift up, look forward and run your race well and in earnest dear Christian.
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Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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