Friday, September 15, 2017

filled to the brim

artwork by Cherry Ashen Fargo

When I first saw
this beautiful work of art by Cherry Ashen Fargo, my eyes were riveted on the word, “trust,” and the symbolism of the lighthouse. The structure itself, rising tall in the sky, lifts our eyes to the heavens and God—a towering signpost to guide the way and warn of danger. The beacon, shining out over the roughest and stormiest of seas, is a symbol of salvation and direction, leading those in danger to safety and security, whether it be physical danger or spiritual and moral trials and tribulation.

Trusting God always draws my heart back to a study of God’s Word. Today, it is a word study on fills or fullness from the last two verses in Ephesians Chapter One.


Ephesians 1:22-23

Amplified Bible: And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].

New Living Translation: God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself.

Phillips: God has placed everything under the power of Christ and has set Him up as head of everything for the Church, for the Church is His body, and in that body lives fully the one who fills the whole wide universe.

Wuest: and all things He put in subjection under His feet, and Him He gave as Head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of Him Who is filling the all in all.

Young's Literal: and all things He did put under his feet, and did give him—head over all things to the assembly, which is his body, the fullness of Him who is filling the all in all.

Fills (pleroo) means to be completely filled (completed state—a net or a cup filled to the brim). It carries the idea of permeation, such as salt’s permeating meat in order to flavor preserve it. It also gives the idea of total control. The present tense means continuously fills. Pleroo means to be filled to the brim, to make complete in every particular, to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally, to flood, to diffuse throughout, to pervade, to take possession of and so to ultimately to control.


Pleroo is in the passive voice (subject receives the action—in this context the "divine passive") which points out the fact that as believers, we do not fill ourselves, but permit the Spirit of God to fill us (and control us). In other words, God discloses a knowledge of Himself. One cannot simply learn to know God. God is not like secular truths which may be learned. Divine truth must be revealed!

Pleroo also means to fulfill, to complete, to carry out to the full. Pleroo indicates more than just pouring water in a glass up the brim and has at least three shades of meaning that are helpful in illustrating the meaning. (1) Pleroo was often used of the wind billowing the sails of a ship and providing impetus to move the ship across the water. To be filled with the Spirit then to is to be moved along in our Christian life by God Himself, by the same dynamic by which the writers of Scripture were “moved by the Holy Spirit.” In the spiritual realm, this concept depicts the Holy Spirit providing the thrust to move the believer down the pathway of obedience. A Spirit-filled Christian is not motivated by his own desires or will to progress. Instead, he allows the Holy Spirit to carry him in the proper directions. Another helpful example of this first meaning is a small stick floating in a stream. Sometime in our lives most of us have tossed a stick into a creek and then run downstream to see the twig come floating by, propelled only by the force of the water. To be filled with the Spirit means to be carried along by the gracious pressure of the Holy Spirit. (2) Pleroo also conveys the idea of permeation as of salt’s permeating meat in order to flavor and preserve it.  God wants the Holy Spirit to permeate and flavor our lives so that when we’re around others they will know for certain that we possess the pervasive savor of the Spirit. (3) Plerooconveys the sense of domination or total control. It is used by the Gospel writers in various passages to indicate that people were dominated by a certain emotion.

Theologian Charles Spurgeon commenting on pleroo, says this involves an intimate, experiential type of knowledge, exhorting us to, “Let us try to know divine truth more and more intimately. You know a man, for you pass him in the streets with a nod; you know another man far better, for you lodge in the same house with him; you know him best of all when you have shared his trouble, partaken in his joy, and have, in fact, had fellowship with him by blending your two lives in one common stream of friendship. When you learn a spiritual truth endeavor to know it out and out; to know its foundation and up building; to know it by the application of the Spirit to your own soul so that you are filled with it.  You may have knowledge in the brain, but it may not run into your spirit, so as to penetrate, and permeate, and saturate your spirit, till you are filled therewith. Oh, to get the gospel into one’s entire nature, and to be like the water pots of Cana, filled up to the brim!”

