Ephesians 1:13

In him, you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Having talked about the Jews who were saved by faith in Christ (“we”), Paul now turns to the saved Gentiles, the “you” in this verse.

We ,the Gentile believers, are included with the Jewish believers. This is the significance of the word “also”. The Jews were the first to believe, but in Christ we Gentiles are also saved.

Apart from timing, there is no difference in the destiny or the quality of salvation of those who are Jews and those who are not Jews. As Paul says in Romans, God has made one race or type of humanity out of what was formerly two, and now there is no difference.

This is so important to understand. The Gentiles have been grafted into God’s kingdom, but that does not mean that we are not part of the tree. And those who were born as Jews still need to be saved by faith in Christ. People who make distinctions between Jews and Gentiles (or between Israel and the Church), and those who argue that Gentiles must take on aspects of Judaism to be properly saved have it all wrong.

Paul notes here a three part salvation process

  1. We hear the word

  2. We believe in Christ

  3. We receive the Holy Spirit

The gospel of salvation is the word of truth. The gospel is God’s good news first announced by Jesus. The gospel can be expressed in many ways, but its heart is found in John 3:16. “God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

We were dead in our sins, lost and far from God, with no hope for salvation. Good deeds could not atone for our sins, and false religion left us in bondage to rules that only served to convict us of our hopeless condition.

Then Jesus came and set us free. His death on the cross paid the price for every sin ever committed. Suddenly there was light in the darkness.

This is the Good News about salvation. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.

The gospel is the word of truth. It is God’s word to us so it must be truth. Jesus is the word become flesh. He is the light in which there is no darkness. In Jesus we have all truth.

The devil is the father of lies. He is the cause and source of every deception, every falsehood, every forgery. The devil delights in lies because they hide what is true.

The Father is the source of all truth. Every revelation, every discovery, every scientific fact, owes its existence to God.

When we say the gospel of salvation is the word of truth we are saying it is from God and it reveals God.

We live in a post-truth society where it is claimed that we are free to believe whatever resonates within us at the time. The whole concept of truth is considered by some to be a tool of the white patriarchy.

Nevertheless, the law of gravity applies to everyone, regardless of their race, sexuality or gender. Everyone who jumps from a tall building in an attempt to defy gravity will themselves be broken by gravity.

The gospel is God’s word of truth and it applies equally to all people everywhere.

Hearing the gospel is not enough in itself. We must also believe in Christ. The word believe is often thought of as being a weak word of less credibility than knowing.

Believing in Christ means something stronger. We hear the word of truth and we decide to stake our lives on it. We don’t just have an intellectual belief that we are saved by Christ, but we know and trust that the word is true.

I know that gravity is real, not just an abstract theory of physics, but a daily reality in my life. I can fall over and hurt myself. I can imagine falling from a great height and so I am nervous when I am near a cliff edge.

I know in my head that the laws of aerodynamics are also true. I see planes take off and land at the airport. When I buy a ticket and get onto a plane, I am saying that I trust the pilots, the maintenance engineers, the air traffic controllers and a host of people to get me safely into the air and back down again.

Many people believe the gospel is true, but fewer people take the step of trusting Jesus, believing that He alone has the power to save us.

When we trusted in Christ, we were sealed by the promised Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is promised to everyone who believes. God is no longer “out there”. He is in me, empowering, sanctifying and making me more like Jesus.

We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on me. He seals us to remind us that we have been set apart for His purposes, to live as His bond- servants.

The seal is for our benefit not God’s. When I allow the Holy Spirit to work in me and through me, it is a reminder that I have been bought at a price and I am no longer my own.

The gift of tongues is a daily supernatural expression of the God who is in me. The “little miracles” of words of knowledge and prophecy are a powerful sign that God’s power has sealed me for His purposes.

The fruit of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, and so on- are a sign that God is at work transforming me, lifting me out of my bondage to sin and self, and changing my temperament to be a holy person.

The benefits of salvation are not limited to individual people. God is building a Kingdom made up of millions of born again disciples. As our individual lives are transformed in God’s three step conversion process, we influence and shape the culture around us, even changing nations.

We hear the gospel, believe in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit. Then we have the responsibility to pass it on, to speak the words of truth so that our neighbours can hear, believe and receive,

Key points in this verse:

  • There is no difference between Jew and Gentiles

  • To be a part of God’s kingdom we must hear the truth, put our trust in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Belief in Christ is total surrender not just believing facts.