The Holy Spirit is our Guarantee
“In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Eph. 1:13-14
The Greek word used in the original text for guarantee is the word “arrabon” meaning “a downpayment given as a pledge that the full amount will subsequently be paid”. The original word for seal is “sphragizo” meaning “to mark with a seal”.
As Christians, our eyes have been unveiled to see and fully comprehend the spiritual truth of the promises that were presented to us through Jesus Christ, that is, the redemption or payment for our past sins, the opportunity to become true children of God and part of His heavenly Kingdom with a promised inheritance, and the promise to receive an immortal, eternal body that is the same as the resurrected spiritual body of Jesus. When we embrace these promises and make them the hope of our life, and then walk in the reality of this hope, exercising the same faith as Abraham, we receive a seal from God, and our names are placed in the Lamb’s book of life. The seal is the Holy Spirit. We can’t see or touch the Spirit, but He is there to help us, comfort us, guide us, encourage us, communicate to us, and correct us as we walk through this life. The Holy Spirit is also a guarantee that the promise will be delivered in the future.
Let me use an illustration to emphasize the importance of understanding the guarantee we now have of the future promised inheritance. Imagine there is a man who is of a lower income bracket, who has worked hard his whole life with his hands, who has suffered many things throughout his life, and who is now mostly alone. One day he decides to play the multi-million dollar lottery, and his number comes up. He sees that he has won, contacts the lottery organization, and they give him a confirmation that he is the winner. He turns in his ticket and receives a “guarantee” that he will receive the money. Th en there is a period of time, a few weeks, from the time he receives the guarantee until he actually receives the money when it gets cleared into his bank account so he can spend it. My question is this: How would this man act between the time that he received the guarantee and the time he actually can spend the money? Would he continue to act and feel the same as he had prior to his winning? I would think that a major transition would take place from the time that he gets the guarantee. The old man who suffered and struggled alone would no longer exist, but immediately this man would think and behave differently. He would start to look into ways to use the money, or invest it, or protect it. During those few weeks that he is waiting to receive the money, imagine that he is not able to secure a line of credit, so his situation hasn’t changed. He still lives in the same place, he probably still eats the same food and wears the same clothes, but in his heart and mind he knows that it’s just a matter of time until he is free from his situation. I would think that enduring those few weeks would be easy knowing the hope of what was coming. The only challenge would be to have the patience to wait for the payment to come.
We are in a similar situation. We have received the guarantee, but are now just waiting for the final payment. We must patiently endure until we receive what has been promised. Keeping this hope as the focus of our attention helps us to continue on. In 2 Corinthians, Paul encourages the Christians to continue on in the light of the hope of “payment”. 2 Cor. 4:16 – 5:5
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”
Keeping our minds set on heaven and the promises is vital to our endurance. We don’t have a physical guarantee, but a spiritual one, that can’t be seen or touched. We must therefore exercise our faith. Make the hope of heaven a reality in your life. Rejoice in this hope. The Phillips translation of Romans 12:12 says: “Base your happiness on your hope in Christ”.