Lord Jesus, develop in me a deep reverence of You that leads to life, wisdom, and greater intimacy with You. Open my heart to be teachable and to receive correction and discipline willingly. Grant that I would fear You and not my circumstances in the present or the what-ifs of the future. May I be so filled to the brim with Your love that faith would replace my fear. Many people have material goods and success, but they still search for something that is real and lasting. Thank You for joy that runs deep. Thank You for peace that only You can give. Help me not to take what I have been given for granted but to be filled to the brim with gratefulness. Restore my sense of wonder and awe as I look for You at every turn in my everyday walkaround life. Speak to my heart, and give me ears to hear. Open my spiritual eyes to see that You are working in the world around me. May I be filled to the brim with wonder and gratefulness at Your great deeds. Thank You for hearing my prayers . . . always! Even when my situation remains the same, grant me grace to trust You and to thank You for your listening ear and Your gracious help. Because of Your mercy, I will sing songs of thanksgiving to You. Because of Your help, may my heart be filled to the brim with joy! In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Look Upmeditate on Ephesians 1:22-23  …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:22-23 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:22-23...pray to see how you might apply it to your relationship with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Saturday, September 9, 2017

yielded to His Spirit

artwork by Tamara Peterson

As I pondered
Tamara Peterson’s beautiful work of art posted on her Artful Story —Journaling Facebook page, this Scripture came to mind…Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16)…Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience... (Hebrews 10:22)... 

I reflected on Tamara’s inspired artwork as I listened to one of my favorite hymns from SelahBefore The Throne of God AboveBefore the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect Plea; A great high priest whose name is Love, Who ever lives and pleads for me. My name is graven on His hands, My name is written on His heart. I know that while in Heaven He stands, No tongue can bid me thence depart. When Satan tempts me to despair, And tells me of the guilt within, Upwards I look and see Him there, Who made an end to all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, My sinful soul is counted free, For God the Just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me. Behold Him there, the risen Lamb; My perfect spotless Righteousness, the great unchanging all I Am, The King of glory and of grace. One with Himself, I cannot die; my soul is purchased by His blood. My life is hid with Christ on high; with Christ, my Savior and my God.

This provided a powerful image for my time of communion . . . the power in the blood of Jesus Christ which led me to a word study of the word power from Ephesians 1:20-21 . . .

Amplified: which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.

NLT: that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.

Phillips: that power is the same divine power which was demonstrated in Christ when he raised him from the dead and gave him the place of supreme honor in Heaven—a place that is infinitely superior to any conceivable command, authority, power or control, and which carries with it a name far beyond any name that could ever be used in this world or the world to come.

Wuest: which might was operative in the Christ when He raised Him from among the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places over and above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name that is constantly being named, not only in this age, but also in the one about to come.


Power: dunamis from dunamai means to be able, to have power, refers to power, especially achieving power. It refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way (power, might, strength, ability, capability), the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature.


Dunamis is the implied ability or capacity to perform. It conveys the idea of effective, productive energy, rather than that which is raw and unbridled. Note that words derived from the stem duna—all have the basic meaning of “being able,” of “capacity” in virtue of an ability.

Theologian F.B. Meyer has said, “It is power. It is His power. It is great power; nothing less would suffice. It is exceeding great power, beyond the furthest cast of thought. This is the power which God used in our redemption, which He uses in our preservation, and which He will yet use in our glorification.”
  Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest explains, “It is the good news of salvation energized by the Holy Spirit. Our word “dynamite” is the transliteration of this Greek word, but not its translation. Dunamis does not refer to an explosive powder. The Greeks knew nothing about gunpowder. The gospel is not the dynamite of God. It is a sweet and loving message of mercy and grace which the Holy Spirit in sovereign grace makes operative in the heart of the sinner elected to salvation before the foundation of the universe. God is able to do for us and answer our prayers according to the efficiency, richness, and power of the working of the Spirit in our lives. This latter is determined by the yieldedness of the believer to the Holy Spirit. Thus, the saint determines what God is able to do for him. In His inherent ability, there is no limit to what God can do in and through the saint. But the saint limits the working of God in and through him by the degree of his yieldedness to the Spirit."

During the bomb raids of World War Two, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But, many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, "Today I ate, and I will eat again tomorrow." In much the same way, I hold the bread and the cup of communion with the same trust. By His stripes, I am healed; as He is, so am I in this world; I am the righteousness of God in Christ...approaching His Throne of Grace with confidence...my heart sprinkled by the precious blood of Jesus Christ...with full assurance, I am trusting Him with my eternity, and I am trusting Him for my next piece of bread, my next heart beat . . .

