Wednesday, April 5, 2017
The Earnest Of Our Salvation
When one agrees to buy a house or piece of land he is often required to put up a sum of money as earnest money as proof he intends to follow through on the deal. If he backs out at some point, he forfeits the earnest money to help defray any losses to the seller because he cannot sell it to someone else. If the transaction is completed, the earnest money is applied as part of the sale price. Other industries may call the earnest money a restocking fee.
II Corinthians 1:21-22 tells us, “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” In other words, God gives us the Holy Spirit as proof that he will not back out on our salvation. Ephesians 1:13-14 reinforces that statement. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” He is the proof that our salvation is real.
Romans 8:9 lends additional support. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Quite simply, if a person does not have the Holy Spirit, he has not been saved and is not a Christian, even though he may have joined the church, been baptized, prayed the sinner’s prayer or followed some other religious ritual.
Jesus referred to this concept in Luke 8:13, when explaining the meaning of the parable of the sower. “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. “ While they have performed the prescribed ritual, they do not have the Holy Spirit to connect them firmly to God or provide nourishment and strength. They are frequently active in the church for years, but when problems arise they walk away. As I John 2:19 tells us, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
Clearly one’s assurance of salvation is not based on whether they have been baptized, or prayed the sinner’s prayer properly, or performed some other ritual. Instead it is based on whether or not he has the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:16 tells us, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: Ro 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” If the Holy Spirit is present, he will provide assurance of one’s salvation. Providing that assurance is part of his job.
I John 5:5:7-8 states, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” Just as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are in heaven making it clear that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of the world, there are three things here that indicate we are the sons of God.
John 3:5 tells us, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The phrase “born of Water” refers to the Physical birth. In the same way, the water here in I John 5:8 refers to the Physical life or lifestyle as witnessing that we are the children of God. The blood of Christ takes away our guilt, enabling us to have peace with God, and the Holy Spirit bears witness we are God’s children, as Romans 8:16 says. All three will be in agreement for the person who is truly living in Christ. If they do not agree, we need to find out why.