Tuesday 17 November 2015

Bible Book:

“In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.” (v. 13)

Ephesians 1:11-14 Tuesday 17 November 2015

Psalm: Psalm 127


These verses conclude the introductory praise in the letter, theunbroken Greek sentence which we have as verses 3-14 in our Englishtranslation. Verse 11 continues the earlier theme of Christiansbeing adopted as God's children (see Ephesians 1:5). It is part of God's plan thatsuch children will receive an inheritance.

In verse 13 the writer switches from speaking in terms of "we"to addressing "you". This might be seen as making a distinctionbetween Jews and Gentiles, but is more likely to be speaking of theextension of God's grace to a new group of Christian believers.They had heard the word, the truth about God revealed in JesusChrist, and believed. Through God's grace they had received thegift of the Holy Spirit, which is described both as a seal and apledge. Some interpreters have seen the use of the word "seal" as areference to Baptism, but that is not really very clear. It is morelikely that the Holy Spirit is the mark on people's lives that theyhave responded to the gospel.

The idea of a pledge draws from the world of business. Theancient practice of taking a deposit when making a purchase as aguarantee that in the fullness of time the rest of the price wouldbe paid is still found in the commercial world today, although nowthe payment may be made in instalments with the addition ofsubstantial interest. The writer refers to the gift of the HolySpirt as a guarantee that God will one day fulfil God's promise toredeem God's own people. In personal terms this can be seen as apositive hope. If in this life the Holy Spirit can be active in ourlives, then how much more joy there will be when we enter into thefullness of God's love in the life to come? If the Holy Spirit isGod's guarantee that this will be so, then the expression "to thepraise of his glory" which occurs at the end of verse 14, and whichfeatures as a refrain throughout verses 3-14 is appropriate.

To Ponder

  • How would you describe the work of the Holy Spirit in yourlife? Think of some examples.
  • What are your feelings about life after death?
Previous Page Monday 16 November 2015
Next Page Wednesday 18 November 2015