I approach the Throne of Grace with confidence in prayer, I picture Jesus, my Good, Good Shepherd, in the green pasture of the 23rd Psalm. I take whatever concern I have, or person for whom I am interceding by the hand. I walk out to the meadow, the green pasture, and I place my concern, or the hand of the person for whom I am interceding, in Jesus’ hand…knowing that He is sovereign, He loves me, and He loves the person for whom I am interceding more than I do. He has a plan, a hope, and a future for each of us. I walk away, thanking God for how the river of His Holy Spirit is flowing through me and how He is at work in my life and in the lives of those for whom I am interceding. I experience His peace. Praying as Catherine Marshall prayed, “Lord Jesus, I trust You, You know what You’re doing, I relinquish my will to Yours.”

Look Upmeditate on Ephesians 1:20-21 …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:20-21 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:20-21 ...pray to see how you might apply it to your relationship with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Friday, September 1, 2017

what wrecks you...

artwork by Tamara Peterson

Something about Tamara Peterson’s beautiful work of art posted on the Artful Story—Journaling Facebook page, came to my heart when I first heard this anointed new hymn, Good, Good Father, by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown of Housefires, a group of musicians from Atlanta, Georgia. I was wrecked by the simple beauty and authenticity of this new hymn, which speaks literally of God’s goodness, and paints a simple picture of His identity, even as it underscores our own identity in Him. Any person who’s ever felt lonely or unloved will be ministered to by this hymn, because it declares something we’ve always wanted: identity and purpose. We are loved with a superabounding love by our Good, Good Father...drawing my heart for a word study of surpassing or superabounding from  Ephesians 1:18-19

Amplified:
  By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), and [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength.

NLT:  I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power.

Phillips: That you may receive that inner illumination of the spirit which will make you realize how great is the hope to which he is calling you—the magnificence and splendor of the inheritance promised to Christians—and how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God.

Wuest:  The eyes of your heart being in an enlightened state with a view to your knowing what is the hope of His calling, what is the wealth of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the superabounding greatness of His inherent power to us who are believing ones as measured by the operative energy of the manifested strength of His might.

Young’s Literal: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, for your knowing what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of His power to us who are believing, according to the working of the power of His might.

A word study of surpassing or superabounding [huperballo from hupér(above) bállo (cast)] which literally means throwing beyond the usual mark and figuratively referring to a degree which exceeds extraordinary, a point on an implied or overt scale of extent. Expressing a degree beyond comparison. Extraordinary, extreme, supreme, far more, much greater, to a far greater degree. To transcend. Immeasurable. To overshoot, outdo, surpass, prevail over, to go beyond, exceed, absolutely to exceed all bounds, to go on further and further.

God's power goes far beyond all other power. The power of Christ applied in the believer’s behalf can't be defeated because the Creator's power exceeds all. Huperballo is in the present tense (present-active-participle) indicating that this is a power which is continually surpassing or excels all other power. There will never be a day when it is not sufficient to accomplish what God purposes in us and through us to the praise of His glory. What He does in and through us will be seen by others, who give Him praise and glory because they realize that it is a supernatural, not natural, work. Join me in praying daily that we surrender to the authority of the Spirit of Christ, Who dwells in the innermost part of us, energizing our walk, elevating it from a natural to a supernatural walk.

As Greek scholar, Dr. Kenneth Wuest translates, the superabounding greatness of His inherent power to us who are believing ones as measured by the operative energy of the manifested strength of His might. It is difficult to give a clear distinction between the three Greek words that expand on the meaning of the surpassing greatness of His power, but in simple terms it pictures the piling up of similar terms in an attempt to convey the magnitude and capability of God's incomprehensible, infinite power. God's surpassing, superabounding power is available to believers because we are in Christ and He is in us, these positions picturing a union, a oneness, a solemn and binding covenant relationship. Commentators tell us that they can distinguish differences of meaning between the words, in that the first of them is the more active and outward, and the last of them is the more inward, comparing them to fruit and branch and root. The surpassing power which God uses in ministering to our spiritual needs is in accordance with, commensurate with, His infinite, immeasurable divine energy. Praise His Holy Name!

Pastor Adrian Rogers is quoted as saying, “Now, I want to ask you a question: Are you sitting in this auditorium, this morning, or are you sitting in heavenly places? The answer is yes, yes, yes. Physically, we are here; but, in Christ, we have been raised. When He died, we died. His death had our name on it. When He was raised from the grave, we were raised from the grave. When He ascended, we ascended. When He is seated at the right hand of God, so are we, in Christ. If I were to put you in a barrel and put that barrel in the Mississippi River, where would you be? In the Mississippi River, right? Well, if you're in Christ, and Christ is at the right hand of God, where are you? Seated with Him…as the Apostle Paul wrote, I am praying that your eyes will be opened, that you will be enlightened, that you will understand this (Ephesians 1:18)… surpassing, superabounding, exceeding greatness of His inherent power in and for us who believe (Ephesians 1:19)"…

He’s a Good, Good Father…it’s Who He is, and we’re loved with a superabounding love by Him…it’s who we are…it's Whose we are…in Christ...


