In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13–14—NKJV)

The human experience of salvation comes laden with powerful awakenings of raw conviction for sin, personal unworthiness before God’s holiness and purity, wide-eyed awe at the love of the Son of God as He took the felon’s place and shed His innocent blood for the guilty soul, fresh-faced freedom from guilt and complete release from the burden of sin found only through belief in the divine promises of grace. These are all powerful sensory and palpable experiences of human emotion to which the awakening soul is subject and partakes.

But salvation is so much more! The first chapter of the book of Ephesians is a wonderful gift to every born again believer. Verses 3 through 14 list blessings God lavishes upon every new-born saint right along with his salvation. Paul’s words probe the attendant benefits of salvation which cannot be felt but of which we must, for our own security and encouragement, be aware. Paul’s intent is to pull aside the curtain of heaven and give every saint a glimpse of the riches of glory in Christ. Salvation is not just a date in the past when you first believed. Salvation is a rescue from sin, death, and hell as well as a rescue to a life to be lived for God’s unending glory—all at the prevailing will and attentive arrangement of God!

The glimpse Paul delivers of eternal security is an embarrassment of riches: God’s gracious choice, setting the boundaries of our adoption into sonship, acceptance in His Son, performing an actual purchase through Jesus’ blood, lavishly providing forgiveness of sins, unfolding the plan into eternity of the timely great gathering of all of His saints, and making us the inheritance of His Son—all of which unfailingly and perfectly accomplished in order to bring pleasure, praise, and glory to Himself!

Paul’s list is rounded off with one more blessing, though unfelt by the saint, the Holy Spirit indwelling. The indwelling pays out dividends today from the vault of salvation awaiting in glory. The Holy Spirit seals the believing child of God. He is called the Holy Spirit of promise (to proclaim, announce, as a gift graciously bestowed). His sealing work signifies that God will complete what He has begun and none can thwart His promise of redemption—not Satan, nor man, let alone the one redeemed.

In order to describe the Spirit’s promissory work, Paul uses the term “guarantor” in verse 14. The KJV used the word “earnest.” The Greek word is a loan word from Hebrew, essentially transliterating it as “arrabon.” It is found in Genesis 38:17, 18, and 20. It means “a pledge” and stands for part of a price, paid beforehand, to confirm a bargain. In the New Testament it is only used of God’s promissory establishment of a bargain for His saints. 2 Corinthians 1:21–22 reads, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” Likewise 2 Corinthians 5:5 states, “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” In modern Greek “arrabona” is an engagement ring.

The Holy Spirit is the Christian’s earnest of inheritance. He is given as an advance of what will be fully bestowed afterwards. He works to bring the justified sinner/saint into practical, sanctified obedience to the will of God, looking forward to the day of glorification in the full evidence of salvation grace! Are you living a life filled with Spirit-led decisions? Are you living as God’s “purchased possession?” Trust and obey.