Day 17 – Ephesians 1v13b-14

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.
The principle of eternal security through Jesus Christ is foundational to the Gospel, without it the Gospel message just becomes another man-made religion of works, all of which teach that adherents must earn God’s approval through various religious activities.  Perhaps the reason we seem to be confused or question the principle of eternal security is that we have all seen or know of individuals who have appeared to make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ but ultimately they have fallen away or haven’t followed through.  How can this be?  Well as we mentioned in our study yesterday in Day 16 there is a big difference between receiving Jesus as Saviour and receiving Him as LORD and SAVIOUR.
If we respond to the Gospel purely on an emotional level there is a danger that we may gladly respond to the message of the Saviour but may not count the cost of following Jesus.  Let us remember that Jesus Himself stated in Mark 8v34-35, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”  Jesus follows these words up with a discourse on the importance of counting the cost in becoming a disciple (see Mark 8 and Luke 14 below).  The clear implication of these passages is that to the person who has not considered the cost of following Jesus then to that person God will not commit His Spirit!

We must also understand that simply praying a prayer to ask Jesus into our hearts, often referred to as the sinners prayer, is not in and of itself effectual; it is not a magic prayer as if we were calling on some genie!  God is not obligated to give of His Holy Spirit to a person simply because we pray such a prayer.  God looks at the heart and He knows whether we are just responding to a good deal and are therefore only looking for fire insurance from hell; or whether we are sincere, resolute and truly want to follow Jesus Christ as LORD!  This is why our verse today has the absolute confidence to declare that the sealing of the Holy Spirit is THE GUARANTEE of our redemption!  God is not double minded, once He gives of His Holy Spirit to us, that is it, is it a done deal. That is why He is not only listening to our words but He is looking intently into our hearts.  Once God the Father has given His Holy Spirit to us He will not remove Him, because all the works that God starts God FINISHES.  God is not like us, He leaves no work unfinished, He always completes what He sets out to do. He is the AUTHOR AND FINISHER of our FAITH (Hebrews 12v2).
In Philippians 1v6 Paul reminds his readers that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.  That Day that Paul is speaking of is the LAST DAY, the DAY when we will all stand before Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.  In this context God gives us His Holy Spirit to ensure safe passage of the saints into the very presence of God.   This is why the term complete is used in this verse as it relates to the completion of our salvation, the moment that the Holy Spirit has safely carried us through the perils of life’s journey into the actual presence of the KING of kings. 
Our verse today goes on to state that we have become God’s purchased possession, which is actually to the praise of His glory.  Now if we have become God’s possession how could we ever lose what is not ours! OUR lives are not OURS anymore, they belong to CHRIST (see 1Corinthians 6 below).  Now we can rest assured in the safe knowledge that God has never lost one of His possessions!  If you are anything like me you will have experienced losing keys, losing a wallet, losing a piece of unsaved work on a computer, even perhaps losing a car in a large car-park, and even if you are like me (although just for a few moments that seemed like an eternity) losing a child in a park or a shopping centre!  HOWEVER GOD IS NOT SO ABSENT MINDED!  God has never lost one of His possessions!
So let me ask us today – Have we believed on Christ’s finished work of the CROSS? Have we TRUSTED in HIS GOODNESS? Have we determined in our hearts to receive HIM as SAVIOUR and follow HIM as LORD?  If we can say YES and AMEN to these then we are Christ’s possession, we are secure in His love, and the GREAT EXCHANGE has happened – GRACE – God’s Riches AT Christ’s Expense (remember Day 11).  God has exchanged our need for His abundant PROVISION, our sinful condition for His abundant LIFE, our lost and wandering soul for His abundant SPIRIT!
We are a people most blessed!
NB: If perhaps you cannot say Yes and Amen to these statements then I would humbly ask that you read yesterday’s study on the Key to New Testament theology Day 16
Heavenly Father, thank you that we are Your possession.  That having believed, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until our redemption as the purchased possession, to the praise of Your glory.  We praise You Father that You have never lost anything or anyone and so we can rest assured today that You will never leave or forsake us, that CHRIST in us is the HOPE of glory.
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8
27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it–  29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,  30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’  31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.  33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14
4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
Habakkuk 2
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.  19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Colossians 3

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