Good, Good Father, I am so grateful that You have drawn me with cords of loving kindness to know and experience the surpassing, superabounding, exceeding greatness of Your inherent power in and for us who believe. Thank You for giving me a heart which yearns for Your Presence, a yearning for You that draws me over and over into Your Presence, a yearning that makes only a few days without time in prayer and Your Word seem like an eternity. Thank You for giving me a heart which is motivated first and foremost by a desire for You, not for what You can do for me, but a yearning for Your Presence. Thank You for giving me a heart that wants You more than anything else You could give, to love You and know You more than anything in life. Thank You for giving me a heart that takes what You have made known to me and makes You re-known to everyone else, a heart that makes Your name and renown the desire of my heart. Thank You for giving me a heart to feel Your Holy Spirit woo me once again to the place where I meet You. In the simplicity of my prayer time, thank You for giving me a heart to be suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer—the One Who is responsible for any good in me. Lord, each morning, thank You for giving me a heart that welcomes Your fresh mercies which fall like manna from Heaven, and once again move my heart. I gratefully surrender all. Morning after morning. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:18-19 …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:18-19 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:18-19 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Saturday, August 26, 2017

preciousness of the one loved

artwork by Kimberly Simmons

Kimberly Simmons' beautiful work of art, which exudes such colorful expressions of love, reminds me of the way we love and adore our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and draws my heart to a word study from Ephesians 1:15-17

Amplified: For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints (the people of God), I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

NLT: Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

Phillips: Since, then, I heard of this faith of yours in the Lord Jesus and the practical way in which you are expressing it towards fellow-Christians, I thank God continually for you and I never give up praying for you; and this is my prayer. That God, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and the all-glorious Father, will give you spiritual wisdom and the insight to know more of him: that you may receive that inner illumination of the spirit which will make you realize how great is the hope to which he is calling you—the magnificence and splendor of the inheritance promised to Christians—and how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God.

Wuest: On account of this, I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you and of your love to all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you as I constantly make mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the glory, might give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the sphere of a full knowledge of Him.

Young’s Literal: Because of this I also, having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and the love to all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the recognition of him.

A word study of love from Ephesians 1:15...love (agape) in the Greek classics spoke of a love called out of one's heart by the preciousness of the object loved. This is the idea inherent in the Father's proclamation, "This is My beloved Son..." Agape is the love that was shown at Calvary. Agape is God's love and is the love that God is. It is not human affection, but is a divine love, self-sacrificial in nature, seeking the benefit of the one who is loved. The degree of the preciousness is measured by the infinite sacrifice which God made. The love in John 3:16 is a love whose essence is that of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved, this love based upon an evaluation of the preciousness of the one loved.
 


In Mark 14:3, we read, “Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.” As we read this description of exorbitant devotion, so often we hone in on the fact that this was a costly, dear, and precious thing, a fragrant, expensive perfume worth more than a year’s wages, that Mary lavishly sacrificed in reverencing her King. Yet her extravagance moves us to ask ourselves, what thing that we consider costly and dear might the Lord want us to offer up to him: a relationship? a habit? a cherished possession? Perhaps it is one of the gifts God has given us that lies hidden or saved for use for a time that never comes. These very treasures could bring light to restore someone’s faith, to touch someone’s heart, to change a life. One of these important things could be the very “jar” that he wants us to break before him. Notice, Mary broke open the jar, representing that her life was no longer centered in herself but in Christ Jesus, that she counted Him as the treasure above all others. Is your life a broken jar, the contents poured out in joyful abandonment to the Lord? Of those who live as broken jars, Jesus says, they have “done a beautiful thing to me” (Mark 14:6).

