Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
Sermon #18 — Ephesians Sermons
Title: “The Redemption of
the Purchased Possession”
Text: Ephesians 1:13-14
Subject: Our Sealing and the Resurrection
Date: Sunday Evening — July 26, 2015
Reading: Mark Daniel and Mark Henson
(Ephesians 1:13-14) “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, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
God the Holy Spirit, having created faith in us, is “the Holy Spirit of promise” by which the believer is sealed in Christ, — “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” — I want to talk to you about our sealing and the resurrection, our being sealed by God the Holy Ghost until the resurrection of our bodies with Christ in his glory. You will find the title of my message in verse 14. — “The Redemption of the Purchased Possession.”
Proposition: All who are born of God are sealed in grace by God the Holy Ghost, sealed unto the resurrection.
1st — The sealing of the Spirit, spoken of in verse 13, is the blessed witness of the Spirit with our spirits that we are the children of God, by which he sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts, assuring us that salvation is ours in Christ. Giving us faith in Christ and “a good hope through grace,” he tells us that all grace is ours and glory too. In a word, by giving us his Spirit, as “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father,” our God and Savior puts his seal upon his own work, and stamps it as genuine.
“He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true” (John 3:33). — Receiving the testimony God has given of Christ by faith, the believing sinner has proof in his own heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he is himself born of God. It is written, “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11-12).
Spirit of Promise
2nd — All this work of grace in us is performed by “the Holy Spirit of promise,” by God the Holy Spirit who was promised, who comes in fulfillment of the promise.
(Jeremiah 50:4) “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.”
(Ezekiel 36:27) “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
(Ezekiel 37:14) “And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.”
(Ezekiel 39:29) “Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”
(Joel 2:28) “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
(Luke 11:13) “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
While he was yet on the earth, the Lord Jesus assured his disciples that when he had gone to the Father, he would send them the Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, to abide with us forever.
(John 14:16-17) “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
(John 14:26) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
(John 15:26) “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
(John 16:7-15) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.”
After his resurrection he commanded the apostles to abide in Jerusalem until they had received “the promise of the Father,” referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(Luke 24:49) “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
(Acts 1:4) “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.”
(Acts 2:16-22) “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; (17) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (18) And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (19) And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: (21) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (22) Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.”
(Acts 2:33) “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
It seems obvious to me that Paul is specifically referring to the promise God made to Abraham, when he said, “In thee and in thy seed shall all nations be blessed” (Genesis 12:3; 28:14; Galatians 3:8). Abraham’s Seed, by whom the blessing of the covenant comes to God’s Israel, is Christ (Galatians 3:17); and the specific blessing of the covenant to which that promise refers is “the Holy Spirit of promise.” One of our Savior’s objects in redeeming us from the curse of the law was that we should receive the promise of the Spirit. The indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, as the source of truth, holiness, consolation, and eternal life, is the great Gift our blessed Christ secured for his elect by his death upon the cursed tree (Galatians 3:13-14).
(Galatians 3:13-14) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Let us ever give thanks for “the Holy Spirit of promise” and his mighty operations of grace in us. Without him we would still be dead in trespasses and sins, lost and blind, ignorant of the blood of atonement accomplished for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, without one ray of comfort, incapable of faith, hope, or even of prayer, and incapable of worshipping and praising our God for his great salvation. Until God the Holy Spirit gives us life and faith in Christ, sealing us by his grace, we cannot know the love of God and cannot know our interest in Christ and his great salvation. But now, by the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we are not only convinced of our sin, we are convinced of Christ righteousness and of our complete freedom from judgment and condemnation by the redemption he accomplished for us at Calvary. Now, because the Spirit of God has sealed us, giving us faith in Christ, we draw near to the thrice holy God in heaven by the blood of Christ, in the “full assurance” of acceptance.
