The Guarantee of the SpiritPosted: June 9, 2010
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 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 5:5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
Ephesians 1:13-14 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.
The Spirit that Christ promised to His people has come. The believer can boast in knowing that they are forever Christ’s. Along with boasting, they ought to give their life to the gospel.
The Holy Spirit is holy in Himself. It is because He is holy that the believer is made holy as well. The Holy Spirit, being the Spirit of promise, is what gives the believer hope to look to the day of eternal holiness and joy when they can stand before God, sealed by Him. This seal that the Holy Spirit gives to the believer is an eternal inheritance. Forever sealed until the end of time on earth, the believer can enjoy knowing that his pursuit of holiness will not end in failure, but that he will be made holy like God for eternity. When the Spirit enters a man’s heart, He is sealing it forever, making the soul God’s. In this, the believer has the guarantee of the Spirit. This guarantee gives the believer the enjoyment of the gospel in looking towards Christ’s life as an example of how he should live for Christ while on earth. But even more, he is given the enjoyment in the gospel knowing that one day he will worship God in all holiness, forever! This “mark” of the Spirit is a distinguishing mark that belongs only to those whom the Spirit indwells.
The believer can enjoy the fact that this guarantee which the Spirit gives them will not only reap blessing here on earth, but is the very seal that allows them to stand in Christ’s righteousness before God. This earnest part of the Spirit’s work is a gift that the believer is to enjoy, given because of what Christ had done previously on the cross. Out of this, the believer is privileged to enjoy the gospel through many areas that the Spirit gives throughout his life. All of the things that the Spirit does – all that He influences, all that He leads, all that He teaches, and all of His comforts – are only but a hint of the eternal joy that the believer will enjoy even more, in all fullness, in eternity. The believer enjoys this every morning as he awakes from his sleep, being able to live another day for Christ – glorifying God in the way He designed all things, worshipping Him in all things, and proclaiming the gospel, showing others this good news which saves and gave the believer a way of life, and living by the work of the Spirit in their life. The Spirit who gives the guarantee of promise is the same Sprit who enjoys the gospel Himself. The Spirit enjoys being the One who seals; He enjoys convicting, He enjoys molding the heart, and He enjoys keeping those that are the Father’s until the day their souls leave earth. This promise is what makes the believer heirs with Christ, and is what makes the believer a brother with Christ, and it is what leads the believer to the process of sanctification. This promise is what shapes the believer more every day into the image that Christ has set before His people as a living example here on earth. This inheritance is not partial or in any way deficient, leaving the believer to complete it. No! It is complete because of the work of Jesus Christ, and will lead the believer to live out the gospel until the day of redemption. As the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 1:13-14,
“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.”
For the believer to boast properly in the gospel truths which the Spirit gives them, they must realize every morning they awake, that they awake as God’s own. From the moment of the promise of the Spirit, they are Christ’s bought souls, and that in itself deserves nothing less than a pursuit of holiness to glorify God always and before all else. The believer must allow the Spirit to shape their lives from the Scriptures, they must allow the Spirit to mould their hearts to care like Christ, and they must allow the Spirit to groan for them when they go in prayer. This is why the believer listens to the Word preached, and why the believer prays and sings songs of worship and praise to God – to live out the gospel truth that the Spirit dwells in them, making the glory of God further known among all the inhabits upon the earth. It is the power of the gospel that gives the believer the enjoyment of what the Sprit does for them – things that the believer doesn’t even know and cannot comprehend, and what the believer cannot and would never be able to do on their own. That is why the believer boasts in the guarantee of the Spirit – because it does all that man could never do.