This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.
Our Destiny in Glory
Meditation on Ephesians 1:11-14
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 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.
We already have an inheritance, a glorious inheritance! God planned and determined that inheritance beforehand. Jesus Christ purchased that inheritance for us. The Holy Spirit applies that inheritance to us, in fact, He is the seal of that inheritance. We have obtained this inheritance because we are in Christ. The Holy Spirit has united us with Him. That inheritance is now in heaven and will finally cover the whole universe. We have this inheritance now and can never lose it. God works all things in heaven and on earth, not only in the creation of all things, but also as to the development of all things. Although God did not create sin, there is the development of sin. God is sovereignly in control. There is also the development in regard to salvation from sin and our final glory.
We have a lively hope in Christ Jesus. As the Old Testament saints looked forward to Christ’s coming, so we in the new dispensation look back at what the Lord Jesus has done and look forward to what He is doing and will do. The hope has three elements. First, there is expectation. The object of that expectation is the glory that is to be revealed in the future. Second, there is certainty. It is not merely a wish. For example, I might wish for warm weather. Rather, real hope is certainty not only of the existence of that glory, but also the revelation of that glory. We also have the certainty that we will have a personal part in that glory. Third, our hope implies longing. In distinction from longing for things of this world, we have a longing for the things of heaven and in the eternal future. Do you have this? Is it evident to others? We have hope only when we are in Christ, when we believe in Christ and as we live in the sphere of Christ.
Verse 13 undoubtedly presupposes a verb, so that we would read, “in whom ye also are.” How can we be so sure that we are in Christ? The answer is our faith. It is by the hearing the word of truth: we hear the gospel of salvation. How do we hear that gospel? The Holy Spirit directs the preaching of the gospel to our ears. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring tidings of good things” (Romans 10:14,15).
How beautifully the truth of the work of the Holy Spirit is set forth in our text. The Holy Spirit not only directs where the preaching goes, but the Spirit also gives new hearts that are receptive to and understand spiritual things (I Cor. 1:17-25 I Cor. 2:9-12). We call this the internal call. The Spirit of Truth applies to our hearts God’s Word. It is called “the word of truth.” The Holy Spirit does not call attention to Himself, but to Christ. The “truth” is the word that is in Christ Jesus and revealed in the Scriptures. It is called “the gospel of your salvation.” Gospel means ‘good tidings’. They are indeed good tidings: the tidings of salvation from sin, corruption, and death, from the guilt of sin and all that is connected with sin and death. They are the tidings of a righteousness that is given to us and the hope of eternal life. We not only hear these tidings, but by God’s grace, believe them.
We are sealed with the Holy Spirit. A seal is a mark of authenticity. It is like the seal put upon our currency or on one’s wedding license. It cannot be altered. Those who believe in Christ can never be lost. This is so because the seal is the Holy Spirit of promise. It is through the Holy Spirit that the promise is realized. “I will be your God, and the God of your seed after you.” It is the promise of Christ and all that is in him and effected by him. It is the promise that is given to the saints: the forgiveness of sins, our adoption as children, righteousness, and eternal life. That promise is sealed by the Holy Spirit to the hearts of the believers. The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance. We have a down payment of the final glory that will be ours, the salvation perfected in body and soul in the new heavens and new earth.
What is your response to this? Does it make you glad? Is there praise to God on your lips? If you have not noticed yet, the phrase “the praise of his glory” is mentioned twice in this pericope: vs. 12 and vs. 14. God’s purpose in all of his plans and now in our salvation is his glory”. What a doxology!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.