3rd — It is “the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance.” He is pledge, or the earnest of our incorruptible, never fading inheritance in heaven. This inheritance is our Father’s gift, his bequest, and belongs only to children of God. It comes to us through the death of the Testator, our Lord Jesus Christ, and is ours forever by him, with him, and in him.
“The Holy Spirit of promise” is called “the earnest of our inheritance,” or the pledge of it, because, being a part of it, he assures us that we shall possess the whole. As such, he certifies that it is the right of all who trust Christ to possess the heavenly inheritance, and makes us “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” by giving us a new, righteous nature, forming Christ in us, making us partakers of the divine nature (Colossians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:9).
May he, who alone is Light and has light, reveal himself to our souls, and teach us the wonders of this great boon of his grace!
An “earnest” is a part of the whole. If you purchase a house, or a piece of property, you are required to make a down payment, earnest money, which is part of the price of the property. It is your binding pledge to pay the full price at a specified time.
In this sense the blessed Spirit of promise has been given to us in saving grace as “the earnest of our inheritance.” His gifts and grace, his teaching, influence, and operations, his quickening, reviving, renewing, anointing, indwelling, and sealing are so many pledges of the truth and reality of the inheritance of God’s covenant children and of its being ours.
But the earnest is not only a pledge of the whole, it is part of the whole. — “The Holy Spirit of promise,” which we have received, is part of the inheritance awaiting us in glory. In the Levitical law the first fruits were not only a pledge of the whole harvest, but part of it. The down payment on a piece of property is not only a pledge to pay the whole price of the property, it is part of the price. And “the Holy Spirit of promise,” “the earnest of our inheritance,” is not only the pledge of our full inheritance, he is part of the inheritance.
Let there be no confusion about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the earnest of our inheritance. The Spirit of God dwelling in us is the Spirit of Christ (John 14:16-18; Romans 8:9-10).
(John 14:16-18) “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
(Romans 8:9-10) “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (10) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
Both the earnest of the inheritance and the full inheritance are Christ. Here, with the earnest, we have Christ in grace, — “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Soon, we shall have the full inheritance, Christ in glory. Christ is revealed in us here. There we shall him face to face. Christ is with us here; and the same blessed Christ, in all the fullness of his presence and love shall be ours in heaven.
Prepared for Heaven
J. C. Philpot wrote, “Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Holy are its inhabitants, holy its employments, holy its enjoyments. The Holy Spirit, therefore, in his sealing, sanctifying operations, and the communication of a holy, spiritual, and divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) is the earnest of his holy and heavenly inheritance, making us, as the Apostle says (Colossians 1:12) ‘meet to be partakers of inheritance of the saints in light.’”
4th — This is very important. The righteousness of Christ imputed to us in justification makes us worthy of the inheritance; and the righteousness of Christ imparted to us in regeneration makes us fit for the inheritance. Until Christ is formed in us, until we are made partakers of the divine nature by regenerating grace, we are not made “meet to be partakers of inheritance of the saints in light.”
Until we know something of the teaching, the work, and the witness of the Holy Spirit here, and are made partakers of a new, holy, spiritual, and heavenly nature, we have no pledge of our interest in the inheritance of the saints in bliss. A carnal, unsanctified, unholy, unrenewed heart is utterly incapable of understanding, entering into, longing after, and loving an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and “that fadeth not away.”
In a word, while the solitary basis of our hope before God is the finished work of Christ, it is Christ in us who is our hope. The basis of our hope is the work of God for us, altogether outside our experience. But hope itself is the work of God in us, grace experienced in our souls, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” This is the fulfilling of the Word of God in us (Colossians 1:25-27).
(Colossians 1:25-27) “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the Word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
· Every holy desire, heavenly affection, gracious longing, spiritual enjoyment, and believing hope, — faith, hope, and love, — looking unto and cleaving to the Lord of life and glory by the power of the Holy Spirit, are all pledges of an interest in the glorious inheritance of the saints in light.
