Ephesians 1:14

[Holy Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. But how does this work? Why is the Holy Spirit a guarantee?

The Holy Spirit is given to christians when we are first saved. We speak of “having,” “receiving” the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit is “in” us. We speak from experience of the Holy Spirit, but we lack any objective measurement or framework to describe how this works.

We know that we know. There is a difference in our lives that takes place as we attend to the Holy Spirit’s directions.

Once we had no concept of the Holy Spirit in us, but now it is our experience that God fellowships intimately with us.

People experience the Holy Spirit is different ways. For some, there is an ongoing clear conversation in which they are often keenly aware of the Holy Spirit’s direction. For others, the Holy Spirit is a vague entity, occasionally experienced as a still, small voice that is easy to miss.

The Holy Spirit is manifest in the form of various gifts such as those in 1 Corinthians 12 in which various abilities are given in order to build up the church. The Holy Spirit is also revealed as, over time, various qualities (the fruit of the Spirit) become activated to make a believer more Christ-like in temperament (Galatians 5:22-23)

When we believe we receive the Holy Spirit who serves as a guarantee of what is to come, our inheritance.

Our inheritance is our salvation, God’s free gift of eternal life to all who believe. At the instant we truly repent of our sins and decide to follow Jesus, the Spirit comes in and “seals” that decision, guaranteeing that we will receive eternal life.

A guarantee is given by a producer or service provider that their product is fit for its intended purpose. For consumers this might be in the form of a promise to replace a defective item if it breaks down in a certain time period. For businesses it might be a statement that a product such as a fuel has a certain composition or a rating. If this product fails to meet the specification a purchaser is justified in suing for the damages they suffer.

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our eternal salvation. We have this witness inside us that assures us that we are in relationship with God, and our destiny is not in doubt.

In most worldly guarantees, a corporation or a government stands behind the promise. With our salvation, it is God, our Creator and Redeemer, who stands behind the promise. In fact, He is the promise.

So God’s guarantee of our inheritance is to put Himself into us as a sign of what is to come.

The Bible does not give us much of an explicit description of what heaven is like or how eternal life will be lived. We do know that our relationship with God will be the focus of the new life.

In this life, sin blocks our relationship with God. For now we see in part, but one day we will see in fullness, in perfection. We will see the glory of God unfiltered by our physical limitations.

Since our relationship with God will be the focal point of eternal life, it is appropriate that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of what will come. We have intimacy with the Holy Spirit as a foretaste, or a deposit, of what will be.

The conversation that we have with the Holy Spirit, the revelations, dreams and visions, the power to heal- all of these things are a sign of what is to come later, our inheritance in Christ.

An inheritance is something we receive when someone dies. It is something they owned which is passed on to us.

The inheritance that we have comes as a result of the death of Jesus. We were estranged from God, alienated and far off. Then, the One and Only Son of God came into the world to pay for our sins and bring us back to Him. We are now a part of God’s family, reconciled and restored to our Father.

Now we are heirs of the Father, joint heirs with the Son as Paul says in Romans 8:17. The Father literally owns the whole of creation, and now we share in that inheritance. Everything that God has, we have too.

An inheritance is not always available immediately. The estate of the deceased person must be settled. Investments must be liquidated, property may need to be sold, debts must be paid, and so on. There is a delay between inheriting and receiving.

While we live in this life, we cannot receive all of our inheritance. The Holy Spirit for now is our portion or deposit guaranteeing that the rest will come.

One day we will possess the inheritance, and be possessed by it.

Words cannot express nor minds imagine what heaven is like. There have been many people who have claimed to have gone there for a while before returning to earth. The book of Revelation gives a glimpse of the glory awaiting. Literally we have no words to give content and context to our destiny.

So in the meantime we live in fellowship with the guarantee of the inheritance, the Holy spirit.

The words “to the praise of his glory” relate to the single sentence of verses 13 and 14 which gives a brief story of salvation. In Christ we heard the word of truth, the gospel of salvation, received the Holy Spirit, and the deposit of our inheritance, all to the praise of his glory.

Just as the Holy Spirit is a testimony to us of God’s promise, so too our lives being redeemed, empowered and made holy, are a testimony to the world of God’s grace.

This is all to the praise of His glory. We are living testimonies of God’s glory, stories of the efficacy of God’s big rescue plan and of His love for all people,

Key points in this verse:

  • The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee of our inheritance

  • We have to wait to receive the fullness of the inheritance

  • our relationship with God now is a sign of what is to come

  • all of this is for the praise of God’s glory.