Ephesians 1:12-14 – We who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee ("earnest" KJV) of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (RSV)
"Earnest" might be your name. Or the shortened form, "Ernie," might be the name of the boy you went to school with.
Words used for names of people often have meanings.
"Earnest" can mean "serious." When we say, "He was earnest when he said that," we are saying that he really meant what he said; he wasn't joking; he was sincere.
There's another way the word "earnest" is used. If we are buying a house or other property, and we can't pay for it all at once, we might make a down-payment. The down-payment can be called an "earnest."
Also, if someone inherits property as a gift, perhaps in a will from someone elderly, the person who will receive the property might receive an earnest or guarantee to prove that he surely will receive that property sometime.
In olden times, the person to receive land property could be given a special jar of soil from the property. Nowadays, if we are to receive property, we are more likely to receive a sealed envelope with a letter inside. The letter is signed by the giver and a lawyer, and that letter becomes the earnest or guarantee that the property will be someday be ours.
The Bible uses the idea of receiving an earnest to show us something very special. We believers are inheritors of the kingdom of God — inheritors of our eternity in heaven.
But have we been given an earnest or guarantee of this inheritance?
In today's Scripture, we read, "In [Jesus] you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 1:13).
From God, we receive the Holy Spirit as the earnest or guarantee of our inheritance of our place in heaven until we acquire possession of it.
God has given us the gift of His very own Spirit, the same Spirit of His Son, Jesus Christ, to live right inside us to assure us of our possession in heaven.
Prayer: Dear God, we praise Your glory, for Your provision for us is unfathomable. Thank You for living inside us as the earnest of our possession with You in Your kingdom of heaven. Please cause praise of Your glory to emanate from us so that multitudes will be assured of Your great provision for all believers for all of eternity. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Praise ye the Triune God" (Lyrics)