God’s Spirit

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BIG IDEA: We are God’s inheritance, and he has given us his Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation through Christ.


SERIES: EPHESIANS
The book of Ephesians relates God’s plan for creating a new society by his grace and for his glory. It is “…doctrine set to music. Just as [Paul] proclaimed God’s order to the post-Augustine Roman era which was marked by a process of social disintegration, so Ephesians is today the most contemporary book in the Bible, since it promises community in a world of disunity, reconciliation in the place of alienation and peace instead of war” (John Mackay, President Princeton Theological Seminary, 1948).

SCRIPTURE to CONSIDER: Ephesians 1:11-14

[11] In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, [12] so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. [13] 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, [14] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

KEY CONSIDERATIONS

  • “Inheritance:” In the Greek, this word and the grammar surrounding it means that we are God’s inheritance. We were claimed by God as his inheritance. (see Deut. 32) God gets us out of the deal. The Jewish people are God’s inheritance, but so also are the Gentiles, if all are in Christ.
  • “Sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” (John 14:15, John 16, Acts 2): God through Jesus promised to give us the Holy Spirit, and God always keeps his promises.
  • A Permanent Seal: the Holy Spirit is a mark of God on our lives that we cannot lose. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
  • A Guarantee: the Holy Spirit is a guarantee of our salvation and a down-payment of what is to come. It is a foretaste of what God has in store for us.
  • Through the Holy Spirit, we receive….
    • The Presence of God: through the Holy Spirit, God is with us here and now.
    • The Peace of God: we have access to God’s peace here and now.
    • The Protection of God: we have God’s protection from evil here and now.
  • If we can’t lose our salvation, to what does Heb. 6 refer? It refers to those who have understood and tasted the Gospel, but have not necessarily believed the Gospel. They understand doctrine, theology, the Spirit, the Gospel, and maybe they’ve even experienced the presence of the Spirit, but they have never actually received the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They walk near to the Spirit, but they are not in the Spirit.
  • Genuine Marks of the Spirit: spiritual maturity, the fruits of the Spirit perseverance, your countenance will change, and how you approach the things of life will change.

OUR RESPONSE:

  • Be careful not to fall into the lie that the Devil doesn’t exist and not to fall into inappropriate fascination with evil.
  • Ask yourself if you’re maturing in Christ, in the Spirit.
  • Be assured that if you have received the Gospel, turned from your sin, asking for forgiveness and receiving it in Christ, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Want to study this topic more?

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Questions to Consider: 

  1. Do you feel the assurance of your salvation talked about in this passage?
  2. Which side of the spectrum do you fall on in regard to the realness of evil spirits? DO you believe the lie that they don’t exist or do you allow them to create too much fear in you?
  3. What is one thing that might change in your life this week based on this message?
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