· Love, joy, and peace, a calm tranquility and blessed acquiescence in the will of God, — and every ravishing view of Christ, — “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18), are those things by which God’s chosen vessels of mercy are “afore prepared unto glory” (Romans 9:23), pledges of our inheritance above, heaven begun on earth.
· Every delight we have in Christ, — every bowing of our hearts to him, — every setting of our affection upon our all-glorious Redeemer, as “the chiefest among of ten thousand and altogether lovely,” — everything that turns us to our Savior, “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life,” is a pledge of the inheritance by which we are prepared for that which awaits us in eternity.
“The Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance,” makes heaven real to our souls. “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” is both the firstfruits of glory, assuring us of the full inheritance, and the foretaste of glory. That means that heaven will not be a strange, new experience for us, but the fulfillment of that which God has begun in us by his grace. The psalmist sang, “The Lord will give grace and glory” (Psalm 84:11). Grace is glory begun; and glory is grace finished. And he who began the work will finish it (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
(Philippians 1:6) “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24) “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
Heavenly glory will immeasurably and infinitely enlarge, expand, and amplify the gifts of grace that we enjoy here in and by the “the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance;” but it will reveal and bestow nothing new.
(Ephesians 3:14-19) “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (16) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
5th — The Apostle Paul tells us that the inheritance to which we have been predestined is ours already. We have already obtained it by grace. “The Holy Spirit of promise” is the earnest, the firstfruits, the pledge, and the assurance that we shall one day possess it fully. And he keeps us sealed in grace “until the redemption of the purchased possession.” — “Until the redemption of the purchased possession.” What do those words mean?
Redemption is the complete deliverance of our souls and bodies from the fall of our father Adam, and from all the consequences of sin, “into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). It is deliverance from the curse of the law by the blood of Christ, deliverance from the death of sin in regeneration, and deliverance from all the consequences of sin in the resurrection, here called “the redemption of the purchased possession.” The gift of faith in regeneration brings with it the seal of the Spirit, the assurance of our redemption by the blood of Christ, the assurance of salvation accomplished by our Substitute. And the Spirit of God dwelling in us, giving us eternal life in Christ, assures us that we shall at last possess the inheritance that is ours in Christ in the resurrection.
There is a day appointed by our God when Christ will deliver his elect, his purchased possession, into the full glory of their inheritance. All whom he bought and purchased with the price of his precious, sin-atoning blood shall, in the resurrection, be delivered..
Yes, resurrection glory shall be ours, because God the Father chose us in eternal love, God the Son redeemed us with his blood, and God the Holy Ghost has sealed us and is the earnest of the glory awaiting us in eternity. Therefore, we know that “we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Romans 8:22-23; Ephesians 5:25-27; Jude 1:24-25).
(1 Thessalonians 5:9) “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Romans 8:22-23) “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (23) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
(Ephesians 5:25-27) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
(Jude 1:24-25) “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.”
Resurrection glory will be the completion of redemption, — “the redemption of the purchased possession.” In the resurrection morning, when the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, then the redemption of the body will be complete. Then we will enter into our inheritance fully. Then we shall fully possess Christ as our inheritance; and Christ will fully possess us as his inheritance. Unto that day the Holy Spirit seals us (Ephesians 4:30), assuring us of our interest in the inheritance as the earnest of it and securing to us the certain possession of it.
Illustration: Robin’s Eggs
To His Glory
6th — Then mortality shall be swallowed up in life “unto the praise of his glory!” All shall be accomplished to the praise of the glory of God the Father, “who first trusted in Christ,” by whom we are chosen and predestinated (Ephesians 1:6), — and to the praise of the glory of God the Son, by whom we are redeemed, in whom we have obtained the inheritance, and in whom we trust (Ephesians 1:12), — and to the praise of the glory of God the Holy Ghost, by whom we are sealed, who is the earnest of our inheritance until that day.
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”