Lord Jesus, Your agape love in John 3:16 is a love whose essence is that of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved, this love based upon an evaluation of the preciousness of the one loved, please show me the things that I adore, things I consider dear and precious that need to be broken so that I, too, may do a beautiful thing to You. The most costly gifts I can give You are my life and my love in ways that are pleasing to You. I give you also the gifts and treasures You have given me, and I offer them up for Your use. Today, let the fragrance of my brokenness bring joy to You, oh how I adore You! In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:15-17  … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:15-17 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:15-17 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Saturday, August 19, 2017

already - not yet

photograph by Rita Moenck

Rita Moenck posted this amazing photograph on the Artful Story--Journaling Facebook page with these comments: I sat down this morning, and was praising God for His many blessings (specifics would be a long story!)...As I turned to pick up my cup of coffee, I glanced out the window and saw this...It certainly did take away a breath or two! Felt like God winked at me...those unexpected "winks" give me such breathtaking, "blessed assurance!"  How grateful we are for the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our daily relationship with Him, the foretaste of glory divine, the guarantee of our inheritance...our blessed assurance...my heart is drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the word, guarantee, from Ephesians 1:13-14...

Amplified: In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit. That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the first-fruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.

Barclay: And it was in Christ that it was determined that you, too, should become the means whereby God’s glory is praised, after you had heard the word which brings the truth, the good news of your salvation—that good news, in which, after you had come to believe, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit, who had been promised to you, the Spirit Who is the foretaste and guarantee of all that one day we will inherit, until we enter into that complete redemption which brings complete possession.

NET: And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

NIV: And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Phillips: And you too trusted him, when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. And after you gave your confidence to him you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase, until the day when God completes the redemption of what he has paid for as his own; and that will again be to the praise of his glory.

Young's Literal: in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth--the good news of your salvation--in whom also having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise,  which is an earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.

Wuest: in whom also, as for you, having heard the word of the truth, the good news of your salvation, in whom also having believed, you were sealed with the Spirit of the promise, the Holy Spirit, Who is the token payment of our inheritance guaranteeing the full payment of all, looking forward to the redemption of the possession which is being preserved with a view to the praise of His glory.

Guarantee, pledge (arrabon) is the payment of part of a purchase price in advance. Literally was a legal and commercial technical term, representing an advance transaction that guarantees the validity of a contract or a full purchase price. The corresponding modern term is "earnest money," "down payment," installment or deposit that guarantees full amount will be paid. The Greek word arrabon denotes the first payment or first installment of money or goods which serves as a guarantee or pledge for the completion of the transaction. The term is used only figuratively of the Holy Spirit as the down payment of the blessings promised by God. In the New Testament, this has been described as "already - not yet"... the possession of the Spirit now by believers ("already") can be viewed as a guarantee that God will give them the balance of the promised blessings in the future ("not yet"). One form of arrabon was used for an engagement ring. God's bestowal of His Spirit is our irrevocable pledge, "divine engagement ring," giving us blessed assurance in Christ. In the New Testament, arrabon is used only in a figurative sense and is used to describe the Holy Spirit Who the Father has given to believers in this present life to assure them of their future and eternal inheritance. God gives us the Holy Spirit as the down payment or earnest of the full blessing of our future redemption. In one sense, we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. But, in another sense, our redemption is not complete until we get to heaven. Right now we can begin to enjoy the inheritance that is ours in Christ. But it’s just a foretaste of future glory. We don’t get the complete inheritance until we go to heaven. What Paul is saying is that the experience of the Holy Spirit which we have in this world is a foretaste of the blessedness of heaven; and it is the guarantee for our future.

Arthur Lewis, an expert in biblical Greek, was walking along the streets of Athens. Accompanying him was a professor who teaches Greek. They stopped occasionally to read the signs in shop windows. As they gazed into a jewelry store, they saw a sign with the word arrabon on it. When they entered and talked to the proprietor, he told them that in modern Greek the word arrabon means "an engagement ring." The Greek professor thought for a moment, then commented, "How interesting! In the New Testament that's the term for 'a guarantee, a down payment.'" Now the Spirit lives in us to give us guidance and power to live for God. But someday we'll have even more: We will live in the very presence of God. With joyful anticipation we await that day—for our future is guaranteed—blessed assurance!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the assurance Your Word gives me that You reign over heaven and earth and that no one can thwart Your plans for my life—and for the whole world. I put my trust in You today. Only You understand everything—even those things that are mysteries to me. Because You have all authority on earth and in heaven, I can rest in You. You are my shield and my eternal protector. When I am in danger or distress, help me trust in You. Lift my gaze and my heart from everything on this earth to You, who reign over all. Thank You for answering me from heaven and acting on my behalf when I cry out to You. May You be glorified in my life. In Your mighty name I pray, amen.


Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:13-14 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:13-14… pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:13-14…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


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